Government policy deeply influences every aspect of our lives, including the quality of the universities we attend, how much it costs for a gallon of gas, what training we must obtain to take what jobs, what technologies are available to us to use, who we can marry, whether we can afford critical necessities such as housing, and what medical treatments we are allowed or not allowed to obtain. Why do governments make the policies they do? How can advocates craft effective political strategies to influence government policy? This course focuses on understanding the political forces that shape public policy, including interest groups, public pressure, political parties, and voters. In contrast to a public policy course, this course will not consider what ideal public policies should be, but rather consider why governments make the policies they do. This course is suitable for anyone interested in politics or policy. Students will learn tools that will allow them to think like political strategists and understand how they and others influence government in practice.
Summer 2022 Asynchronous Lecture and Discussions will be offered ONLINE only.
If you have completed PS191 with Prof. Trachtman you cannot also enroll in PS109B due to content overlap.