Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for PUBLIC POLICY & LAW
PBPL 123
Fundamentals of American Law
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of the United States legal system. Core topics covered include: sources of law; the role of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in the creation, implementation, and interpretation of laws ; state and federal judicial systems; civil and criminal cases; trial and appellate process; criminal law and procedure; elements of due process; safeguarding the rights of the accused; current issues confronting the criminal justice system; and an overview of torts, contracts and alternate dispute resolution. The course will also focus on legal ethics and emerging trends in the legal profession. Students will learn to read and analyze case law and statutes and acquire substantive techniques for legal writing and oral presentations.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 201
Introduction to American Public Policy
This course introduces students to the formal and informal processes through which American public policy is made. They will study the constitutional institutions of government and the distinct role each branch of the national government plays in the policy-making process, and also examine the ways in which informal institutions-political parties, the media, and political lobbyists-contribute to and shape the policy process.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 202
Law, Argument, and Public Policy
In this course, students will study legal reasoning and the myriad ways in which legal arguments influence the making of American public policy. They will learn how to structure a legal argument and identify key facts and issues, analyze the formal process through which legal cases unfold (including jurisdiction, standing, and the rules of evidence), and examine how rules of law, which define policy choices and outcomes, develop out of a series of cases.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or Economics 247,or Public Policy and Law majors, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 220
Research and Evaluation
Which policy interventions actually work and which fail to meet their goals? Answering this question is essential to improving public and non-profit services and securing further funding for worthwhile projects. This course aims to give students the ability to comprehend policy research and evaluation, as well as the tools to design and conduct basic qualitative and quantitative analysis. Students will apply these practical skills in assignments that ask them to design evaluations or analyze data to assess the effectiveness of policies. Topics will include data analysis using statistical software, but no previous programming experience is necessary.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, Public Policy 202, or Political Science102, and permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 245
Title IX: Changing Campus Culture
This course will explore the legal and policy implications of the new Title IX federal guidelines as they apply to sexual misconduct on college campuses. Students will attend four seminar sessions that consider how best to devise and implement effective policies aimed at: reducing incidents of sexual misconduct on college campuses; protecting the legal rights of both the accuser and the accused; and ensuring that institutions of higher education are in full compliance with new federal and state mandates. Students will undertake an independent research project in the form of a policy memo for their final project for the course.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Seminar
PBPL 264
Urban Policy and Politics in America
This course focuses on the development of urban policies and politics and their impact on urban America. Adopting both a historical and contemporary perspective on these issues will help us understand how the historical development of cities and specific policy choices shaped the urban problems and conflicts we see today. We will also study how the distribution of urban power affects urban policy outcomes. In addition, we will explore many contemporary urban policy issues, including public education, criminal justice, public housing, neighborhood decline, preservation, and gentrification, as well as downtown economic redevelopment. Central to these urban challenges are issues of race, ethnicity, equality, and fairness. We will consider how current policies may generate both potential solutions and new unintended problems for urban America.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 302
Law and Environmental Policy
The course emphasizes how and why American environmental law has developed over the preceding three decades as a primary tool to achieve environmental goals. Topics include the analysis of policy options, "command-and-control" regulation, modification of liability rules, pollution prevention through non-regulatory means, and the environmental aspects of U.S. energy policies in relation to petroleum, electricity, and transportation. The course concludes by addressing transnational environmental issues such as atmospheric change, burgeoning population growth, depletion of forests and species, sustainable development, and the role of international legal institutions in relation to these pressing problems.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 303
The Real World of Policy Implementation
Implementation, sometimes called the hidden chapter in public policy, will be explored primarily using case studies describing the practical realities of what happens after a statute is passed, a regulation is issued, a court decision is handed down, or a public or nonprofit agency decides on a course of action. The cases will be drawn primarily from areas such as education, health care, children's issues, housing and economic development, and civil rights. They will include examples from the Hartford area and around the country in which the professor and/or guest speakers have participated. Class discussions and related exercises will emphasize students' ability to frame the salient policy and implementation challenges, identify the strengths and weaknesses of potential solutions, and present and defend their recommendations to decision makers (e.g., legislators, agency officials, and judges). Permission of the instructor is required for enrollment.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 315
Privacy and Freedom in the Internet Age
