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Undergraduate Courses

3 Credit(s)

A survey course, focusing on public policy institutions and analytical issues as well as on overview of key public policy problems. Students will be introduced to public policy as a discipline, with a brief overview of the actors and institutions involved in the process, and familiarize themselves with the kinds of problems typically requiring public action. The course will examine these problems from a multijurisdictional and multisectoral perspective. Specific policy areas examined include education policy, health policy, economic and budgetary policy, criminal justice policy, environmental policy, and national and homeland security policy. The course should permit students to have broad foundational exposure to the field that will give them a solid base for more advanced courses.
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3 Credit(s)

Introduction to the intellectual foundations of public policy, from ancient theories on collective public action through the more contemporary development of public policy as a discipline. This may start as early as the ancient Greek philosophers and their views on public action through contemporary classics of public policy. Emphasis will be on the interdisciplinary foundations of public policy, through examining core disciplinary contributions from economics, political science, management, philosophy, and other relevant disciplines. At the conclusion of the course, students will have read classic works in the field and will master the key themes that have dominated the intellectual debates about public policy over its history.
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3 Credit(s)

This course aims to inspire, teach and engage students in the theory and practice of public leadership from the local to the national to the global level. Students will learn and apply diverse approaches to leadership in a multicultural society while developing an understanding of key frameworks and practices necessary to foster collective action across private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Students will also explore and assess their own personal values, beliefs, and purpose as they develop their leadership potential. Finally, students will understand the leadership skills and challenges particular to their role as a future policymaker.
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3 Credit(s)

This course will broaden students’ understanding of the moral dimensions of public policy as well as their own individual moral perspective. Discussions will include the ideal of a just society, and the place of liberty and equality in it, while focusing on contemporary theories of ethics and justice.  It will develop students’ appreciation of the ethical challenges unique to the public service sector while building their skills in ethical analysis and decision-making. We will explore the increasing ethical challenges in a world in which technology, global risks, and societal developments are accelerating faster than our understanding can keep pace. A framework for ethical decision making underpins the course.
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3 Credit(s)

Through discussions of contemporary trends, challenges and issues, this course provides an introduction to the nonprofit and NGO sectors, social innovation, and the leadership and management skills required to achieve social impact. The course will explore the history, theories, and roles of philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and social innovation in societies and cultures. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the process and principles of social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Additionally, the course will introduce students to topics in leadership, social innovation, resource development, community mobilization through networks, the role of policy-making in creating change, project management, and overall strategies for achieving social impact. The course will include mini hands-on learning experiences that allow them to apply key learning outcomes.
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3 Credit(s)

A team-based, highly interactive and dynamic course that provides an opportunity for students to generate solutions to a wide range of problems facing many communities today. Students in the iGIVE Program will deepen their understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation practices by creating and implementing projects or ventures that address an issue of their choosing while learning topics such as communications, project management, teamwork, leadership, fundraising, project sustainability and next steps in social change. Restricted to students in the iGive program.
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Faculty: Patricia Bory
3 Credit(s)

The intersection of gender and racial justice movements of the past two decades. Students will examine the representation and complication of gender within police reform, voting rights and environmental justice movements, among others. Particular attention will be given to the role gender has played as these issues and related policies have evolved in the modern era.

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3 Credit(s)

Surveys the historical and present day housing policies that led to segregation and the marginalization of African Americans and its socioeconomic impact on the Black community. Students will examine and analyze the theoretical and practical implications of affordable housing programs such as public housing, housing choice voucher program, low-income housing tax credit, mixed-income, etc. 

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Credit(s)

Students will gain a contextual understanding of how policy decisions and legal structures affect different people, as well as the role of law in organizing and advocating for just policy and social change. Students will analyze how structural inequities are shaped by historical, legal, social, and political factors, building on that knowledge to strategize solutions to problems requiring policy reform and systemic change.

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3 Credit(s)

Examination of societal responses to public problems, including actions by government, non-profit and private sector actors, as well as civil society. Students will examine the roles of these various actors, as well as the nature of civic responsibility. The course will examine the various stages of the policy process, asking the following questions: How does something get defined as a problem that requires a public policy response? How do we think about what the options are for this response, and how do we choose among them? What are the factors that contribute to successful policy implementation? How do we evaluate the success of public policies? These questions will be addressed using examples of current public policy problems, and students will be expected to engage in individual and collaborative work to design responses to those problems. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
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Prerequisite(s): PLCY100
3 Credit(s)

Designed for students whose academic majors would be enhanced by the complementary study of a widely shared but hard-to-operationalize aspiration: that present choices should preserve or improve future options rather than foreclose or degrade them. How should we understand sustainability? How might we achieve it? How would we know if we had achieved it? And how could sustainability activists of a rising generation lead by example?
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Faculty: Nathan Hultman
3 Credit(s)

