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.
This course is only open to sophomores and juniors.
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 211
Community Development: Principles & Practice
Community development policy and practice will be examined in historical perspective and current application. Topics will include: economic development, housing, social services, infrastructure, and community research and planning.
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 251
The Judicial Process: Courts and Public Policy
This course examines the evolution of the judicial process in America and the role of the courts as policy makers. We will study civil and criminal courts at both the state and federal level as well as the functions of judges, lawyers, litigants, and other actors. We will also consider how the courts make policy in areas such as the war on terrorism, the right to privacy, gay and lesbian rights, and the rights of the accused.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Political Science102 and Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 255
The Iraq War: The Rise of Jihad and the American Dilemma
For better or worse, the war in Iraq is bringing about major transformations in the Middle East, within the U.S. military, and in how we think of ourselves as a world power. This course will examine the Iraq war—its origins as a “pre-emptive” war on terror, the early U.S. and British occupation, and the unanticipated Sunni insurgency. We will revisit the bloody campaigns to defeat al Qaeda in Iraq and avert genocidal Sunni-Shiite civil strife, the rise of the American counterinsurgency tactics, the “surge,” and the emergence in the U.S. military of soldier-scholars expert in “asymmetric warfare.” We will assess the distortions of American values and law in the Abu Ghraib, electronic surveillance, and Guantanamo controversies. We will review the political debate over U.S. withdrawal, the rise of Iran as a regional power, and the emerging roles of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the ongoing “long war” against terrorism. And we will examine the geopolitical changes in the region and the impact of the war on our armed forces, U.S. prestige and power abroad, and our own culture at home.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 263
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, Lecture
PBPL 265
The Bill of Rights: A Revolution in Three Acts
The Bill of Rights, written in the 18th century, was reshaped after the Civil War in what historians have called a "second American revolution." Yet the constitutional rights we know today have been largely defined by Supreme Court decisions in the latter half of the 20th century. What forces events and personalities accounted for this "third American revolution?" How has it altered public policy and affected our day-to-day lives? How should we interpret the Bill of Rights in the Internet Age? Could a fourth rights revolution emerge in the 21st century? Or might we face a rights "counter-revolution" in the wake of the events of September 11? Students will read significant cases and related historical materials and write papers on constitutional issues.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, Public Policy 202, or Political Science102, and 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 308
Power, Values, and American Public Policy
Since the birth of our Republic, the clash of competing values has often dominated the debates of communities, legislatures, Congress and the courts. In this course students refine their own views of complex ethical choices and learn how issue advocates achieve results through the American political process. Issues will include: privacy; ethical choices and policy making in health care; capital punishment; and the role of money in politics. Special attention will be devoted to the question of how public opinion is formed and the role of the mass media in that process. The major focus of the written work will be a current public plicy issue, which each student will select. The student will analyze the issue and develop a lobbying/communications action plan to achieve a specific policy change.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 113, 123, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 316
Culture and National Security
This course addresses the impact of culture on communications and decision making in the national security arena. The class is designed to help students understand the challenges of communicating in an increasingly interconnected world between people and groups who may not hold the same core values or communications styles. It explores differing norms and national identities and their impact on the foreign policy of countries such as Japan, Germany, and the United States, as well as those in the Middle East region. The primary goals of this course are to 1) teach students to think critically and theoretically about these challenges, 2) increase their awareness of intercultural communication differences and values, and 3) gain a better understanding of the impact of national cultures on national defense, security analyses and decision-making.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 317
Cases in Environmental Policy
The course examines several major environmental issues facing the public in Connecticut through the analysis of cases that involve pollution of the air, the water, and the land. We will consider three, frequently recurring problems of environmental decision making—finding places for locally unwanted but socially necessary land uses, the inter-jurisdictional transport of pollutants, and reconciling science and politics. Students who take the course will gain a deeper understanding of public decision making in the US federal system, the empirical and normative dimensions of environmental justice, the interplay of leadership, participation and public consent, and the strategic implications of problem definition and theories of causation. Course readings will include an overview of the major US environmental programs, a text on environmental and natural resource case analysis, and selected case materials taken from the public record. Students will be graded on their contributions to class discussions, two short quizzes of their basic knowledge of the substance of the course, and their contributions to a group exercise in policy analysis. The course is offered as a complement to PBPL—302 Law and Environmental Policy. Students should find value in taking the course singly or in combination with PBPL—302.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 319
