Foundations of Public Policy

Winter 2018
Evening and Weekend
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Amy Gould square
political science, public administration, women's studies

Policies can be regulatory, distributive, or redistributive; material or symbolic; substantive (what government intends to do) or procedural (how something will be done and who will do it). They can provide collective goods or private goods and can be liberal or conservative. Public policies are not limited to governing public life: Our "public life" relates to how, when, and why we engage with the public sphere and this often involves our private life. Therefore, public policies can be a goal or value of one entity and not representative of an entire "public". Finally, while a policy can be driven by law or actually influence law, policy cannot do less than law requires. As noted by Schneider and Ingram in Policy Design for Democracy, the key is for any public policy to solve problems.
This course provides an overview of the concepts and issues at the heart of public administration: public policy. As Deborah Stone stated in Policy Paradox, “policy is the struggle over ideas and these ideas are the stuff of politics.” This course provides an introduction to the study of public policy processes and the practice of public policy analysis. By comparing and contrasting various approaches, we seek to provide guidance for future policy makers and policy analysts. To accomplish this, students will functionally critique policy designs by recognizing the social constructs and subjective limitations of policy creation, implementation, and evaluation.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Scheduled for: Evening and Weekend

Located in: Olympia

Advertised schedule:

Jan 9, Jan 20-21, Feb 17-18, Feb 27, Tues 6-9p, Sat/Sun 9a-4p