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Fall 2011 - 61125 - PA383C - Politics and Process

Perspectives on Public Policy

Instructor(s): Inman, Bobby R.
Unique Number: 61125
Day & Time: F 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.122
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

This course acquaints students with how public policy develops and is adopted in the American governmental system. It is normally taken during the first year. The course helps students understand the different settings in which policy develops and the factors that influence its development. Each section of the course uses different substantive policy concerns such as international affairs, social policy, community engagement, and resource and environmental regulation to explore how individuals and institutions initiate and/or give legitimacy to public policy, including the executive and legislative branches, the courts, interest groups, and individual citizens. The course also covers the dynamics of the policy process by focusing on the roles of and relationships among various levels of government and the concepts and models used to describe these aspects of policy development. The roles of ideas, concepts, and formal methods of analysis in policy development are discussed. Reading assignments and class discussion focus on case studies, legislative hearings, policy-issue briefs, court decisions, and theoretical works which highlight and explain the development of particular public policies.

Section Description

Scope: In the last 15 years we have witnessed the end of the Cold War and the shift from decades of bi-polar rivalry, to a brief “uni-polar moment” for the US. September 11, 2001, represented yet another, and more sudden, transformation of the atmosphere in which US policy is formulated and executed. This course examines the question of what role the United States should play in the world as we move forward. Supported by policy experts in their fields, the course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to examine US policy development and prospects. We will draw on the experiences of practitioners to broaden student experience in probing the central question from the viewpoints of national security, intelligence, media and others, with due regard for countries and regions that represent current priorities in US relations. Requirements include several short writings, an exam, and a group presentation.

Requirements: Students are responsible for all readings and for meaningful participation in class discussions. Students should also keep abreast of current events using respected sources such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and reputable policy journals. Students will be required to complete a mid-term exam, and a final group presentation that analyzes selected policy issues and recommends solutions.

This course is offered for grade only.

Cross-listed with MAN 385; LAW 371R