History and Policy
According to an old maxim, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. This course uses the insights and methods of policy history to enhance our understanding of contemporary policy controversies in the United States. Policy history is a vibrant, interdisciplinary field of study that is driven by the conviction that politics and policy can most fruitfully be understood over time, i.e., as historical processes. During the first half of the semester, the course focuses on controversies regarding the nature, purpose, and value of social welfare policies. During the second half of the semester, we focus on the history of U.S. national security and foreign policy in order to better understand and analyze policy controversies related to the United States’ contemporary position in the world.
Values and Ethics in Public Policy
This course seeks to make students sensitive to and articulate about the ways in which moral and political values come into play in the American policy process, particularly as they affect non-elected public officials who work in a world shaped by politics. Topics covered include the tensions between ethics and politics, an introduction to various moral theories that figure in contemporary policy debates, a consideration of the principal values that animate American politics, and issues and dilemmas in professional ethics. The course addresses issues that affect international as well as U.S. policy and politics.
Introduction to Science and Technology Policy
This course introduces theories and methodologies for science and technology policy analysis, with literature drawn from a range of disciplines, including political science, economics, sociology, and history. Students learn about the politics of science and technology policy, and how research funding decisions and regulations are made, with specific attention to the roles of government agencies, expert advisory committees, private industry, and the public. They also gain tools for science and technology policy analysis, including research funding allocation methods, technology impact assessment, innovation theory, and deliberative democratic engagement.