Understanding pluralism and how groups and individuals coexist in society is an essential part of the public policy process. This course will examine the ways in which the diverse experiences of race, gender, ethnicity, class, orientation, identity, and religion impact the understanding of and equitable delivery of public policy. The examination of how identity development shapes our understanding of society and influences the decision-making process is central to students’ shaping policy that is truly for the people. This course will equip students with the skills needed to analyze pluralism and draw conclusions about the application of various theories to public policy issues. 
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3 Credit(s)

Applied course in public finance, including introductions to resource mobilization (including taxation), macroeconomic policy, key public expenditure policies, and government budgetary processes and politics. The course will build on the foundations from ECON 200 to address the specific application of public finance principles to solving public problems. The course will focus on the principles of welfare economics (including market failure), economic principles as applied to particular spending programs and tax choices, and issues and institutions involved in the allocation and management of resources both at a national and subnational level. The focus of the course is on these issues from both a domestic and global perspective. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to apply the tools of economics to inform societal and governmental choices, and understand how those choices are made in practice. 
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Prerequisite(s): ECON200

4 Credit(s)

Course designed to create intelligent consumers of policy research and enable students to understand the research done by others with a sufficiently skeptical eye to allow them to determine whether the findings of the research are valid given the assumptions made and methods used. This will involve, in part, thinking about the various problems in research design or conduct that could lead to faulty conclusions. It will also involve being able to differentiate between credible sources of information and those that are not objective. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to differentiate objective evidence from political argumentation. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY. 
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Prerequisite(s): STAT100

Faculty: Michael Busse
3 Credit(s)

Utilizes our unique location in the Washington, DC region to create a laboratory within which to analyze local, regional, national and international policy problems. Students will be put into teams and assigned to real and timely policy cases. The course will include meetings and field trips with local leaders in the field, ideally connected to the cases. Student will then expand and apply their use of policy analysis and evaluation skills to define those problems, analyze alternative responses, devise appropriate strategies for implementation, and evaluate the success of the proposed policy and implementation. The course will conclude with team presentations to local leaders and faculty. This distinctive course will serve to prepare students for their client- based senior capstone course. Restricted to students who have earned a minimum of 60 credits; and must be in a major in PLCY.
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3 Credit(s)

Furthers students understanding of topics in leadership, social innovation, resource development, community mobilization through networks, and the role of policy making in creating change. This course will further students understanding of the creation and leadership of nonprofits, social ventures, governance and boards; strategic planning and partnerships; advocacy and public policy processes; community outreach; working in teams, effective communications, and cross-sector approaches to scaling up social impact.
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3 Credit(s)

Examines the role of women in the leadership process including the participation of women as activists, voters, advocates, public leaders and as agents of change through various avenues including, among others, public service (elected and appointed), the media, community service, political organizations, and the nonprofit sector.
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Faculty: Anne Kaiser
3 Credit(s)

Introduces students to the concept of social innovation while exploring the many mechanisms for achieving social impact. It is team-based, highly interactive and dynamic, and provides an opportunity for students to generate solutions to a wide range of problems facing many communities today. Deepens the students understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation practices by guiding them through the creation and implementation process as applied to a project idea of their choice.
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3 Credit(s)

For poor and low-income families, federal programs such as Medicaid, Child care, SNAP and child nutrition programs are a lifeline every day. Some programs also have policies that consider more than income eligibility, such as number of hours of work, disability, and immigration status. Budget choices have a significant impact on policy intentions. Students will learn about and analyze the major federal programs and federal budgets for these policy areas; understand from data the impact of such programs and policies; and be introduced to significant advocacy efforts and considerations that shaped hese policy decisions.
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3 Credit(s)

This course explores the key issues facing policy makers attempting to manage the problem of cybersecurity from its technical foundations to domestic and international policy considerations surrounding governance, privacy, risk management, and operational orchestration. It is designed for students with no background in information technology, and will provide the principles to understand the current debates shaping a rapidly evolving security landscape.
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Faculty: Charles Harry
3 Credit(s)

The current U.S. education landscape including the role of federal, state, and local governments; current academic performance relative to international competitors and historical trends; opportunity and achievement gaps facing low-income students, students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities; policy decision- making, evidence of efficacy, "cost-benefit analysis", "opportunity cost" analysis, constituent/stakeholder politics, etc. The evolution of education policy debates including school integration, federal accountability, school finance reform, school turnaround initiatives, charter schools, vouchers, college & career-ready standards, teacher preparation & evaluation, bilingual education/dual language schools, early learning, equitable access to advanced coursework, and system resilience.

