LAS 337M • PUBL POLICY OF BRAZIL & THE US
10:30 AM-12:00 PM
This course examines a range of public policies and policy processes of the United States (US) and Brazil in comparative perspective. It intends to highlight many interesting similarities as well as differences between the two countries. Brazil and the United States are continental size countries with large populations and pronounced regional differences. In the 1930s, the reach of the central state expanded in economic and social policy in the countries. Both Brazil and the US have federal forms of government and have sought to decentralize decision-making over a wide range of issues in the recent period. The role of the states vs. the federal government is a topic that both countries have confronted over time. On the other hand, there are many salient differences between Brazil and the US that shape their respective public policies and policy making processes. For example, the executive in Brazil has a more dominant role in initiating legislation than in the US. The US has had a political system marked by greater continuity than in Brazil. This course will try to analyze how these and other differences have shaped public policy outcomes in the respective countries. Students in this class will be eligible for applying to the Bilateral Consortium in Social Science and Public Policy (BCSP) for study in Brazil during the spring semester of 2006. Students are evaluated on a mid-term essay, a term paper and class participation.