PubPol 510

PubPol 510.007: The Politics of Public Policy

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Fall 2023
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This is a core course restricted to Ford and STPP students only. Registration is by permission only.

The primary objective of this core course in the MPP curriculum is to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for effective political analysis of public policy issues and decisions.  The course covers conceptual and analytic frameworks for understanding political processes, institutions, stakeholders, contexts and policy decision-making.  In addition, the course builds written and verbal communication skills, emphasizing the ability to convey clear and concise political analyses in a variety of formats, including policy memos.

In this section of 510, students will analyze the politics that affect foreign policy choices related to international security, broadly defined. We will consider multiple perspectives about the nature of the international system and how this system pushes actors to war or facilitates cooperation. We will investigate several critical topics related to international security, including great power competition, interstate and civil war, post-conflict reconstruction, technology, and climate change. Overall, the course aims to: 1) ground students with the theoretical knowledge to understand global challenges to cooperation; 2) identify and anticipate significant sources of conflict; 3) deepen students' knowledge of contemporary global security issues; 4) challenge assumptions about global politics and think critically about contemporary security issues from multiple perspectives; 5) encourage creativity and collective problem-solving about international security problems and 6) improve students' written and verbal communication.