This course examines the legal, ethical, and political dimensions of the novel issues raised by the Internet and related technology. Can the government search your e-mail or bank records without a court issued warrant? Can the police use a sensor outside a private home to detect the radiant heat generated by lights used to grow marijuana? The Internet empowers each of us to "filter out" materials we have not chosen in advance. Will this erode the common ground necessary for democracy to work? We will explore these and other legal and policy issues in mock Supreme Court arguments in which teams of students will brief and argue landmark cases before panels of student justices.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 321
American Legal History
This course focuses on key themes in law and American history from the colonial era to the early twentieth century. Topics include the English origins of American legal institutions; land, law and Native Americans; the framing of the Constitution; the emergence of the Supreme Court; slavery, westward expansion and constitutional conflict in the new republic; the rise of corporations, railroads and modern tort law; civil rights in Reconstruction; the treatment of immigrants and labor under the law. The course analyzes landmark Supreme Court decisions but also considers legal history from the bottom up, e.g., the participation of slaves, free people of color and women in the legal system of the antebellum South. Previous courses in American history and an introduction to law are strongly suggested.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 323
The Legal History of Race Relations
This course will examine the interaction between the American social and legal systems in the treatment of race relations. The seminar will analyze major Supreme Court cases on equal rights and race relations with an emphasis on the historical and social contexts in which the decisions were rendered. The Socratic method will be used for many of the classes, placing importance on classroom discussion among the students and the lecturer. The goals of the course are to expose the students to the basis of the legal system and the development of civil rights legislations sharpen legal and critical analysis, improve oral expression, and develop a concise and persuasive writing style.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 113, 123, or 201 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 328
Constitutional Foundation of Public Policy
This course will examine the history, methods, and types of successful, formal, written argumentation in policy advocacy. Among the arenas explored will be courts of law, legislative bodies, and the broader field of public opinion. Most course material will be drawn from case studies.
Prerequisite: Political Science 102, Public Policy and Law 201, or Public Policy and Law 202.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 330
Comparative Urban Policy
This is a course in practical approaches to solving international urban policy and planning challenges. The course begins with an overview of key urban policy and historical urban social science themes in Western European and American cities. The subjects further examined include governance of global city regions, problems of segregation and economic inequality, public and private provision and allocation of services and infrastructure, development of mega-projects, approaches to aiding refugees and resolving conflicts in war-torn cities, municipal burden-sharing in divided cities, and examples of sustainable and comprehensive urban planning practices.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Political Science 102 or 103, or Public Policy and Law 201.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 331
Becoming American: Immigration and Integration Policy
Critics of immigration argue that a growing foreign-born population endangers economic health, threatens democratic traditions, and undermines cultural unity. Proponents respond that immigration is central to America’s national identity and crucial for prosperity. This course examines popular and scholarly debates over immigration and immigrant adaptation and analyzes the efficacy of U.S. policies aimed at managing this process. Topics include U.S. border security, the increased state and local regulation of immigration, and the DREAM Act, a proposal that would offer certain undocumented youth a path toward legal status. Course assignments will emphasize persuasive writing and communication for a policymaking audience, including memos and briefings.
Prerequisite: C- or better in either Political Science 102 or Public Policy and Law 201, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 335
Pandemics, Emerging Diseases, and the Public’s Health
This course examines critical issues in public health - arising from both national and global events (such as the recent outbreak of Ebola) - from the viewpoints of public health law, ethics, and public policy. The course will explore policy implications of epidemics and chronic diseases that beset the world's most vulnerable populations. The course will also consider the public health problems that many people in our own country face on a day-to-day basis. Questions include: What issues should be considered public health problems? What is our responsibility to people outside as well as inside the U.S.? The objective of the course is to provide a sound basis for applying ethical principles, along with law and public policy, to public health problems.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 338
Public Engagement & Policy Making
Active participation in American civic life extends beyond the ballot box, to contacting public officials, commenting on their plans, joining associations, and volunteering assistance. Likewise, policymakers face requirements to incorporate public input as they make decisions. In recent years, one of the most prominent social science debates has focused on civic participation. Is it declining? If so, what is responsible? And why should we care? In this course, we will consider whether and how policymakers should incorporate citizen input and encourage civic participation. We will investigate recent innovative participatory experiments, such as the large-scale public forums held to develop recovery plans following September 11th and hurricane Katrina, and consider whether they offer a promising path forward for civic engagement in the twenty-first century.