3 Credit(s)

"Fake news" and freedom of the press, money in electoral politics, voter photo ID laws and political gerrymandering, continued racial segregation in public schools, privacy on the street and in school, holding public officials accountable for egregious constitutional violations, and unequal justice for the poor are all thorny issues of public policy that have found their way into American courts. This course examines these and other current issues presented to the courts in a format where students evaluate and opine on the competing legal and policy arguments in class and in papers as if they were the empowered judicial authority. The course also provides a broad overview of the ways American courts function as well as an opportunity to visit with a federal judge, hear the experiences of former jurors, and possibly visit a landlord-tenant court in action.
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3 Credit(s)

Introduces major public policy challenges in Africa today and includes a brief review of African history from 1600 through the post-colonial period to provide critical background. Catalyzing economic growth, promoting democratic governance, and reducing armed conflict will be discussed. Also covered are the role of African diasporas and migration in national development, managing the continent's rapid urbanization, and improving service delivery in key areas such as health and education.
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3 Credit(s)

America is experiencing some of the starkest income and wealth disparities in its history and several challenges continue to threaten its economic viability. Students will examine how the history and legacy of structural racism exacerbates economic inequality and forces America to lose trillions of dollars in its GDP every year. Particular attention will be given to the impact of the impending demographic shift to a majority people of color nation. Students will contemplate what and how leaders in government, business and community must act to prevent further exacerbation of income and wealth gaps.

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3 Credit(s)

Public policy students will take the skills and knowledge gained through their curriculum and apply them through their senior capstone course. Students will work in teams on problems and issues presented by outside clients, with guidance from faculty facilitators and interaction with the clients. Each team will work with the client to address a particular problem and produce a mutually agreed upon outcome. These hands on projects will advance students' understanding of the analytical, leadership, communication and problem solving skills necessary to address today's policy problems while allowing them to gain professional level experience that could contribute to their success in their post UMD endeavors. The course will conclude with an event that allows all teams to present their findings and outcomes to their client while being evaluated by faculty and public policy professionals. Restricted to students who have earned a minimum of 90 credits. Permission required.
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Prerequisite(s): PLCY306
3 Credit(s)

An integrative course that allows policy students to explore the complexities of the policy-making process from the perspective of specific policy topics. They will learn about and discuss subject- based issues in a seminar format led by faculty and policy experts. Site visits to federal agencies, guest speakers, and round table sessions ensure that students receive a variety of real-world perspectives on their chosen policy area. Restricted to students who have earned a minimum of 90 credits.
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Graduate Courses

3 Credit(s)

Introduces statistical methods needed for evaluating and choosing among policy options. Topics include probability; decision-making under uncertainty; the organization, interpretation, and visual display of complex data; prediction and inferences about causality; hypothesis testing; and linear and multiple regression. Develops analytical skills and the ability to apply theory to complex, real-world problems.
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Faculty: Alec Worsnop
3 Credit(s)

Study of a series of problems and the development of quantitative techniques to describe or evaluate the problem. The organization and interpretation of complex data and its use for prediction and inference about casual effects. The definition of objectives, trade-offs among objectives, and allocation of resources to meet objectives. Sensitivity of outcomes to changing conditions.
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Faculty: Seth Weissman
3 Credit(s)

Applies intermediate microeconomic theory to public policy issues: resource allocation by firms and consumers; the response of economic agents to changes in incentives; market allocations in competitive and non-competitive environments; and market failures and government remedies. Uses extended case studies of particular issues in such areas as the environment (acid rain), international trade (tariffs), industry regulation (cable TV), and the provision of public goods (highways).
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3 Credit(s)

Studies the behavior of the economy as a whole: the level of national income, unemployment, and inflation; the vulnerability of the U.S. economy to external influences; possible federal influence over the level of economic activity; and the consequences for prices, employment and the U.S. trade deficit. Also examines possible U.S. policy responses to widespread debt crises in developing countries.

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3 Credit(s)

Covers how governments raise, spend, borrow, invest, and transfer public funds. It reviews federal, state, and local budget processes and introduces analytical techniques including basic spreadsheet skills, evaluating alternative revenue sources, revenue and expenditure forecasting, cost allocation, break-even analysis, capital budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, choice over time (discounting, net present value, future value, internal rate of return), bond pricing, investment strategy, and cash management.
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3 Credit(s)

An introduction to the complexities of cybersecurity policy at the national level. Most popular literature treats cybersecurity a technical problem. This course will refocus attention on the interplay of technical, economic, and political factors relevant to cybersecurity policies, and to public and private sector risk management solutions.
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Faculty: Charles Harry
3 Credit(s)

Covers the fundamentals of accounting and financial management for public and nonprofit organizations. Through course readings, case studies, and short assignments, students will learn how to understand and use public sector financial information to inform decision making. The first half of the course will focus on: operating budgets, cash budgets, tools for evaluating capital budgeting decisions, and an introduction to accounting principles. Topics in the second half of the course include financial reporting, financial condition analysis, and unique aspects of accounting for public and nonprofit organizations. Along the way, students will gain familiarity with spreadsheet applications and financial calculations. By the end of the course, students should be able to read and interpret financial information and perform straightforward financial analyses. 
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Prerequisite(s): PLCY688R recommended

