Foundations of Public Policy Tacoma

Fall 2020
Evening and Weekend
Graduate Only
Class Size: 15
4 Credits per quarter
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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 also 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.

To successfully participate in this program, students will need access to the internet. Students can expect our remote teaching to be around 30 hours of synchronous (scheduled) coursework per week, using Canvas and Zoom. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous (in person or remote) participation if conditions require.


Fall 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

GR (4): 10162

Academic details

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Advertised Schedule

Mon Oct 12, 6-9p, Sat/Sun Oct 24-25, 9a-4p, Sat/Sun Nov 7- 8, 9a-4p, Mon Nov 16, 6-9p



Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting