Homelessness, global warming, corruption, bankrupt pension systems, educational inequality... This course explores what we can learn in general about the way societies try to address and solve difficult and seemingly intractable public problems. Can we attribute success or failure to institutions and their capacity to solve problems? Are problems difficult to solve because they are so complex and we lack know-how or because of a failure of political will? What are the characteristics of organizations or communities able to solve problems proactively or creatively? How do public problems get politically framed and how are they used to mobilize constituencies? The course draws on literature in public administration, public policy studies, and democratic theory to try to better understand some of the major social, political, environmental, and economic problems of our contemporary world.
Note: This description is from Spring 2014