Govt 210 – Public Policy
An AU Core Curriculum W2 Course
Schedule 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
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
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
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
We’ll consider this by examining Congressional testimony about CRISPR
Week _: How to Write a Public Comment: Influence Administration
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