In this class students will investigate how and why particular policies are developed, proposed, adopted, and implemented; will explore how social values shape and impact public policies; and will learn how to frame issues in ways that allow for more effective advocacy. The class will examine the relative power of diverse corporate and non-profit sectors in influencing policy debates and outcomes, including the role of think tanks. Students will analyze the limitations and strengths of diverse approaches to advocacy ranging from third-party appeals and solidarity efforts to elite decision makers, as well as the prospects for a politics of agency rooted in citizen-centered politics in which people mobilize to meet the needs of their communities. The course will integrate basic theory, interaction with public policy analysts and advocates, personal experience in persuasive advocacy, and case studies focused on issues such as climate change, economic inequality, land-food-hunger, and approaches to health care. Assignments will introduce students to various tools for persuasive advocacy and allow them to develop skill sets for using them.
This course is normally offered in the spring semester.