Fear, Freedom and the Constitution
Since the founding of our republic, wars and national emergencies have forced Americans to confront the tension between national security and constitutional rights. How has freedom fared in what John Kennedy called its hour of maximum danger? We explore the issues in a series of case studies from the Alien and Sedition Acts in the 18th century through the Patriot Act in the 21st century.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 201 or 202, or Political Science 307 or 316, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 321
American Legal History
America's legal system is deeply ingrained in the nations history and culture, profoundly influencing its institutions, politics, economy, and daily life. As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., put it, 'This abstraction called the Law is a magic mirror, [in which] we see reflected...the lives of all [who] have been!' The course will address the law's relationship to fundamental historical factors, including: the continuing influence of Judeo-Christian tradition; the tension, present since colonial times, between communitarian values and public welfare, on one hand, and individual rights and private property, on the other; the gradual (and incomplete) enlargement of legal concepts of 'person,' to encompass the property-less, African-Americans and other minorities, women, gays and lesbians, aliens, and enemies the dramatic increase in federal executive and regulatory power at home, and military power abroad; and the spectacular growth and polarization of American wealth. Discussion on issues of race and violence will be stressed. The course will take a chronological and interdisciplinary approach and, in addition to standard historical texts, will utilize primary documents, short stories, plays, Hollywood movies, courtroom reenactment, and haiku poetry. A previous course in American History, or introduction to law is strongly suggested.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, Public Policy 202, or Political Science102, and permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 322
Affirmative Action, Reverse Discrimination, and the Supreme Court
This course will review contemporary issues regarding race relations and the law, placing emphasis on the reading and analysis of recent Supreme Court cases interpreting the protections provided under the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The areas covered by the course will include equal protection in public accommodations, education, and housing; this course will also cover the 1960's Civil Rights Movement, affirmative action and reverse discrimination.
This course is limited to junior or senior Legal Studies minor or Public Policy and Law majors.
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 324
Bioethics, Public Policy, and Law
This course examines leading issues in bioethics, public policy, and law in relation to recent developments in medicine, public health, and the life sciences. After tracing the historical background of bioethical issues and law and deciding on methods of legal and ethical analysis, we will consider how issues in contemporary medicine, public health, and science challenge traditional ethical principles as well as existing law and public policy. Among other topics, we will explore the tension between traditional biomedical ethics, centering on individual autonomy, and the public health model, focusing on the common good. In addition to key issues involving the physician-patient relationship, reproduction, and the end of life, we will consider some or all of the following subjects: human research and experimentation; genetic testing, screening, and the use of DNA databases; genetic engineering and biotechnology; organ transplantation and allocation; ownership and the commodifying of life; bioterrorism and public health; and stem cell research and cloning. Other current issues that may be covered include the interaction of biotechnology and information technology, the green revolution and genetically modified organisms, and futurist issues such as the applications of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Recent and ongoing legal controversies will be closely examined. The course, which will proceed as a seminar, involves critical examination of issues in their legal, ethical, economic, political, religious, and cultural contexts. We will evaluate the individual, social, and ethical questions raised, and explore the feasibility and effectiveness of legal regulation. Readings will include classic expressions of ethical standards, legal cases, legislation, pertinent fiction, and timely articles and essays that deal with ethical and legal issues in their cultural context. An important goal of the course is to encourage each student to develop a method of analyzing bioethical problems from both legal and ethical perspectives.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 326
Bioterrorism, Public Health Emergencies, and the Law
This course examines issues raised by bioterrorism and public health emergencies in the context of American culture, biomedical ethics, and public policy and law. We will consider how bioterrorism and public health emergencies challenge traditional political, legal and ethical principles centering on individual autonomy and civil liberties. The course is designed to provoke thought and discussion-legal and ethical-concerning pressing issues involving major public health problems facing the United States.
