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Spring 2011 - 61940 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

The Political Economy of Emerging Civil-Society-Led Global Governance

Instructor(s): Conroy, Michael
Unique Number: 61940
Day & Time: M 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.355
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.

 

Section Description

National and international regulation of transnational production is one of the greatest challenges facing virtually every nation, and the global civil society. This course will explore the emergence, over the past 20 years, of new systems for creating functioning global governance that are a) led by unusual coalitions of non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and b) deliberately designed to fill enormous gaps in both national and international legal and regulatory structures. The systems created range from the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative to sector-specific global voluntary certification systems, such as the Forest Stewardship Council, the Marine Stewardship Council, and Certified Fair Trade. They also include national systems designed to fill gaps in compliance with global treaties, such as the e-Stewards program for recycling toxic electronic waste created in the U.S. in the face of the U.S. refusal to sign the Basel Convention on Toxic Wastes. The course will emphasize a political economy perspective, asking questions about the political and economic dynamics of the origins, functioning, and impacts of these systems at the global and national level. Cross-system learning and the emergence of higher-level governance mechanisms shaping these systems will also be covered. Each seminar participant will be asked to contribute 2 elements to the seminar: a) to lead the seminar discussion on specific assigned topics during one of the sessions, and b) to contribute, during a scheduled session, a presentation on either a case study of one example of civil-society-led governance or a paper focused on a critical issue in civil-society-led governance, with topics to be determined in consultation with the instructor.

 Evaluation:pSeminar participants will be evaluated on four factors, with 50% of the grades given throughout the semester after presentations, and the remainder by the end of the semester:

  • 20% of the final grade will be based on the instructor’s evaluation of the teams of students organizing student-led discussion of conceptual topics (with a confidential grade issued immediately after each discussion);
  • 20% of the final grade will be based on an in-class presentation of a preliminary case study or review and analysis of a critical issue leading to the term paper discussed below (again, with the grade given confidentially after each presentation);
  • 20% of the final grade will be based on overall in-seminar contributions as judged by anonymous peer-evaluations recorded at the time of the last meeting of the seminar; a straw-poll peer evaluation will be conducted at the mid-term, to give participants a sense of where they stand at that point with their peers.
  • 40% of the final grade will be based on a term paper which may be either a written case study of one example of civil-society-led governance or a paper focused on a critical issue in civil-society-led governance, with topics to be determined in consultation with the instructor.