Prerequisite: C- or better in either Political Science 102 or Public Policy and Law 201, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 343
Topics in Bioethics
The aim of this seminar is to reflect critically on the ethical dimensions of rapid and profound developments in medicine and biotechnology and on the public policies that are evolving to deal with them. Topics will be chosen from among the following: the doctor-patient relationship, genetic research, therapy and enhancement, reproductive rights and technology, the ownership of human biological materials, medical decisions at the beginning and end of life, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 344
Seeking Justice in American Life: Ethical thinking/decision-making in politics law and private life
This course will examine basic theories of ethics (common morality), found in moral and political philosophy in order to consider the extent to which traditional ethical and moral principles govern legal, political, and private decision-making. We will begin by identifying ethical and moral principles in our founding documents before proceeding with the main work of the course, which is to examine the ethical and moral reasoning behind legal and policy decisions, business decisions, and personal decisions. Among the diverse subjects that will be discussed are physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, buying and selling of body parts, human cloning, legalizing drugs, affirmative action, national service in war, hate speech and political dissent, wealth and income distribution including disbursing public money to private business, individual rights versus the needs of the community, torture, truth and lying in private and public, equality and inequality, drug-enhancement in sports, immoral behavior on the part of public figures.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 348
Constitutional Law and Advocacy
In this course teams of students will brief and argue landmark cased in constitutional law that were decided by a Supreme Court dominated by justices appointed by President Richard M. Nixon, who was elected in 1968 and impeached in 1974. A strong case can be made that he had a greater influence on the development of constitutional law than any president or justice of the 20th century. The tests for the course will be the cased themselves: the full opinions, the actual briefs submitted by opposing counsel and transcripts or recordings of the actual oral argument before the Supreme Court. Teams of students will do in-depth research on major cases to explore the social background against which they were decided and the immediate and long-term consequences of the decisions themselves.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 350
Inside the Nonprofit Sector
This course will provide students with a firm grounding in the role of the nonprofit sector (also called the independent, third, or voluntary sector) in American public policy and community life. Topics to be studied include: the nature and role of the nonprofit sector; what makes the nonprofit sector distinctive; current challenges facing the nonprofit sector; the role of foundations and other sources of philanthropic giving; and assessment of the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, Public Policy 202, or Political Science102, and permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 351
Managing Diversity in the City
Drawing on literature related to federalism, urban politics, and state and local policy, this course will examine how cities have responded to diverse newcomers, from the early twentieth century's machine politics, through the Great Migration of African-Americans to northern cities, to the dispersion of new immigrant populations since the late 1980s. Using this historical perspective, we will consider how local policies shape processes of social and political incorporation, as well as how the presence of newcomers shapes the on-going development of local policies. The course will incorporate case studies of policy decision-making, devoting particular attention to the city of Hartford.