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 340
Republicanism Ancient and Modern
The Republican Tradition is traced by most scholars back to Greece and the different regimes in Sparta and Athens. All of the pre-Modern Republics had in common that they were small, warlike, and homogeneous. But after the fall of Rome, the Republican Tradition went into eclipse for almost 1,500 years. The conscious search for a distinctively Modern Republican alternative, which was to be large, prosperous, less warlike and less homogeneous began with Machiavelli and traces itself through a variety of thinkers down to Montesquieu, Locke and the American Founding. There is another distinctively Modern permutation of the Republican Tradition that we will consider as exemplified by Rousseau and the French Revolution. The course will explore the nature of pre-Modern Republicanism but will focus on the distinctive nature of the rise and perfection of the Modern Liberal variant of Republicanism.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 342
Secularism and the Problem of Authority
This course sets secularism beyond its traditional association with the non- or anti- religious, and explores it as a family of ideas concerning the scope and limits of authority. Using resources and tools from the humanities and social sciences, and drawing from different historical periods and cultures, we will examine a variety of secular models of authority. These models pertain to political authority; the authority of science and other forms of expertise in education, medicine, law, and industry; and the exercise of authority in moral and aesthetic judgments.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy and Law 113, 123, or 201 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 345
The Judicial Role in Shaping Public Policy
The claim that judges and courts engage in policy-making and, therefore, in the political process, often appears to conflict with the idea that they ought to be above politics. A traditional view is that judges should identify pertinent law and apply it to the facts of a case. In this view, judges are supposed to say what the law is, not make law. In reality, judicial decision-making and judicial policy-making are coincident and inseparable activities. Public policy is established as the inevitable consequence of deciding disputes. Every decision rewards some interests and deprives others. This course considers the role of the judiciary as a political institution and examines and evaluates the wide range of circumstances in which judges and courts influence or create policy. Although some decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court will be considered, the seminar will examine the role of state as well as federal courts, and trial as well as appellate courts.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Public Policy 201, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 347
Leading Issues in Bioethics, Public Policy, and Law
This course examines leading issues in bioethics, public policy, and law in relation to recent developments in medicine, public health, and the life sciences. After tracing the historical background of bioethical issues and law and deciding on methods of legal and ethical analysis, we will consider how issues in contemporary medicine, public health, and science challenge traditional ethical principles as well as existing law and public policy. Among other topics, we will explore the tension between traditional biomedical ethics, centering on individual autonomy, and the public health model, focusing on the common good. Recent and ongoing legal cases and controversies will be closely followed along with other current developments in bioethics.
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 349
A History of the Common Law
This course will survey significant developments in the common law from the Norman Conquest through the supremacy of Parliament. Topics for discussion will include the hue and cry, feud and ordeal, trial by jury, and the writ of trespass. Special emphasis will be placed on the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest as limitations on royal authority. The course will examine the differing approaches to justice offered by the royal and church courts. The course will also include case discussions to highlight key concepts in the growth of the common law, including stare decisis. Textbooks will include Charles Rembar, The Law of the Land: The Evolution of Our Legal System; Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto; Frederic Maitland, History of English Law; and William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England.
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 360
International Human Rights
This is a survey course on the role of international human rights law in society. It will initially focus on the development of international human rights law by analyzing various global and regional treaties. The emphasis will then shift from an assessment of standard-setting to that of the implementation of human rights law. The right to food, women's rights, freedom from torture, and the death penalty will be amongst the topics of discussion. The latter half of the course will focus on the role of non-governmental organizations in advancing the implementation of international human rights law. Students will be encouraged to work on their advocacy skills through a number of exercises in class. A few leading human rights advocates will present guest lectures in class.
This course is not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 361
The Supreme Court and Public Policy
Over the past 30 years, the Supreme Court has been called upon to resolve many important and often controversial public policy questions. The 2010-2011term is no exception, and the Court will issue opinions on matters ranging from the rights of religious protesters at funerals to the liability of childhood vaccine manufacturers. The purpose of this course is two-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, many 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.
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 380
Current Controversies in Law, Science, and Public Policy
Over the past decade Americans have engaged in vigorous debate about a variety of important issues that require us to think clearly about the relationship between science, law, and public policy. Recently, issues like climate change, Gardasil vaccine, and stem cell research have captured the headlines and generated considerable controversy among politicians who often disagree about the veracity of scientific evidence. We will explore the debates surrounding the role of science in the making of public policy and consider the way in which the Obama administration is likely to adopt an approach toward these vexing and often divisive issues that differs significantly from the one implemented by President George W. Bush.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 398
Public Policy and Law Internship
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, Independent Study
PBPL 399
Open Semester
No Course Description Available.
