Politics of Public Policy

Primary Number: HESB 43899

ConStudies Number: X

ConStudies CRN: X

Primary CRN: X

Instructor: Ramirez, Ricardo (RRAMIRE5)

Day/Time: MW 11am-12:15pm

Attributes: ENST - Energy Studies

Location: X

In the United States, public policy has the potential to be a consequential mechanism to address the most vexing and important social and economic problems: inequality, poverty, mass incarceration, climate change and much more. But policies do not appear out of thin air. They are the product of complex political processes. Even after policies are made, political decisions determine how they are implemented and to what end. In order to evaluate or change policy, we must understand politics. That is the focus of this course. We begin with a review of theoretical approaches to conceptualizing and studying public policy. We then explore key policy actors (the President, interest groups, denizens etc.), as well as core aspects of policy design and implementation. Finally, we closely study contemporary policy arenas. Along the way, students will be challenged to grapple with the paradoxes of policy making and to envision pathways to substantive change. Father Hesburgh famously credited President Lyndon Johnson's commitment to civil rights with "changing the face of America." This class recognizes that dramatic policy change must consider the politics behind that change and politics seeking to maintain the status quo. This course fulfills the capstone requirement for the Hesburgh Program in Public Service.