SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY & ORGANIZATION: Risk, Regulation, and Society

Level: 
Semester: 
Instructor(s): 
Units: 
4
Number: 
289
CCN: 
21310
Times: 
M 12:00-2:00
Location: 
749 Barrows
Course Description: 

The regulation and management of risk is central to contemporary politics.  Government has become the ultimate risk manager and public debates about risk lie at the heart of issues ranging from bank failure to counterterrorism to climate change.  This course explores the social, political, and organizational dimensions of risk regulation and management.   It will begin with an historical perspective on the changing role of the state in protecting against risk.   We will then look at what different disciplines such as psychology, sociology, political science, law and economics tell us about our “risk society.”  Next, we examine the political and policy dynamics surrounding risk regulation and the nuts and bolts of how public and private organizations reliably regulate or manage risk (or not).   Adopting a comparative perspective, the course will take a particular interest in how risk regulation and management vary across nations and policy sectors.  A range of types of risk will be considered--from the “social risks” associated with the welfare state, to the public health or environmental risks of disease or pollution, to the economic risks of protecting consumers and managing the economy, to the security risks associated with crime or terrorism. Finally, the course will explore debates about how risk has become a governing logic in its own right (e.g., in managing “at risk” youths).

Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users