4.00 units, Independent Study
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 400
Senior Project
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 project. (1 course credit to be completed in one semester.)
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 401
Current Issues: The Supreme Court in Transition
Over the past four decades, the Supreme Court has been called upon to resolve many important and often controversial public policy questions on which there is little political consensus. Since Justice Roberts was promoted to Chief, the Court has issued opinions on contested policy matters including affirmative action, abortion rights, campaign finance regulation, gun ownership rights, marriage equality, religious freedom, and voting rights. The purpose of this course is two-fold: (1) to familiarize students with the role of the Supreme Court as a policy making institution; and (2) to analyze recent decisions as a means of assessing the scope of the Court's power to shape public policy on issues that continue to divide Americans.
This course is only open to senior Public Policy and Law majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
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 404
The Making of the President
The outcome of this election will shape the United States for years to come. This course examines both the substantive issues and the way the candidates make their cases. How should our next president deal with such issues as healthcare, the economy and the war in Iraq? How is the Internet reshaping American politics? How many Americans in the year 2020 look back on what they have done?
This course is only open to senior Public Policy and Law majors.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 407
Power, Values, and Making American Public Policy and Law
Politicians often speak in sweeping and contradictory generalities, but once elected or appointed to public office, they must govern. Using case studies developed at the Kennedy School of Government, this course will explore how officials make tough choices in specific cases. Students will refine their own views of complex ethical/public policy issues and learn how advocates achieve results through the American political process. Controversial issues will include: what obligations government owes to ‘the least among us,’ the line between a candidate’s personal privacy and the duty of full disclosure, and the use of lies and distortions in campaigns, the media and in the confirmation of a justice of the Supreme Court. Special attention will be devoted to the question of how public opinion is formed and the role of mass media in that process.
This course is open only to Public Policy and Law majors.
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 491
Research Project
No Course Description Available.
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 801
Basic Economic Principles
The study of basic economic principles pertains to the operation of the pricing system, income distribution, national income analysis, and monetary and fiscal policy.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 802
The Rehnquist Court and Public Policy
The Rehnquist Court is the frequent target of both stinging criticism and high praise. This seminar will focus on the Rehnquist Court and constitutional interpretation, a topic of great interest to legal and public policy scholars. In the first part of the course we will familiarize ourselves with current controversies about the meaning judicial review and whether the Supreme Court is--or should be--the most authoritative interpreter of the Constitution. We will pay special attention to the Rehnquist Court’s approach to these questions. In the second part of the course we will apply our understanding of current constitutional interpretation to areas of jurisprudence in which the Rehnquist Court has been particularly active and which involve issues of religion, morality, and personal autonomy.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 805
Environmental Justice: Linking Social Research and Public Policy
This course will examine the role of social science research in defining "environmental racism" and "environmental justice," reshaping the environmental movement, and influence public policy. Published in 1987, the first national study of the demographic patterns associated with the location of hazardous waste sites inspired the formation of local advocacy groups and legal challenges to prevailing practices. The methodology, data, and application of this study will be examined for its role and use in these efforts, in other research projects, and in subsequent policy-making development, such as President's Clinton's Executive Order on Environmental Justice in 1994. Finally, comparisons with and links to international and global policies concerning environmental justice will be discussed.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 807
Introduction to the Policy-Making Process
This introductory course in political institutions and the process of making public policy in the United States should be taken as one of the first two courses in the graduate program. The class will concern itself with the role of Congress, the executive, and the judicial branches of government in the origination of policy ideas, the formulation of policy problems, and the setting of the public agenda, the making of political choices, the production of policy statutes and rules, and the affects of final government action on citizens. Special focus will be placed on the cooperation and conflicts between these traditional institutions of government and the agents of American pluralism: political parties and interest groups.