Faculty: Nathan Dietz
3 Credit(s)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins with “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” But what does “human dignity” mean, and does this concept really matter in the worlds of diplomacy, foreign aid, international and domestic policy, and concerns about gender equity and social justice? How have notions of human dignity changed since Aristotle and Cicero? How does dignity link to human rights, global climate change, leadership, status, grace, and other ethical concepts? Is dignity something that you are born with, something that you can lose, or something that you have to earn? Are we cheapening the notion of human dignity – and its effectiveness in public policy – by overusing it in our rhetoric? Without some consensus on a moral and philosophical foundation for dignity, and some more precision in its meaning, is dignity quickly becoming a useless notion? Or, to the contrary, is dignity an essential baseline for public policy.
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3 Credit(s)

Provides an overview of federal acquisition as one of the basic functions of government. Specific focus will be on the scope of acquisition, including organizational structures, regulations, and issues of acquisition processes and management, from the development of an initial capability or need, through design, development, production, fielding, sustainment, and disposal. Introduces the principles and concepts that underlie successful acquisition management – from major systems development and production, through buying services and common commodities; with a special consideration of state and local levels. Restricted to PLCY majors or permission of instructor.
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3 Credit(s)

Provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand, describe, and critique program evaluations, and also to identify the policy implications of specific findings. Using examples from domestic policy and international development, the course covers (1) process and summative evaluation issues, including data collection, causal validity, and generalizability; (2) economic evaluations, including cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit studies; and (3) performance measurement of ongoing programs.
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Faculty: Susan W. Parker
3 Credit(s)

The course objective is to explore ways to improve (from a public policy perspective) the efficiency and effectiveness with which the government goes about doing its business. This course will look at the public/private interrelationships from the perspective of national security, public policy, industrial management and politics in the early 21st century environment. Topics covered include: requirements; budgeting; Congress; science and technology; product development, production and support (management and costs); competition; public/private partnerships; privatization; small business innovation; government oversight; the press; the defense industry; and international considerations (military, industrial and trade).
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3 Credit(s)

As a matter of national policy, resource-rich Indonesia aspires to self-reliant, just and democratic, and peaceful and united development consistent with a green, low-carbon pathway. This field course examines the complex, systemic interconnections between Indonesia’s environmental challenges and development strategies with a focus on the interface between local governance systems and global policies, especially in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss. Understanding that most such challenges involve multiple stakeholders, including the historically marginalized, we study how issues such as land-use change and marine management are mitigated or exacerbated by national and global government policies and where local efforts may better inform policy, paying special attention to indigenous community systems and what they can teach us about sustainable development, human security, and adaptation to environmental change. Visiting several islands of the Indonesian archipelago – Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Java – the course explores: indigenous systems of environmental management and knowledge such as the complex adaptive subak system of rice terraces, irrigation, and water temples in Bali; tropical forest conservation and land use change and their place in climate efforts, including issues of deforestation and the expansion of oil palm plantations, peatland burning, wildlife conservation, and policy responses such as REDD+; and coral reef systems, local fishing practices, and marine protected areas. In the Jakarta area, we meet with leading government officials, researchers, and NGOs to discuss Indonesian and global policy on climate change; land use, forests, and agricultural policy; and social and economic development in the country.

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Faculty: Thomas C. Hilde
3 Credit(s)

This course explores how scientific and technical information gets used (or not used) in the formation of public policy, and how public policy influences science and technology development. Students will come away from this course with a fundamental understanding of the institutional landscape of S&T policy, the instruments of S&T policy implementation, and the processes of S&T policy decision-making. The landscape encompasses government, business, academic institutions, and NGOs. The policy mechanisms include government subsidies for research and development, enforcement of intellectual property rights, encouragement of public understanding of S&T, and much more. The processes range from direct democracy and litigation to legislative and bureaucratic decision-making. Along the way, students will examine some of the most challenging S&T-linked public-policy issues of the 21st century – climate change, energy, national security, innovation, spectrum allocation, environmental monitoring, agricultural productivity, the pursuit of sustainable economic development – and will grapple with the interlinked issues of S&T education, and the level of public participation in S&T decision making.

