When we study public policy we do so to understand the roles played by the different branches of the federal government as well as by state, county, and local governments in various areas of contemporary American life. The study of public policy, in particular, focuses on how American society develops and sets the national agenda as demonstrated in the public policy choices that our elected representatives make and in the effective advocacy of varying interest groups. This course looks at the process of making public policy from setting the aforementioned national agenda to implementation, with a keen eye toward the interplay of government authority, social activism, and special interests influence, often referred to as the Iron Triangle. The course will also explore the various theories and approaches to formulating public policy and which ones, if any, guide policy making in the American system of government today. Additionally, we will explore the debates among various interest groups, partisan actors, and experts that help to frame and formulate public policy as well as how to evaluate the overall impact of the policies enacted.