210 schedule



Govt 210 – Public Policy
Fall 2019
An AU Core Curriculum W2 Course

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atauSchedule of Readings and Discussions  

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
‐ Winston Churchill

We will discuss the written assignments and the paper well in advance. Readings are to be completed before the class meetings.  Additional required readings or videos may be added to this syllabus. This is a tentative schedule, subject to revision at any time. The reading schedule below is suggestive; you will be given updates as appropriate.

*** Due to the nature of their work, the dates of any site visit(s) and guest expert(s) are tentative.  As soon as they are confirmed I will let you know.  And thanks in advance for recognizing that we’ll need to keep the syllabus flexible for this reason.

(Bb) means on Blackboard

We divide our semester into two parts – an intro to the mechanics of public policy and public policy theory, and exploring public policy problems by examining different kinds of public policy writing.  


Kraft  = Kraft and Furlong, Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives
Kraft Online = Student Resources at http://edge.sagepub.com/kraft5e
Bardach = Bardach and Patashnik, A Practical Guide for Political Policy Analysis
Week 1 – Aug 28 Welcome: What are we doing here?
Should you be allowed to feed the homeless?



Bardach – Appendix B – Things Governments Do
What is Political Power and American Public Policy?
Week 2 – Sept 4 Kraft – selections from chapters 1 and 2, available on Bb
     ch 1 – Public Policy and Politics
     ch 2 – Government Institutions and Policy Actors
Don’t have the book yet? See Kraft Online – see ch 1 and ch 2


Possible Unannounced Quiz #1?
Week 3 – Sept 11 Kraft – selections from chapters 3 and 4
     ch 3 – Understanding Public Policy Making
     ch 4 – Policy Analysis: An Introduction
Kraft Online – also see ch 3 and ch 4  https://edge.sagepub.com/kraft5e
Policy Writing: The Literature Review

We start our policy writing segments by introducing a key piece of academic writing – the literature review.  Please see the folder on Bb.

Week 4 – Sept 18 Kraft – selections from chapters 5 and 6
     ch 5 – Public Problems and Policy Alternatives
     ch 6 – Assessing Policy Alternatives
Kraft Online – also see ch 5 and 6 https://edge.sagepub.com/kraft5e
Exam 1 due

At this point we switch mostly to our Catherine Smith Writing Public Policy book, with supplemental readings of various writing types.

Schedule here is estimated; we’ll confirm dates and assignments well in advance.


Week _:  Academic Writing

Here we’ll focus on one part of Academic Writing, called the Literature Review

Catherine Smith, Writing Public Policy: Chapter 3:  Describe the Problem

Catherine Smith, Writing Public Policy: Chapter 4: Analyze and Advise

Readings from APSR, Managing Globalization, and Contemporary Security Policy

Additional selected readings from Lisa Baglione, Writing a Research Paper in Political Science and from Malici and Smith, Political Science Research in Practice

You can expect to re-write this assignment at least a couple of times

Week _:  Legislative History: Know the Record

Chapter 5

Here we’ll look at two sources of legislative history:  CRS on immigration and CFR on Iran


Week _:  Position Papers:  Know the Arguments

Chapter 6 – What this chapter really means is know your argument

We’ll look at advocacy for global STEM education for girls, and some video persuasion on fracking – from advocacy groups and from politicians


Week _:   Request Action:  Petition, Proposal, Letter

Chapter 7

You’ll go home, in a way:  you’ll explore a local news story, to wherever your “local” is

Week _:  Inform Policy Makers – Brief, Opinion, Resolution

Chapter 8

We’ll look at how policy makers learn about things like drones and autonomous vehicles, the Arctic, and the Internet of Things (IoT)


Week _:  Intelligence Writing – Guest Expert

A senior IC analyst will brief us on a special kind of “inform policy makers” writing – intel analysis of different kinds, including the PDB – time/date to be determined


Week _:  Testimony:  Witness in a Public Hearing

Chapter 9

We’ll consider this by examining Congressional testimony about CRISPR


Week _:  How to Write a Public Comment:  Influence Administration

Chapter 10

In some sense, all of the above is “how to write a public comment,” but we’ll go back to the beginning to look at how different NGOs write about immigration