Only open to Executive MPA students.
This course provides students with foundational analytical tools that facilitate their ability to understand the interactions among various interests, institutions, ideas and individuals in the policy-making process. It prepares students to disentangle the dynamics of power and politics throughout the policy process at three distinct levels: at the national level in the U.S. and other OECD countries, in the "developing" country context, and at the transnational level. We examine the dynamics of agenda-setting, framing, the role of analysis and evidence in the policy process and the rise of "evidence-based" policy; the role of deliberation and transparency; insights from behavioral economics and social psychology on regulation and incentives; how social movements and advocacy organizations influence the policy process; the role of street-level bureaucrats; and the relationship between evaluation, learning, and policy change. The emphasis throughout is on mixing the development of conceptual and analytical tools with diverse, context-rich case studies and classroom exercises aimed at developing a real world proficiency in policy analysis.