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Faculty: Rosina Bierbaum
3 Credit(s)

Examines the role of counter intelligence (CI) in the overall intelligence process, as well as in the broader national security process. It will review the development and use of CI through the 20th century. Course will equally look at the role and meaning of CI in the information and security environments emerging in the 21st century.
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3 Credit(s)

Explores different schools of thought related to strategic philanthropy: defined as privately funded ventures designed to achieve social outcomes, spur innovation, and/or shape public policy. We examine the development of and challenges related to strategic philanthropy, its relationships to the government and business sectors as well as the successful skills and approaches of leaders and organizations engaged in strategic philanthropy. Other course topics include designing competitions from traditional request for proposals grant making to prize competitions, portfolio and risk management, grantee engagement, and grantee and program evaluation. We will also examine efforts to translate various philanthropic approaches to the public sector, governmental grant making, and traditional and emerging partnerships and collaborations between strategic philanthropy and government. 
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Prerequisite(s): PLCY798Y encouraged

Faculty: Claire Dunning
3 Credit(s)

Provides frameworks, tools, and skills to improve program results in an environment where policy challenges span organizational boundaries and third parties implement programs. Several results-oriented frameworks and case illustrations will be examined in depth, including the Government Performance and Results Act, federal, state and local Performance-Stat systems and the use of performance dashboards, executive branch performance management initiatives, and international and US initiatives to foster civic engagement through open government and web based performance reporting.
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Faculty: Chris Mihm
3 Credit(s)

Introduces students to the fundamentals of fundraising. Identifies the major types of nonprofit funding models and assesses which fundraising methods are appropriate for each model. Explores motivations for giving; ethical concerns; types of funding sources; types of fundraising mechanisms and instruments; grant writing and the rise of strategic philanthropy and the new demands it places on nonprofit leaders - both to manage their programs and to raise funds.
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3 Credit(s)

Serving as a successful leader for a nonprofit or public organization of any kind requires an understanding of the strategic management process and a well-developed and managed strategy. It is a key to an organization’s performance. This course provides an integrated approach to leadership theories and concepts, research, and modern practices related to strategic planning and execution. Leading strategy approaches are discussed and students gain a deep understanding of how strategy can be developed, implemented, and managed in these organizations. The course is relevant for students who want to work for and/or consult with nonprofit and government organizations. Restricted to PLCY majors or permission of instructor.
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3 Credit(s)

Emphasizes how understanding group and organizational life is a critical leadership competency. Using both practical and theoretical approaches, lectures, discussions, case studies, videos, surveys, readings and experiential activities, it examines the dynamics associated with the exercise of leadership and authority in organizational settings.
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Faculty: Meg Brindle
3 Credit(s)

Examines how governments and policymakers define poverty and the extent and demographics of contemporary poverty in the United States, other developed countries, and developing countries. Looks in detail at the official U.S. poverty measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure developed by the Obama administration, as well as those developed by the World Bank and other international organizations. Explores the causes of poverty in the developed and developing world, and efforts to alleviate poverty over the last fifty years, focusing in the U.S. on income transfers, civil rights and equal opportunity, and efforts to increase human and social capital (with a special focus on children, the elderly, and minorities), and focusing in the developing world on infrastructure development, governance, and corruption. Restricted to PLCY majors or permission of instructor.
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3 Credit(s)

Focuses on creating and building a successful social enterprise.  Features recorded interviews with recognized social entrepreneurs who have received global awards for building such organizations and lectures on such aspects as defining the social issue to be resolved, strategic planning, connecting with the impact target, fundraising (or revenue creating), establishing governance and advisory boards, building an effective management team, staff and interns, and managing time. Students write a short plan for a social enterprise.

3 Credit(s)

Focuses on the theoretical and normative underpinnings of contemporary political philosophy, particularly theories of the legitimacy and proper function of nation states and global institutions. What role should ethics play in public policy formation and implementation? We will give special attention to ideals and institutions of national and global justice and how they are and should be related to ideals and institutions of democracy. What are the merits and demerits of democratic institutions in comparison with authoritarian ones? Do prosperous, liberal democratic states have reason to promote economic and political development in other countries and, if so, what are the best ways to do so? Key readings: Hobbes, Ober, Rawls, the Capability Approach (Robeyns), D. Bell, and Deveaux.
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Faculty: Thomas C. Hilde
3 Credit(s)

As our Nation experiences federal budget pressures year after year, taxpayers and
lawmakers are focused on reducing government spending and obtaining the best
value for the procurement of goods and services.  With the federal government
spending close to $600B annually on goods and services it is essential that
contracting be handled in an efficient, effective, and accountable manner. This
course provides an introduction to the procurement and contracting processes
used by most federal agencies with specific emphasis on contract management
and the change control processes used to administer contracts. Participants in this
course will also develop an understanding of the key stages, reviews, and
milestones involved in leading a procurement activity to a successful outcome,
whether the contracting activity is building a satellite or deploying a new IT system.

This course reviews all aspects of federal government contracting, from the
development of solicitation to final close-out, within the context of the federal laws
and the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Specific topics will include:
developing requirements; creating a scope of work; choosing and administering
the appropriate contract type; serving on a source selection panel; ethics;
negotiating the scope of work and intellectual property rights; conducting milestone
reviews; the consequences of changing requirements; transitioning technology and
services; and properly closing out a federal acquisition activity.