Prerequisite: C+ or better in Political Science 102 or Public Policy and Law 201, or consent of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 352
Art and the Public Good
Is art a public good? Is government good for art? Students will explore these questions by examining what happens when U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to fund the arts. Course topics will include: the depression era federal arts projects and the dream of a "cultural democracy" that inspired them; the State Department's export of art across the globe during the Cold War era; the legal and congressional battles over offensive art that threatened to shut down the National Endowment for the Arts during the 1990s; and former Mayor Giuliani's attempt to withdraw funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art following public outcry over a provocative depiction of the Virgin Mary.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 354
The Politics of Education Policy
How do politics shape the development of education policy-making at all levels of government in the United States? What roles do the public, interest groups, community groups, and elected officials play in the creation of education policy? These questions will guide this course as we examine the highly political environment of education policy and the simultaneously diffuse nature of power. We will begin by studying the history and federalist structure of education in the United States. We will then explore the influence of politics on some longstanding education policy debates. These issues will guide our inquiries as we turn to an exploration of the modern era and consider some of the major policy debates of today.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 365
Crime, Punishment, and Public Policy
This course will introduce students to the public policy dimensions of crime and punishment in America. We will examine theories of punishment, the structure of the criminal justice system, and the role of the courts in defining the constitutional rights of the accused. Course materials will include novels, policy texts, films, and court cases.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, Public Policy 202, or Political Science102, and permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 377
Law, Gender, and the Supreme Court
This course introduces students to contemporary gender issues as they have been treated both in the law and in the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. We will explore some of the historical antecedents to contemporary legal gender questions and then examine in detail the following areas of controversy: sex discrimination, marriage equality, reproductive rights, and Title IX.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 398
Public Policy and Law Internship and Seminar
The required internship is designed to: (1) To provide students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the work of an organization concerned with the making of public policy; (2) To engage students in academic projects directly linked to the internship experience and their areas of concentration in the major. To enroll in the internship students need the permission of a faculty member, who will supervise the academic work.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
PBPL 401
Current Issues: The Supreme Court and Public Policy
This seminar will focus on the Supreme Court in transition. We will explore competing theories of constitutional interpretation that have characterized the Rehnquist court and examine specific cases that are representative of the court's work. We will study contending theories of the Supreme Court's role in our constitutional framework, and we will consider how new appointees to the court may shift the balance in important areas of jurisprudence that have become increasingly contentious, especially with respect to issues of personal autonomy, affirmative action, and national security.
This course is only open to senior Public Policy and Law majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 403
Hartford Research Internship Seminar
This one-credit course combines an internship at a nonprofit or public agency with class discussions to provide an inside look at how agencies establish and carry out their missions. The focus is on how agencies implement their strategic goals, taking into account practical issues of program design, financing, evaluation, staffing, and community relations. Two moderate-length papers are required: one analyzing the agency in which the student is interning, the other addressing a public policy issue that the student identifies in the course of his or her internship.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 411
Journalism and the Public Good in America
Alexis de Tocqueville considered newspapers essential to democracy in America, but from the days of Cotton Mather and John Peter Zenger to those of Fox News and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, the news media have been a source of controversy and contention. This seminar will explore the place of journalism in American civic life by examining both the history of the law governing journalistic enterprise and the evolution of the news media as social and political actors. Topics to be discussed will include the nature of news, libel law, national security as a basis for censorship, public reason, the economics of journalism, and the new media environment.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
PBPL 490
Research Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for enrollment.
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 497
Senior Thesis
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis. (1 course credit to be completed in one semester.)
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 498
Public Policy and Law Thesis and Colloquium
This course is designed to teach senior Public Policy and Law majors how to write a year long honors thesis. The course is designed to provide support and structure to the process of writing a thesis. Students will formulate a research question, undertake a review of the literature, develop strategies to organize their work, and familiarize themselves with the appropriate Library and Internet sources. Students will also make oral presentations of their work. This course is required of all senior Public Policy and Law majors who are writing an honors thesis.
2.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
No Course Description Available.
