Fall 2005 Course Description

Theories of Public Policy

Section Title: Theory and Philosophy of Public Policy
Instructor(s): Francis Gavin
Course: P A 392C - Theories of Public Policy
Unique Number: 64150
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.112
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

Description: What are the theoretical underpinnings of public policy? What disciplines and methods are best suited to understanding how public policy is made and implemented? How does public policy interact with other currents/forces of political and social life? Public policy as a discipline is a relatively new and, in many ways, inchoate field. Public policy education has been largely concerned with training practitioners, and less with advancing scholarly knowledge. It has borrowed heavily from other social sciences, including economics, game theory, sociology, and political science.

This course will try to make some sense of these issues as we explore the theoretical and historical roots of policy in the US. This course will focus on issues of U.S. foreign policy and international relations, with a particular emphasis on the unique and overlooked contribution historical methodology can make towards understanding public policy. This course is also intended to prepare students for their PhD oral exams.

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