Students in this course will assume the role of a contract manager and will
complete projects and assignments with this mindset. Leadership attributes,
leading teams, and conflict resolution techniques will be examined as part of the
curriculum. Case studies will be based on the instructor’s experience in contract
management as well as articles from Harvard Business Review and other
journals. Participants will learn contract management, program management,
practical aspects of cost and schedule estimating, financial management, project
management, risk management, technology management, and team
management. At the end of this course, each participant will be armed with best
practices and tools to successfully manage federal contracts.
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Faculty: Steven Meier
3 Credit(s)

Over the last two decades the field of development economics has been revolutionized by the spread of experimental evaluations as well as the increased use of non-experimental evaluations to study policies and programs that work in promoting economic development. In this course we study the lessons for development that have arisen from these pilot studies concentrating on studies in the areas of education, health, labor markets, crime, governance, micro credit and productive projects. We begin with an introduction to the tools necessary to understand evaluation methodology.
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Faculty: Susan W. Parker
3 Credit(s)

The federal government implements virtually all of its programs in health, education, social services, labor, housing and welfare via states, local governments and not-for-profit organizations. This cross sector governance is the focus of the course and provides both theoretical understanding and practical grounding of it. This course focuses on the roles and relationships of institutions in each of these sectors in pursuing public purposes such as emergency management, economic development, environmental protection, transportation, education, and human investment. Restricted to PLCY majors or permission of instructor. 
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Prerequisite(s): PLCY711 or PLCY688G

3 Credit(s)

Understanding how groups and individuals develop and coexist in society is an essential part of public policy. Using the classroom as a laboratory, students will explore identity development and how the intersections of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities shape perceptions that inform decision-making and policy development. From historical scholars to current day movement leaders, this course equips students with tools necessary to critically analyze pluralism, power, and identity; and the skills needed to shape meaningful and equitable public policy and working and civic environments for all.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Claire Dunning
3 Credit(s)

Reviews the analytical literature on civil violence, episodes of intervention, and challenges associated with post-conflict reconstruction. Explores the logic that justifies intervention in some cases, and the requirements for effective stabilization and reconstruction.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Alec Worsnop
3 Credit(s)

A course in critical thinking and analytic methodologies. The ability to think critically, analyze effectively, and solve difficult problems are crucial skills in the intelligence arena. Additionally, rapid changes in technology, information sourcing, and information availability, coupled with fundamental changes in the Intelligence Community and its customers’ expectations have had a significant impact on the intelligence process and the way in which analysis is conducted and disseminated.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Addresses many of the contemporary questions and debates surrounding globalization, with particular focus on economic development, trade and international business. Emphasizes the new challenges faced by government policymakers, the private sector, and NGOs, in the context of a globalized world.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the science, technology, economics, and politics of energy use in human societies. After an introduction to the scientific principles of transforming energy sources into usable services, we investigate specific technologies and discuss their impact on geopolitics and the environment. In doing so we seek to address these questions, among others: What is the role of energy in national security? What is the future of oil and how do new resources and new demand centers affect energy security? What are the implications of new, long-term supplies of unconventional gas from fracking? What role can nuclear power serve for the next century? Do wind and solar power have the potential to supplant other energy sources? What will climate change policy mean for our energy mix? How might developing countries undertake a low-carbon energy transition? What is the proper balance of regulation and free market operation in energy and electricity markets? What new technologies are on the horizon, and how promising are they? Given extensive current activity on this topic, the course will retain flexibility to take advantage of relevant DC-area academic, government, or agency events, hearings, and/or conferences.
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Faculty: Irving Mintzer
3 Credit(s)

Interplay between government and private interests in shaping official actions that affect international trade. Policy tools available to influence balance, magnitude, and composition of imports and exports. Evolution of executive, congressional and quasi-judicial government institutions under increased U.S. international trade exposure and trade deficit. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
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Recommended as prerequisite(s): PLCY620, PLCY640 and PLCY641

Faculty: Uri Dadush
3 Credit(s)

Equips students with knowledge of management and leadership concepts essential to performing successfully and responsibly in public organizations. We will begin with discussion on the nature of public administration and move an examination of organizational structure issues, public sector innovation strategies and decision-making mechanisms. We will also examine the “people” side of government organizations as well as management and leadership roles within organizations. Many case studies are examined in depth to provide real life context for the course content.
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3 Credit(s)

Reviews the principal features of international security as currently practiced. Traces the evolution of contemporary policy beginning with the initiation of nuclear weapons programs during World War II. Particular emphasis is given to experience of the United States and Russia, since the historical interaction between these two countries has disproportionately affected the international security conditions that all other countries now experience. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
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3 Credit(s)