2.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 800
Introduction to PUblic Policy
This is the introductory course in public policy. It builds on the notion than an interesting reason to study public policy is that public policy making is about problem solving. It introduces and examines issues such as how we think society is better in one state than another; what means should we use to solve problems; what is government’s appropriate role in society; how should the public be engaged in solving common problems. The course will be taught from the perspective of what researchers tell us about the theory and process of making public policy, and how practitioners go about solving problems. The interesting question is whether theory informs practice, or the contrary. Or are the theory and practice of public policy making truly different? The course will explain the roles of certain government institutions and “actors” such as elected officials, appointed public managers, interest group leaders, citizens, and the media in the public policy process. An integral part of the course involves learning how to write in a concise, well-reasoned, professional manner by producing policy memos pertaining to public sector case studies as discussed in class.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 802
Global Cities
This seminar examines the contemporary map of interactions between cities in the world. There is now a considerable array of research analyzing what are variously termed global or world cities in the hierarchy of the world economy, and a counter-critique has emerged which seeks to analyze all cities as ordinary, moving beyond old binaries of 'developed' and 'developing' worlds of cities. We will interrogate this debate in both its theoretical and its empirical dimensions, with case studies from Africa and assessment of cultural, political, economic and environmental globalization.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 806
Methods of Research
This course is intended to empower students to evaluate common forms of research critically, and to give them some experience in conducting research. Through a series of weekly assignments and class projects, students will be introduced to the shaping of research questions; hypothesis testing, writing a research paper, conducting interviews and surveys, giving a professional presentation, and presenting simple tabular data to prove a point. The course does not require an extensive mathematics background. Regular attendance and access to a computer, e-mail, and the Internet are expected.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 808
Constitutional Foundations of Public Policy
This course will examine the history, methods, and types of successful, formal, written argumentation in policy advocacy. Among the arenas explored will be courts of law, legislative bodies, and the broader field of public opinion. Most course material will be drawn from case studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 809
Research Boot Camp
Researching any topic might involve a wide range of information sources—scholarly books writings, newspaper and magazine articles, data and statistical sources, government information, primary sources, and social media. In this course, you will learn how to find, understand, organize and evaluate the rich diversity of information resources used by scholars to conduct research. Regular attendance and access to a computer, e-mail, and the internet are expected.
0.50 units, Seminar
PBPL 813
The Conservative Movement in America
A study of the contemporary conservative movement in American politics. The course examines the history of modern conservatism from its emergence in the 1960’s to its triumph in the 1980’s. We examine the three main streams of conservative thought in America: economic conservatives, neo-conservative libertarians, and religious conservatives. The course concludes by exploring tensions between these strains of conservatism that have become evident as the GOP tries to hold them together as the most powerful force in contemporary American politics.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 815
The Policy and Politics of Education Finance
One of the most important and contentious elements of education policy involves finance. Funding battles at the federal, state, and local levels have a direct impact on students, teachers, and schools. The sources of revenue, funding formulas, and budget priorities have implications not only for the operation of schools but for equity and social justice. This course will examine the legal, practical, and moral/ethical elements of education finance and efforts to reform the system. It will blend traditional seat time with online components and field work.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 817
Education Policy
This course is designed to introduce students to educational policy, with particular focus on the major issues and challenges facing U.S. policymakers. After a brief overview of the shape and history of the American school system, we will move toward considering a variety of different perspectives on why it has proven so difficult to improve America's schools, particularly its urban schools. We will examine standards-based, market-driven, professionally-led and networked models of reform, looking at their theories of change, implementation challenges, and the critiques leveled against these approaches. We will examine a variety of recent reform efforts at both the federal and state levels, with particular attention to No Child Left Behind and the debates around its reauthorization. We will also consider the emergence of alternative schools, such as charter schools, and the view of their critics. Issues related to teacher policy, teacher unions, and recent efforts to reform schools in major American cities will also be covered in this course. Finally, we will examine examples of good practice from other countries and from other fields as a way to stimulate creative thinking about reform. This course will also satisfy the requirement for research methods.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 822
American Economic History and Public Policy
This course attempts to provide the student with a basic yet thorough understanding of the growth and development of the American economy. At the outset of the course, we will discuss the role and importance of economic history and the methodology of economic historians. We will then study the colonial economy, the early national and antebellum years, the reunification era, the emergence of a modern U.S. economy, and the development of the post-WWII economy up to the present. The analysis will focus on key economic sectors - agriculture, commerce, money and banking, labor, government - and their growth and development.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 825
Policy Implementation
Implementation is the action step in the public policy process that arguably is the most challenging and complex to do. It is the key to making something happen and is often the gauge the public uses to determine the overall effectiveness of government, in its broadest terms. This course is devoted exclusively to the study of policy implementation from the relevant literature, theoretical constructs, and the practical issues of attempting to implement public policy that often has vague and conflicting policy goals and inadequate resources. Students will examine a current public policy that was adopted by a town/city government in the Greater Hartford area, will ascertain whether the policy was implemented, analyze the challenges involved in the implementation, and meet and question government leaders involved in the policy implementation effort. The class will be conducted as a seminar, with fieldwork as necessary. A major research paper that reviews and analyzes the success of the town/city government in implementing the adopted policy studied during the semester comprises an important end product of the course.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 827
