Ideas, Interests, and Institutions
Scholars have outlined a range of theories to explain why particular policies are proposed in certain contexts and why they succeed or fail in being implemented. These theories can help us make sense of U.S. policymaking in general and explain policy developments on particular issues. However, theory can blind as much as it illuminates. This class will treat policy theories as useful but problematic tools for analysis in public affairs. Students will read book chapters about policy theories and review primary literature on particular policy issues. For the major class project, students will dissect a policy issue of their choice using theory and outline a political strategy for moving forward.