This course examines the way that policies, politics, and the state intersect and coevolve by exploring three basic questions. First, how do advocacy groups, the media, science, and public opinion interact to produce changing demands on the state? Second, how does the state deploy new policy instruments, reform public and private institutions, and create novel governance strategies in response to these demands? And third, how do these policies, institutions, and strategies themselves become politicized and to what effect? To address these questions, the course will draw on theoretical and empirical literature from comparative public policy, institutionalism, public administration, governance theory, and political sociology. The analytical focus will be on time, comparison, and organization. By analyzing the emergence of issues and tracing their policy histories, we will explore how policies, politics, and the state coevolve over time. By comparing how different nations (or cities or regions, etc.) respond to such issues, we will explore how political and institutional context matters. And finally, by analyzing the organization and reorganization of policy and administration, we will investigate both the political and functional dimensions of state response. The course will draw on examples from a range of different policy areas, including environmental policy, public health, planning, education, health, economic policy, and social welfare. Readings will draw primarily on North American and European cases, but other regions may be included depending on the interests of students.