Education Law
This course is designed for those interested in an introduction to and overview of education law. It will provide a survey of statute and case law related to the structure and organization of schools and districts, constitutional law in schools, teacher and student rights, special education, and school finance. Our discussions will focus not only on the legal foundations but the social implications of education law. Of particular note will be the ways in which law can both help and inhibit efforts to build greater equity in education.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 828
Theory of Democratic Institutions
The course applies social choice theory to the study of four components of democratic policy making; voting, political strategy, theories of governance, and bureaucracy. The course emphasizes weekly readings and in-class discussion of central themes in the literature. Examination of the formal properties of voting rules leads to a deeper understanding of representation and political outcomes. The analysis of institutions offers lessons on the problems of delegation, policy design, implementation, and democratic administration.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 832
Contemporary Issues in Education Policy
Education policy is constantly shifting and is influenced by myriad social and political factors. This course examines the role of public education in American society and employs a sociological lens to the various factors influencing public education. It will follow contemporary trends in education policy at the national, state, and local level. Frequent guest speakers will provide context and perspectives on how contemporary issues are affecting various stakeholders in the area of public education.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 833
Introduction to Urban Planning
This course provides an overview of urban planning. Students will be introduced to key theories and concepts as well as methods and empirical case studies in this multidimensional field. Lectures and seminar discussions concentrate on applications of urban planning theories and concepts as practiced by urban planners. Topics discussed in the course may include regional, environmental, metropolitan, transportation, spatial, and land-use planning issues. Empirical emphasis is expected to be on Hartford and other Connecticut cities, but the course may discuss other American or international urban areas. The course is an elective geared toward public policy graduate students with an interest in urban policy, regardless of their track. This course may be of interest to American studies graduate students as well (permission of adviser required).
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 835
Pandemics, Emerging Diseases, and the Public’s Health
This course examines critical issues in public health - arising from both national and global events (such as the recent outbreak of Ebola) - from the viewpoints of public health law, ethics, and public policy. The course will explore policy implications of epidemics and chronic diseases that beset the world's most vulnerable populations. The course will also consider the public health problems that many people in our own country face on a day-to-day basis. Questions include: What issues should be considered public health problems? What is our responsibility to people outside as well as inside the U.S.? The objective of the course is to provide a sound basis for applying ethical principles, along with law and public policy, to public health problems.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 836
Moral Theory and Public Policy
The purpose of this course is to assist students in acquiring the skill in ethical reasoning and analysis needed for mature participation in society’s continuing debates over moral issues of public concern. The course will begin by examining some types of ethical theories and will proceed to consider a number of controversial social issues. Abortion, euthanasia, racial and sexual discrimination, world hunger, treatment of animals, and capital punishment are among the topics to be considered.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 840
Budget Management and Public Policy
This course will focus on the practical aspects of pubic budgeting, finance, and financial management in the policy making process. It will begin with the "how to's" of budget development, from estimating and projecting revenues to deconstructing expenditures in order to develop the best estimates. Where appropriate, elements of public finance theory will be introduced and discussed as it relates to practical budget and financial management Both the bonding process and the complications related to third party service provision will be addressed. We will utilize practical tools for budget and financial management, such as results-based accountability, performance contracting, and reviewing budget to actual data together with projected to actual service data on a regular basis.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 846
Policy Analysis
In policy analysis, we focus on the problems of empirical policy analysis: defining the problem, framing the questions to be answered, picking the location and scope of the study, selecting the metrics of analysis, aligning metrics with public values, collecting evidence, and transforming the evidence into data. The readings and weekly discussions are avenues for students to query themselves on the problems they must solve to advance their own research agendas. Students will complete a major project in empirical policy analysis. Enrollment limited.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 849
Health Care Regulation and Policy
This course will offer an overview of the basic concepts and principles of health care regulation and policy that are necessary to understand the health care sector in the United States. This course will focus on the purposes of health care regulation, the key components of regulation and the processes by which regulation is developed and implemented. Various spheres of health care regulation will be analyzed, including both governmental and private parties involved int he regulatory process. Emphasis will be on policy issues and conflicts that underlie health care regulation.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 862
American Religion and Public Policy
The public role of religion in society has been a central, contentious, and continuing public policy issue in America since colonial days. The Constitutional settlement, which guaranteed both free exercise of religion and forbade the establishment of a national state religion, has produced political and legal action and renegotiation in almost every generation. One prominent legal historian recently described contemporary American disputes about religion and law as “where the action is.” The course will offer a history of public policy and legal arguments about religion in the United States, with particular attention to the intensive political and legislative debates and litigation since 1990.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 865
The Media and the Presidential Election
In this course, students will use the current presidential election as a living laboratory as they explore the role of the media in shaping perceptions, presenting content, and providing criticism. Students will follow the election in each news medium (including the Internet), interview consultants and "spin doctors," analyze television broadcasts, including television election ads, and prepare a talk radio show. The course will focus also on such issues as media bias, corporate ownership, and FCC regulation. We will also look at the nature of "content" in the political process and how it corresponds (or doesn’t) to literary notions of "text."
