Statistics for Social Science
An introduction to probability theory and statistical methods especially as they relate to public policy. The course will consist of a brief introduction to probability theory as well as various topics in statistics and how they can be used in the public policy realm. Subject areas will include random variables, sampling, descriptive statistics, distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, and introduction to the regression model. The data sources will be actual examples taken from the public policy realm. Stata, a general purpose statistical programming package will be used to perform the statistical analysis.
Introduction to Urban Studies
Professor/InstructorM. Christine Boyer
This course will examine different crises confronting cities in the 21st century. Topics will range from immigration, to terrorism, shrinking population, traffic congestion, pollution, energy crisis, housing needs, water wars, race riots, extreme weather conditions, war and urban operations. The range of cities will include Los Angles, New Orleans, Paris, Logos, Caracas, Havana, New York, Hong Kong, and Baghdad among others.
Introduction to Quantitative Social Science
Would universal health insurance improve the health of the poor? Do patterns of arrests in US cities show evidence of racial profiling? What accounts for who votes and their choice of candidates? This course will teach students how to address these and other social science questions by analyzing quantitative data. The course introduces basic principles of statistical inference and programming skills for data analysis. The goal is to provide students with the foundation necessary to analyze data in their own research and to become critical consumers of statistical claims made in the news media, in policy reports, and in academic research.
Microeconomics for Public Policy
Microeconomics is the study of how people and societies confront scarcity. This course, taught at the intermediate level, focuses on markets as a mechanism for dealing with scarcity, and uses examples that cast light on public policy issues. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: ECO 100.
Examination of the causes and economic consequences of international trade in goods and services, investment and migration. Stress on the possibility of aggregate national gains from trade, and the distributional conflicts generated by trade. Analysis of policies regarding these issues from the perspective of economics and political economy. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: WWS 100 or ECO 300 or ECO 310.
Professor/InstructorSmita Bhatnagar Brunnermeier
An introduction to the use of economics in thinking about and dealing with environmental issues. Stress on economic externalities and the problem of dealing with them as instances of organizing gains from trade. Applications to a wide variety of problems, among them air pollution (including, importantly, global climate change), water pollution, solid waste and hazardous substances management, species preservation, and population policy.
Professor/InstructorElizabeth Chapin Bogan
Evaluation of public policies in terms of economic efficiency and equity. The course will examine the conditions that lead to efficient markets and those that lead to market failure, as well as the implications for government policy. It will discuss both existing and proposed public policies in a number of areas, including education, health care, poverty, financial markets, the environment, and industrial development. Prerequisites: Economics 100 and 101, or instructor's permission. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
An introduction to the national institutions and political processes of American government. Topics include the Constitution, the American political tradition, public opinion, interest groups, political institutions, civil rights, civil liberties, and public policy. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Politics of Development
A comparative study of politics in selected developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Topics include colonialism, nationalism, class and ethic conflict, political instability, military coups, revolutionary change, and development strategies such as land reforms, green revolution, import substitution, and management of external dependencies. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorRebecca Louise Perlman
A comprehensive introduction to the major issues of contemporary international relations. The course presents competing theoretical perspectives and reviews the historical record to explore such puzzles as the causes of war, explanations of cooperation, the behavior of states, and the proper ethical standards for judging international relations. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorAaron Louis Friedberg, G. John Ikenberry
Military strategy was defined by Clauswitz as the use of battle to achieve the objectives of war. Grand strategy is broader, encompassing the attempted use by political leaders of financial economic, and diplomatic, as well as military, power to achieve their objectives in peacetime and in war. This seminar will examine the theory and practice of grand strategy both to illuminate how relations among city-states, empires, kingdoms and nation states have evolved over the centuries and also to identify some common challenges that have confronted all who seek to make and execute grand strategy, from Pericles to Barack Obama.
International Relations of East Asia
This course will concentrate on the Cold War and post Cold War international relations of East Asia. In the first two weeks we will cover general theoretical approaches to international relations and a brief historical backdrop of Western and Japanese imperialism in the region. In the following weeks, we will discuss the interaction between changes in the broader international system and changes in international relations in the East Asian region. The course will finish with discussion of implications of events and trends since the end of the Cold War. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Traditional politics; the rise of warlords, nationalists, and radicals; causes of the "Liberation," land reform, Hundred Flowers, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and Four Modernizations; policies of Mao and Deng for development, health, law, and rights. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Professor/InstructorAndreas Bernhard Wiedemann
This course will focus on the process of democratic transition and consolidation in a comparative and historical manner. In particular, we will analyze the democratic revolution that has swept the globe during the last 30 years by examining the communist and authoritarian backgrounds of newly democratized countries, the factors influencing the emergence of democracy, the problems associated with building stable democratic systems, and finally, the prospects for a regime shift in parts of the world still under autocratic rule. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Population, Society and Public Policy
This course focuses on the causes and consequences of population change and the policy levers used to regulate demographic behavior and outcomes. In addition to basic demographic concepts, measures and data, we will address questions such as: What is the carrying capacity of the planet? Why has fertility declined in some countries but not others? How does population growth influence the environment? What does population aging portend for social security solvency? Can countries regulate international migration? Why does China have so many male births? Is marriage obsolete? Is urban life good or bad for your health?
