Spring 2010 Course Description

Politics and Process

Section Title: Policy Development: Challenges and Opportunities
Instructor(s): Angela Evans
Course: P A 383C - Politics and Process
(previously Policy Development)
Unique Number: 62350
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.216
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Policies have become more complex, the players more diverse, and the consequences of policy creation and adjustment more serious and immediate. As students of public policy and public management, understanding the nature of policy development will better position you to successfully engage in the policy arena and to be critical, wise users of policy-related research, data and information.

During our time together we will focus on the nature of public policy problems, examining the unique roles the Congress, the President, the Executive Branch and the courts play in the creation and oversight of public policy. We will examine several public policy problems with roots in contemporary society including: the environment and global climate change, health care financing, the quality of elementary and secondary education, and the impact of the aging of the population on US policies. In studying these issues we will identify the nature of these problems; analyze the attendant challenges these problems create for the future well being of our Nation; explore ways the problems have been addressed; analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the solutions offered thus far; develop new options for addressing these problems in the future; and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these options.

The course is designed to integrate knowledge generated through sound policy analysis with political and organizational realities so that you will develop an appreciation for the complexity of public policy problems; and an understanding of the key players who tackle these problems, the environments in which they act, and processes they use to assess the feasibility of options offered to help solve these problems.

The course requires extensive reading to prepare for class and a very high level of participation in class. Student assessment will be based upon: an on-the-spot briefing; a team project; an in-class collaborative project; an analytic memorandum discussing a current public policy problem of your choice; one 15-20 page report analyzing a policy problem; and class participation. There is no final examination.

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