• Academic Credits: 3
  • SAS Core Certified: CCO
  • Course for Minor: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Government and Business

Course Description:

This course will introduce students to the basic theoretical frameworks and empirical data that define research and knowledge in the field of public policymaking, and will consider the theoretical and methodological problems of studying public policy across countries. By examining how and why out- puts of political processes—e.g. laws, taxation, government services—vary cross-nationally, we can gain a deeper understanding of how contrasting political cultures, state institutions, and societal interests in- fluence policy choices. We will also consider how international pressures and interests are an increasing influence on domestic policies, and how countries use cross-national comparisons to inform their own policy decisions. This course will introduce students to comparative public policy literature, including theories of public policymaking and empirical examples across a range of policy areas—e.g. environmen- tal policy, social and educational policy, fiscal and taxation policy, and health care policies. Students will gain an understanding of the policymaking issues specific to these various topics by examining their con- textual implementations across a set of industrialized democracies, and evaluate how policy decisions are shaped by a country’s institutions, also considering the competing interests and ideas surrounding any given policy arena.