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Washington D.C. Summer Program 2011

Overview:

The 40th anniversary of the LBJ School was a fitting occasion to launch the LBJ School Washington Program. This program began in Summer 2011 with two graduate seminars, taught by LBJ School faculty, and complemented the D.C.-based summer internships aimed at familiarizing students with federal Washington and introducing them to senior-level officials there. The D.C Summer Program  not only allowed current students to gain valuable credit hours while interning in Washington, D.C., but additionally provided alumni the opportunity to interact with current students and faculty while pursuing their professional development goals.

We envision this program evolving in the coming years to include additional course offerings and aspire, in three to five years, to expand into a semester in Washington. In addition to serving current students and 500 D.C.-based alumni, we see this program as helping increase the presence of the LBJ School in the national policy discourse.

For Whom:

The Washington D.C. Summer program is open to all LBJ School students and other University of Texas at Austin graduate students. Additionally, LBJ School alumni or other policy professionals with undergraduate degrees interested in the program as a professional development tool are welcome to apply.

What/When:

The 2011 summer program included two advanced topics seminars.

PA 388K –Health Policy in 2011:The View from Washington

Taught by LBJ School Professor Dr. David Warner, a member of the executive committee of the Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP); May 16 through 27; Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m (See LBJ on-line course pages for unique number and course description in March – www.utexas.edu/lbj/schedule)

PA 388K - International Organizations and Global Governance: Crisis or Catharsis?

Taught by LBJ School Associate Professor Dr. Catherine Weaver; 1st Summer Session - June 8 through July 14;  Wednesday and Thursday from 5:45 p.m. -8:30 p.m. (See LBJ on-line course pages for unique number and course description in March – www.utexas.edu/lbj/schedule)

Where:

All courses were taught at The Archer Center, the Washington, D.C., campus of the University of Texas System, located at 1901 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20006. For more information on The Archer Center, visit: http://www.archercenter.org/ 

PA388K: Health Policy 2011: The View from Washington
First Summer Session, 2011

May 16 through May 27
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Archer Center
Washington, D.C.
Prof. David Warner

This class used the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a vehicle to understand a number of the current issues facing the U.S. Health Care system as well as to understand the process through which legislation is passed, the process of rule making and implementation, the Constitutional issues that have been raised in the conflicting decisions in the Appeals Courts, the degree to which the appropriations process determines outcomes, and alternatives to some of the initiatives in the legislation.

This two-week course identified institutions and interests that shape health policy in Washington, D.C. with a particular focus on the passage and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, court challenges to the Act and the strategies being implemented in the Congress and the administration to significantly alter and defend the Act. Additionally, this course examined a number of other related issues such as pharmaceutical and medical device regulation and pricing, long term care, the role of the private sector, the roles of the federal government and the states, physician fee controversies, the regulation of private insurance and the development of the exchanges as the state level, the way in which costs estimates are developed by CBO and the role of the OMB, workforce issues, public health considerations, electronic health records and initiatives to both encourage higher quality and reduce costs. This was in the context of the emerging likelihood of severe spending cutbacks in the years ahead.

PA388K: International Organizations and Global Governance: Crisis or Catharsis?
First Summer Session, 2011

June 8 through July 14
5:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Archer Center
Washington, D.C.
Prof. Kate Weaver

International governmental organizations (IOs) are the heart of global governance. Since the mid-20th century, IOs have played a central role in defining, implementing and enforcing rules and norms to resolve international collective action problems and provide public goods ranging from peace and security to financial stability and growth. Many policy students aspire to work for an IO one day. Yet many of the oldest and most prominent IOs in the world today are in crisis: their relevance, legitimacy and effectiveness constantly under fire by actors spanning the political spectrum. Why are these IOs in crisis? What is the nature of these crises? What is being done to reform these organizations, and to what end?

The course began with a broad historical and theoretical overview of the birth and growth of IOs in the world. Specifically, we examined (1) why states create and work through IOs (2) how we understand the design and the delegation of functions to IOs; (3) the sources and exercise of IO authority and power, and (4) the often dysfunctional or pathological behavior of IOs. We then focused specifically on the sources and nature of current crises and reform strategies. Our primary goal throughout the course was  to understand the complex politics within and surrounding these multilateral organizations, unpacking the dynamics of IO behavior and change both from the vantage of “high politics” and from a perspective of “life within” their walls.

We specifically focused our attention on IOs who play a prominent role in leading major areas of global policy, including international finance (the IMF), peacekeeping (the UN DPKO), humanitarian and refugee assistance (the UNHCR), and global development (the World Bank). We took advantage of being in Washington, D.C. and our proximity to New York to visit these IOs, hear directly from their staff and management, and to speak with many experts in the U.S. government and activist communities who have been advocating IO reform. Students chose one IO for an in-depth research project, conducting an analysis of its performance and reform efforts and wrote a reform report that offers a vision for the future.