Race and Public Policy
Professor/InstructorDouglas S. Massey
Analyzes the historical construction of race as a concept in American society, how and why this concept was institutionalized publicly and privately in various arenas of U.S. public life at different historical junctures, and the progress that has been made in dismantling racialized institutions since the civil rights era. One three-hour seminar.
Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy
The course will review the principal methods of data analysis and applied statistics used in political, economic, psychological, and policy research, including multiple regression, analysis of variance, and nonparametric methods. These methods will be introduced in the context of case studies that will incorporate research design, data collection, data management, exploratory and inferential analyses, and the presentation of results. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Media and Public Policy
Professor/InstructorPaul Elliot Starr
Introduction to communications policy and law, covering such topics as freedom of the press and the development of journalism; intellectual property; regulation of telecommunications, broadcasting, and cable; and policy challenges raised by the Internet and the globalization of the media.
The Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment
An introduction to the logic of decision making and reasoning under uncertainty. Focus on psychological mechanisms that govern choice and judgment and on characteristic errors found in intuitive judgment and choice. Discussion of divergence from the model of rational agent often assumed in social science theory and economics. Rules governing pleasure, pain, and well-being provide background for analysis of the rationality of some individual choices and for the evaluation of general policies that affect human welfare. Prerequisite: introductory statistics for social science or instructor's permission.
The Environment: Science and Policy
Professor/InstructorDavid S. Wilcove, Michael Oppenheimer
This course examines a set of critical environmental issues including population growth, ozone layer depletion, climate change, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and depletion of global fisheries. It provides an overview of the scientific basis for these problems and examines past, present and possible future policy responses.
Information Technology and Public Policy
Professor/InstructorEdward William Felten
New technologies have changed the way we communicate with each other and learn about our world. They have also raised public policy dilemmas in every area they touch: communications, regulation, privacy, national security, intellectual property and many others. This course is predicated on the belief that we can only productively address the social and policy dimensions of the Internet if we understand the technology behind the Internet; the social-science concepts and research that illuminate the likely effects of policy options; and tradeoffs among fundamental values that different policy options imply. Two ninety-minute seminars.
Science and Global Security: From Nuclear Weapons to Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence
This course will provide students with a basic technical understanding of some of the critical technologies that are relevant to national and global security and will equip students with the skills to better assess the challenge of developing effective policies to manage such technologies. Case studies will inter alia include nuclear weapons and their proliferation, nuclear and radiological terrorism, space weapons, biosecurity and cyberware. Two lectures.
Infection: Biology, Burden, Policy
Professor/InstructorThomas Eugene Shenk
This course will examine fundamental determinants of human microbe interaction at the biological and ecological levels. The focus will be on major global infectious diseases, their burden of illness and policy challenges for adequate prevention and control. Each infectious agent will be discussed in terms of its biology, mechanisms of pathogenesis, and epidemiology, as well as strategies for its control. Specific emphasis will be placed on the public health aspects of each disease. Prerequisite: MOL 101, MOL 214, or permission of instructor. One three-hour lecture.
Public Leadership and Public Policy in the U.S.
Considers the intellectual (ethical and legal) frameworks for making leadership decisions on major public issues in the United States, as well as the operational frameworks for effective and responsible public leadership. Students review historical cases from federal and state government, discuss the policy decisions made in each case, and examine the decision-making processes in view of these frameworks. Two 90-minute seminars.
Ethics and Public Policy
Professor/InstructorStephen Joseph Macedo
This course examines basic ethical controversies in public life. What rights do persons have at the beginning and end of life? Do people have moral claims to unequal economic rewards or is economic distribution properly subject to political design for the sake of social justice? Do we have significant moral obligations to distant others? Other possible topics include toleration (including the rights of religious and cultural minorities), racial and gender equity, and just war. Two lectures, one preceptorial.