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Public Policy


The program in public policy provides students with an opportunity to explore, from a multidisciplinary perspective, both the processes of making social choices and the content of contemporary policy issues. Most courses in the program are intended to serve as interdisciplinary complements to departmental offerings. Likewise, the minor in public policy is designed to be a valuable complement to majors in both the social and the natural sciences.

GOV 207 Politics of Public Policy
A thorough introduction to the study of public policy in the United States. A theoretical overview of the policy process provides the framework for an analysis of several substantive policy areas, to be announced at the beginning of the term. {S} 4 credits, Donald Baumer, offered Fall 2015.

IDP 208 Women’s Medical Issues
A study of topics and issues relating to women’s health, including menstrual cycle, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, menopause, depression, eating disorders, nutrition and cardiovascular disease. While the course focus will primarily be on the physiological aspects of these topics, some social, ethical and political implications will be considered including the issues of violence and the media’s representation of women. {N} 4 credits, Leslie Jaffe (Health Services), offered Spring 2015.

220 Public Policy Analysis
Analysis of the institutions and processes of public policy formation and implementation. Explores models designed to explain policy and also those whose purpose is to “improve” policy. Develops and uses analytical tools of formal policy analysis. Examines the debate over the possible and proper uses of these analytic tools. {S} 4 credits, Randall Bartlett (Economics), offered Fall 2014.

SWG 222 Gender Law and Policy
This course explores the legal status of women in the United States historically and today, focusing in the areas of employment, education, sexuality, reproduction, the family, and violence. We will study constitutional and stuatory law as well as public policy. Some of the topics we will cover are sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination. We will study feminist sctivism to reform the law and will examine how inequalities based on gender, race, class, and sexuality shape the law. We will also discuss and debate contemporary policy and future directions.Enrollment limited to 20 students. {H/S} 4 credits, Carrie Baker (Program for the Study of Women and Gender), offered Fall 2014.

SOC 232 World Population
This course will introduce students to environmental, economic, feminist, and nationalist perspectives on population growth and decline. We will examine current population trends and processes (fertility, mortality, and migration) and consider the social, political, economic, and environmental implications of those trends. The course will also provide an overview of various sources of demographic data as well as basic demographic methods. Enrollment limited to 35. Prerequisite: SOC 101. {S} Credits: 4, Leslie King, offered Spring 2015.

ECO 234 Partisan Economic Issues
An analysis of selected microeconomic and macroeconomic issues about which our two political parties disagree. Specific issues will include health care; Social Security and other entitlement programs; taxes, government spending, and budget deficits; immigration, and the role of government in the economy. Prerequisites: ECO 150, ECO 153 and ECO 220 or its equivalent. {S} Credits: 4, Roger Kaufman, offered Fall 2014.

GOV 244 Foreign Policy of the United States
In this course we ask and answer the following questions: Just what is "United States foreign policy?" By what processes does the U.S. define its interests in the global arena? What instruments does the U.S. possess to further those interests? Finally, what specific foreign policy questions are generating debate today? Prerequisite: 241 or permission of the instructor. {S} Brent Durbin, offered Spring 2015, Fall 2015.

PPL 250 Race and Public Policy in the United States
Explanation of current policy issues regarding race. Topics include voting rights, compensation, public and private education, bilingual education, and affirmative action in employment. Recommended background: PPL 220 or a course in American government. {S} Credits: 4, Randall Bartlett, Offered Fall 2015.

SWG 271 Reproductive Justice
This course will explore reproductive justice in the United States and the influence of U.S. policy globally, addressing issues of law, policy, theory, and activism. Topics include historic and contemporary state control over women's reproduction, social movements to expand women's control over their reproductive lives, access to reproductive care, reproductive technologies, reproductive coercion and violence, religious fundamentalism's increasing influence over reeproduction, and the discourses around women's bodies and pregnancy. A central framework for analysis is how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability and nationality shape women's ability to control their reproduction. Prerequisite: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. {S} 4 credits, Carrie Baker (Program for the Study of Women and Gender), offered Spring 2015.

GOV 306 Seminar: Politics and the Environment
Topic: Politics and the Environment. An examination of environmental policy making within the federal government, with special emphasis on how Congress deals with environmental policy issues. A variety of substantive policy areas from clean air to toxic waste will be covered. Students will complete research papers on an environmental policy topic of their choice. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in American government. {S} 4 credits, Donald Baumer, offered Spring 2015 and Spring 2016.

ECO 324 Seminar
Topics course: Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources
How do we expect competitive markets to allocate natural resources? Will market systems result in excess pollution? Can we improve market outcomes in relation to the environment and natural resources? If so, what are the relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches? This course will examine these issues through discussion of the economic theories of externalities, common property and public goods and their implications for the allocation of resources. We will explore these questions by analyzing specific policy issues and debates related to the environment and resource use including: climate change, pollution, biodiversity, energy, sustainability, land use, and fishing rights. Through this exploration, we will touch upon a number of other theories and techniques including dynamic optimization and intertemporal choice, price vs quantity regulation, nonmarket valuation, cost-benefit analysis, and the use of incentive based regulation. Prerequisites: ECO 250 and ECO 220 or permission of the instructor. {S} Credits: 4, Susan Sayre, Offered Fall 2014.

SOC 333 Seminar: Social Justice, the Environment and the Corporation
Over the last century the reach of corporations has gradually extended into all facets of our lives, yet most of us rarely stop to think about the corporation as a social entity. This course will focus on the social, economic and legal foundations that both shape its power and provide a dominant logic for its actions. We will examine the implications of corporate power and processes for communities, workers and the environment. We will also focus on the ways that governments and various social groups have sought to change corporate assumptions and behaviors concerning their social and environmental responsibilities. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of instructor. Credits: 4, Leslie King, Offered Fall 2014.

390 Senior Public Policy Workshop
An assessment of current policy controversies undertaken as group projects. Policy recommendations made by groups should be based on both technical advisability and political feasibility. Limited to seniors who are completing the program in public policy, or other seniors with permission of the instructor. {S} 4 credits, Donald Baumer.
Not Offered 2013-14 Academic Year.

ECO 395 Seminar: Topics in International Trade
The globalization of the world economy has contributed to both boom and crisis. This seminar will explore selected topics relating to the increased openness of national borders to the flow of goods and services, labor, and real capital. Possible topics include the implications the new theories of international trade for the analysis of commercial policy, the national politics of commercial policy in a global economy, regional integration, the emergence of China as a global trading power, the use of trade policy as a strategy for growth and development, direct foreign investment, the relationships between trade, international trade organizations and national sovereignty, the international implications of financial crisis and recession, and the constraints on the United States as a debtor nation. Prerequisites: ECO 250 and one 200-level course in international economics. {S} Credits: 4, Charles Staelin, Offered Spring 2015.

400 Special Studies
By permission of the director. Variable credit. Credits: 1-4, offered both semesters each year.

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