Examines the changing international security environment and the challenges it poses for US policymakers, the Intelligence Community and military commanders. The course is designed to encourage critical and creative thinking on problems of global security and the role of intelligence in addressing them. The course has three segments: 1) the theoretical and historical context of current global security issues; 2) specific global security problems; and 3) student presentations on policy options and prospects.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Provides an overview of government's role in social policy and the history of the development of federal and state policies with respect to welfare, aging, education, and housing. Analyzes current federal institutions and legislation in the same policy areas and the demographic history of the United States. Develops skills in analytic writing and presentation of descriptive data. 
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Analyzes the origins, history, status, and future of health care as problems in political and economic theory and as puzzles in policy formation. Considers current American reform controversies in the light of several disciplines and in comparison to foreign experiences and structures.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: R. H. Sprinkle
3 Credit(s)

Concentrates on the institutional and political means by which disadvantaged segments of the United States population have sought to enhance their social, economic and political prospects. Race, gender and disability are the substantive focal points, with considerable attention given to the challenges of African American socio-political uplift. Explores legislation, litigation, administration, agitation (i.e. protest), and constitutional reform. Covers alternative conceptions of equality and the modes of argument employed in different institutional and political contexts.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

This course examines issues in U.S. environmental policy. It covers the history of the rise of the conservation and environmental movements in the United States, how the major environmental laws came to be enacted, and the specific requirements of each law. Leading scientific, economic, legal and ethical issues relating to the development and implementation of environmental legislation over the past 50 years are analyzed. The course explores a number of case studies in environmental policy, as well as the general policy concerns that have emerged.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Suitability of analytic tools for examining global environmental problems, human overpopulation, land abuse, ozone depletion, climate change, acid rain, loss of biological diversity, the scarcity of food, fresh water, energy and nonfuel mineral resources, and health hazards of pollutants toxic metals and radiation. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Addressing the formidable challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and the unjust distribution of environmental harms and benefits necessitates a philosophical understanding and reassessment of the ethical frameworks, norms, and concepts that inform and drive public policy and shape society. This course examines diverse modes of valuation of and obligations to the natural environment, particularly as related to the normative bases of environmental policy. Topics discussed include the different roles of economic and environmental values and norms in policy, obligations to nonhuman animals and ecosystems, obligations to future generations, biodiversity conservation, and the “slow violence” of environmental harms towards the poor and marginalized. The course considers contemporary debates in climate justice, including questions about intergenerational and intragenerational justice, the distribution of responsibilities for mitigation and adaptation among countries, inequalities and vulnerabilities exacerbated by climate change, and moral hazard and other ethical problems involved in geoengineering solutions to the climate crisis.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Thomas C. Hilde
3 Credit(s)

Development typically comes with environmental impacts, while environmental protection sometimes comes with human costs. Is it possible to decouple economic growth and ecological harm or to achieve both human and ecological well-being simultaneously? What would be required to do so? This course explores conceptions and practices of sustainable development particularly where “top-down” environmental and development policy frameworks and governance - e.g. the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - meet “bottom-up” practices and local knowledge systems - e.g. indigenous-managed complex social-ecological systems. The course examines different conceptions of poverty and economic growth consistent (or not) with environmental well-being. The course analyzes contemporary challenges of human and ecological vulnerabilities and system resilience at the intersection of development and climate change adaptation. We explore diverse perspectives, concepts, and policies on intersecting issues such as land-use change, food sovereignty, zoonotic disease, and resource conflict; environmental displacement and migration; and conservation, land rights, and post-colonial social justice.

Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Thomas C. Hilde
3 Credit(s)

Reviews the major human physiological systems and their integrated toxicological functions; considers key bodily defenses; and discusses classic, emerging, and ambiguous risks; in all ecological context. Applies to scientific controversy, the methods of policy formation, such as risk analysis, social-cost analysis, "outcomes" analysis, and decision analysis, all in political-economic context.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: R. H. Sprinkle
3 Credit(s)

Enhances the student's negotiation and leadership skills for managing differences between individuals and groups. Students study the nature of conflict, learn how to handle two and multiparty conflicts, exerting leadership where there are no hierarchy leaders, and explore the impact of facilitators and mediators on the negotiating process. Blends skill building exercises and theory discussions about the behavior of groups and individuals in groups to understand negotiation dynamics. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Survey and analysis of the governmental institutions and processes which shape U.S. global engagement on national security and international economic issues. Particular emphasis is given to executive-congressional relations and the broader domestic roots of foreign policy. Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Aaron Mannes
3 Credit(s)

Provides an overview of state of the art topics in development economics, in particular the main factors and variables that affect growth and well-being around the world. Topics include how to measure growth, education, health, gender discrimination, labor and migration, micro credit, agriculture and the role of institutions in development.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Susan W. Parker
3 Credit(s)