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 866
State and Local Policy and Politics (Laws)
State and local governments play a vital role in governing, policy innovation, and the delivery of services in the United States. Their importance has arguably increased in recent decades with the trend toward devolution of government to the state and local levels, the use of referenda, and the central role of states in battles over social issues. In this course we will review available social science research to consider the central issues and challenges of governance at the state and local levels. We will examine differences between states’ political cultures and their implications for public policy, compare federal versus state and local provision of social services, and consider the significance of the use of redistricting, recalls, referenda and initiatives in political struggles across the country.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 872
The Least Dangerous Branch Revisited: 2014-2015 Term
Over the past 40 years, the Supreme Court has been called upon to resolve many important and often controversial public policy questions. The 2014-2015 is no exception, and the Court will issue opinions that determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the status of same-sex marriage, and the constitutionality of lethal injections as a means of carrying out the death penalty. The purpose of this course is three-fold: (1) to familiarize students with the role of the Supreme Court as a policy making institution; and (2) to use decisions in the current term, several of which will be handed down during the time our course will meet in June and July, as a means of assessing the scope of the Court's power to shape public policy in areas where there is little political consensus. Readings will include texts and articles on the role of the Supreme Court and several of the cases decided this term. This course can substitute for PBPL 808, Constitutional Foundations of Public Policy.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 873
Scalia, the Supreme Court, and Policy
Justice Antonin Scalia’s death created uncertainty about the Court’s current docket because several divisive issues, including voting rights, immigration policy, reproductive rights, and affirmative action, may now result in a 4-4 split. This course will examine how the Senate’s avowed refusal to consider a nominee named by President Obama for consideration is likely to have important consequences for cases currently before the Court. We will address the constitutional mandates that fall to both the President and the Senate, and we will read cases, articles, legal briefs, and listen to oral arguments in cases currently before the Court. This course will also count for the moral theory requirement, and students in the health care policy track may count this course as an elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 891
Health Policy
This course addresses current major U.S. health policy issues and the critical processes and forces that shape them. Major health policy issues addressed include: Medicare, Medicaid, the uninsured, public health, the impact of welfare policy on health care, managed care development and regulation, state and federal health care reform and others. The course discusses the politics of health policy in terms of legislative and executive processes at the state and federal level; key forces involved including economic, social, ethical and political factors; and central players of importance, including special interest groups, lobbyists, the press, elected officials, legislative staff and public agencies.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 898
Academic Internship
No Course Description Available.
0.50 units, Independent Study
PBPL 940
Independent Study
Selected topics in special areas are available by arrangement with the instructor and written approval of the director of public policy studies. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
PBPL 953
Research Project
A research project on a special topic approved by the instructor and with the written approval of the director of public policy studies. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 954
Thesis Part I
Two credit thesis: start time-approval of idea, initial bibliography, and sketch of the project by pre-registration time for graduate students in the term prior to registration for the credit; first draft by reading week of the second semester, "final" first draft by end of spring vacation week; final copy due one week before the last day of classes.
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 955
Thesis Part II
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 956
Thesis
No Course Description Available.
2.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 999
Internship
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study