Politics as usual. It’s a phenomenon we all love to hate. But what does it mean? When government policy is decided by politics, does that mean the policy is necessarily bad? Can we get rid of politics in policy making or improve on it somehow? What would “politics as unusual” look like anyway? This class examines the policy making process with particular emphasis on the United States: How do issues get defined as problems worthy of government attention? What kinds of alternatives are considered as solutions to these problems? Why do we end up with some policies but not others? Do certain kinds of processes yield better policies than others? How should we decide what constitutes a good policy?
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: several short papers, research paper, class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: one course in PSCI or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Political Science and Political Economy majors, and students with an interest in public policy
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course; PSCI American Politics Courses; PSCI Research Courses;