Examines the empirical, conceptual, and ethical dimensions of international development policies and US foreign aid. What is the present character of development in poor countries/regions? How should development be conceived? What development strategies are best? What is and should be the purpose of U.S. foreign aid and development assistance? Restricted to students in a major in PLCY.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Meg Brindle
3 Credit(s)

Evaluates development — cultural, agricultural, industrial, social, economic, and political — as a bringer of disease prevention and treatment and as a bringer of disease itself, from acute infections and poisonings to chronic conditions attributable to the "westernization" of diets. Assesses development’s uncertain resilience in disaster and the developed world’s uneven response to disasters of various sorts — political, economic, environmental, geophysical, meteorological, nutritional, epidemic, epizootic, epiphytotic — with particular attention paid to the performance of national agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, institutions, charities, professions, and activists.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: R. H. Sprinkle
3 Credit(s)

Examines the roles of science and technology (S&T) in the development of conventional (e.g., missiles, bombs) and unconventional (e.g., nuclear, chemical, and biological) weapons and their associated threats to U.S. and international security. Will introduce new ways of thinking about security-technology policy interaction, drawing on political science, security studies, and S&T studies.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

Explores ethical principles nourishing the legal norms and practices of the craft of intelligence. Students will learn about (a) the constitutional, international and legal frameworks of the craft of intelligence. (b) the underlying ethical principles of those frameworks; and (c) the indispensable guiding role of human dignity and compassion in the craft of intelligence.
Schedule of Classes

3 Credit(s)

This course applies the concepts and tools from microeconomics and statistical analysis to energy policy issues. Covered topics include: 1) application of industrial organization to energy economics: oligopoly and oil industry (e.g. oil countries in middle east), natural monopoly and utilities, implications for social welfare and regulations; 2) application of welfare economics to energy economics: tragedy of the commons and extraction of non-renewable energy resources, externalities and Pigouvian tax; 3) behavioral economics and energy consumption: consumer utility maximization problem, risk profile, choice of energy technologies, choice of pricing, inertia, inattention, hyperbolic discounting, loss aversion, and role of policies in influencing behaviors such as information provision and nudges; 4) comparing different policy instruments in terms of cost-effectiveness and welfare impact: such as technology standards, tax, command and control, subsidies, cap and trade. and nudging; 5) empirical analysis applying econometrics and statistical analysis: impact of policies on utility company performance; impact of policies on energy consumption; impact of technology on energy performance using Pecan street and CSI solar data; technology decision analysis using CBECS and RECS data. Permission required.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Jiehong Lou
3 Credit(s)

This field course in Peru studies the confluence of livelihoods, environmental protection, and human rights, particularly those of indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest and Andean regions. The central case we investigate is illegal gold mining and deforestation in the Amazon region of Madre de Dios, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Gold mining is a major problem throughout the Amazon region, causing deforestation and long-term harm to people and wildlife from mercury pollution. It is precarious labor associated with organized crime and human trafficking. In the Amazon, we stay at a research-oriented eco-lodge co-owned and operated by the Ese’eja indigenous community of Infierno and an ecotourism company. We study this cooperative arrangement as an example of employment-generating, self-managed local development and capacity-building that presents an economic alternative to extractive activities while protecting the forest. Guided by Ese’eja community members, we observe first-hand the natural richness of Peru’s Amazon rainforest and wildlife and learn about indigenous forest management. Resource extraction and conservation are part of a broader policy context and demographic dynamic in the country. Moving to the Cusco region in the Andes, we investigate the economic and environmental drivers of informal migrant labor from mountain communities to the Amazon gold mining regions. We meet with NGOs working to address poverty and migration in the Andes as well as the problems of persistent inequality and discrimination, rapid environmental change, and conflicts between local governance and national policy. We meet with farmers and others developing ways to gain income in line with their respect for nature and their communities. Through further discussions in Lima, we learn from top government officials and civil society experts about the national policy context and strategies regarding sustainable democratic development, environmental policy and resource management, marginalized peoples and human rights, and Peru’s law enforcement approach to stemming illegal mining and Amazon deforestation. 
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Thomas C. Hilde
3 Credit(s)

Nonprofit organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), philanthropy, civil society and social entrepreneurs are major players in how public policy gets developed and implemented as well as how change occurs in the United States as well as countries around the world. In the United States alone, the nonprofit sector encompasses over a million organizations, annually reports trillions of dollars in revenue and assets, represents approximately ten percent of the workforce, annually generates over four hundred billion dollars through donations and volunteers, and is primarily funded by government. The nonprofit sector is so heavily intertwined with the public sector that government executives will find themselves interacting and partnering with nonprofits on a regular basis. Through discussions of contemporary trends, challenges and issues, this course provides an introduction to the nonprofit sector and the leadership and management skills required to achieve social impact. Permission required.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Jeffrey Franco