POLS 1007 Wicked Problems: Introduction to Public Policy

4 hours; 4 credits

Fundamental concepts, principles, and politics of public policy-making on critical issues and so-called ?wicked problems,? for which there are no definitive, right answers. Topics include the policymaking process, why some groups? interests tend to be advantaged over others?, patterns in the main trade-offs made by policymakers, and the dynamic relationships between elected officials, the media, political institutions, and the public at large. Special attention to the role of cultural ideas in interpreting popular but fiercely contested concepts like ?liberty? and ?efficiency? in policy debates, what implementing these concepts should look like in real life, and whether and how social and economic policies can improve the lives of major segments of society. Focus on critical policy analysis, including critical race and feminist approaches to public policy. Policy issues that might be explored in depth include immigration reform, environmental policy and climate change, health care, gun control, and others.



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