PUBPOL 201: Systematic Thinking About The Problems of the Day

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Fall 2013
Credit Hours

The main idea that we want to get across is implicit in the title: Systematic thinking - largely from the social sciences, but with the application of scientific methods and knowledge more generally - can make a significant difference in the way we approach and solve current policy problems. This is a sophomore level course, offered for four credit hours. The class consists of three hours of lecture and one section meeting each week. The course is divided into four or five modules, each of which takes up a different policy topic. For each topic, there will be at least two faculty members who teach the module together. In past years the topics have included strategies for dealing with Bird Flu, the Kyoto accords and policy related to global warming, No Child Left Behind and other national education policy issues, copyright laws and file sharing, electoral college reform, world poverty, and globalization and international trade. Pre-reqs: Econ 101 and at least one other introductory social science class. Concurrent enrollment in Econ 101 is permitted. PubPol 201 provides an introduction to the field of public policy. Students who like 201 might want to look into the BA in Public Policy, a junior/senior year liberal arts program that emphasizes multidisciplinary training in the social sciences as a way of thinking about both domestic and international policy problems. Learn more about the BA in Public Policy here: