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PubPol 712

PubPol 712: Leadership and Innovative Policy Making

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Winter 2010
Credit Hours

In this course the students will (a) master key themes in leadership development and policy making, (b) increase their own leadership capacities through reflection, feedback and practice and (c) evaluate the leadership record of an “extraordinary” policy leader. The goal of the three-pronged approach is to prepare students for understanding and exercising leadership-executive ability in government, non-governmental organizations, and business. Leadership is the ability to influence people towards achieving a goal. An important part of the Ford School mission is to prepare students for leadership. In this course we will take leadership “out of the box” by having students examine several key themes and some specific questions. The themes include issues such as, are leaders born or made? What kind of leaders design and implement “good” versus “bad” policies? Can “nudging” substitute for forceful policy intervention? To what extent are economic and political outcomes products of leadership as opposed to external environment? Has globalization, with greater openness and competition, numbered the days of the “great” leader – Churchill, Gandhi, Kennedy, Welch, or Greenspan? How do the answers to these questions change when the cultural, economic, political, and social context varies? The course will explore these questions in theory and in practice. It will approach the subject of leadership and policy making from an interdisciplinary perspective, focusing on (1) the individual personalities, character, and values of leaders; (2) the role of state and the relationship of leaders to the institutions they serve; and (3) the economic, political and cultural context in which the leadership is exercised.