Next Offered: Fall 2014
This is a graduate course designed to provide students with a solid working knowledge of the techniques and applications of public policy analysis. The emphasis will be on hands-on analysis of current public policy issues, the results of which will be provided to hypothetical policy making clients. The intent is to give the student both the theoretical knowledge and the practical experience necessary to provide sound and rigorous analysis of public issues to policy makers. The course seeks to improve basic skills in analytical thinking, information gathering, the clear presentation of complex information, and professional writing.
Next Offered: Fall 2015
This is a Masters-level course in quantitative social science research methods for public and nonprofit managers. It is designed to help students: 1) develop analytical skills of scientific inquiry; 2) improve your research design abilities; 3) assess the validity of information, and 4) learn basic statistical skills. Topics to be covered in this course include research and experimental design, measurement, sampling, survey research, descriptive statistics, probability theory, inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, difference of means, contingency tables, non-parametric statistics, and the basic regression model. The skills learned in this course are invaluable to a career as a decision-maker and a public servant in the public, non-profit, or private sector.
Next Offered: Spring 2015
This is a Masters-level course designed to help students: 1) understand the influences and constraints on decision-makers; 2) improve ability to characterize and predict decisions; 3) assess the validity of information, and 4) analyze situations of relevance to making decisions as a public manager. The majority of the course will be devoted to analyzing decision-making through Game Theory and Social Choice Theory, using examples from economics, politics, and public administration. We will model decision-making mathematically, and use that modeling to understand decisions and how they’re made.
Next Offered: Spring 2015
Why do some nations develop while others languish? What accounts for the disparity in the distribution of wealth and opportunity in the world? This is far more than an economic puzzle, as growth and development mean the creation of surplus that can be reallocated to other tasks. Governments and societies that successfully navigate barriers to growth and development become more capable and effective actors in world affairs, and are better able to address problems confronting domestic society. Money may not buy happiness, but it does expand the tools and choices that societal actors can make when facing obstacles. This seminar explores the interaction of politics, history, culture, society, and economics as we try to understand what governments and society do to promote growth and development, how they hinder growth and development, and how we might suggest or advise public policy accordingly.
Last Offered: Summer 2002
The “War on Drugs”, some argue, has been the United States’ most futile and expensive endeavor. In 1998, the federal drug budget was more than $17 billion—over ten times its 1981 allocation—and yet the corresponding population of drug offenders in the nation´s state and federal prisons had increased tenfold within that same period. How can we approach this phenomenon from a political economy perspective? This course will introduce students to the complex world of drug trafficking, and will span the growth of hallucinogenic plants, the production of narcotics, the distribution of drugs, and the consequences (violence, corruption) associated with them. We will examine the political and economic variables associated with the international drug trade, and relate it to specific countries across the world. Specifically, we will analyze the evolution of narcotics as a commodity and a trade that has grown substantially over the last 200 years, as well as the effects of that trade on national and sub-national governments.
Last Offered: Fall 2002
Introduces game theory approach to the analysis of politics and, acquaints students with formal constructs of “games” that help our understanding of the inner logic of political processes.