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
Illegal Drugs and Public Policy
Policies towards psychoactive substances produce enormous consequences for society. Drug policies also reflect a society's approach to pleasure, freedom, work, cultural minorities and medicine. In this course we will begin with an examination of drug policy in historical and cross-cultural perspectives, and then focus on the American experience. We will review the panoply of psychoactive drugs, and the various laws and agencies enacted to control them. We will discuss the history of the War on Drugs since the 1960's, its consequences in the criminal justice system and US foreign policy, and potential alternatives. We will review research on the nature of addiction and the efficacy of drug treatment, and the approaches to harm reduction being explored in Europe. Finally we will explore the DARE program and the campaigns against drunk driving and for medical marijuana. Students will be asked to write and present a set of research papers on these topics.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 809
Public Policy Research Boot Camp
Researching any topic in public policy might involve a wide range of information sources - scholarly articles, published in a variety of disciplines, newspapers articles and blogs, data and statistical sources, documentation produced by international, federal, state and local governments, and reports published by NGO's - to name just some. 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 in public policy. Regular attendance and access to a computer, email and the internet are expected.
0.50 units, Seminar
PBPL 810
Public Finance
No Course Description Available.
Prerequisite: B- or better in Public Policy 801
1.00 units, Independent Study
PBPL 810
Mathematics of Social Choice
How are individual preferences fashioned into a group's single social choice; and what are the natural and man-made obstacles to a fair and just result? Does the majority "rule," in spite of insincere voting, bogus amendments, fixed agendas, and the intransitivity of society? Can cumulative voting thwart the tyranny of the majority? Why are the group's "new members" problematic and can their "quarreling" be quelled? Are the measured powers of the President and Congress "separate but equal?" What can possibly be left after Arrow's Impossibility Theorem? After all is said and done, is a dictatorship so bad?
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 811
Community Development: Principles and Practice
Community development policy and practice will be examined in historical perspective and current application. Topics will include: economic development, housing, social services, infrastructures, and community research and planning.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 812
Women and Politics
This course explores the role of women in American politics across the 20th century. We will examine the collective efforts made by American women to gain political rights, secure public policies favorable to women, and achieve an equal role for women in the political realm and society more broadly. We will try to understand how and why women’s political views, voting behavior, and the rates of participation have changed over the 20th century and why they remain distinctive from men’s. We will also explore the deep ideological divisions among American women, exploring the strikingly different ways that feminists and conservative women define what is in the best interest of women. Finally we end the course by studying women as politicians. We will assess the obstacles women face in getting elected or appointed to political positions, whether or not they act differently from their male counterparts, and the significance of their input.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 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.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 819
From Rehnquist to Alito: The Future of the Supreme Court
This course will explore changes in the Supreme Court resulting from the death of Justice Rehnquist, the retirement of Justice O’Connor, and the nomination of new justices. In addition to a consideration of how and why the nomination process has become politicized over the past 30 years, we will also focus on President Bush’s recent Supreme Court nominees: John Roberts, Harriet Miers, and Samuel Alito. We will conclude with a discussion of the future direction the Supreme Court is likely to take.
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 826
Urban Administration and Public Policy
This course will allow in-depth exploration of policy issues that affect cities. By working both with technical tools of analysis and the social, historical, and political aspects of problem solving, students will select a contemporary urban issue for study. Emphasis will be placed on policy issues facing the city of Hartford and potential design choices in areas such as employment, welfare, housing, taxes/expenditures, education, and transportation. Direct interaction with public leaders will contribute to a broader understanding of the factors that affect urban decision-making.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 831
Federalism and the Policy Bargaining Process
American federalism is a system of government characterized by overlapping, semiautonomous jurisdictions. The resulting tension among the levels of government leads to frequent shifts in political authority and accountability. The focus of this course is how federalism's diffusion of power and duplication of jurisdiction affects the adoption and implementation of public policies. The effects of the principle of separation of powers or "checks and balances" at each level of government will also be studied.
1.00 units, Lecture
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
Philosophical Foundations of Environmental Law and Policy
Environmental law and policy regulate and constrain our interactions with and use of the natural environment. These regulations and constraints presuppose, at least implicitly, notions of the value of the natural environment and its components and what that value means for our obligations to our fellow humans, to non-humans, and to inanimate features of nature. The course will examine the ethical underpinnings of current environmental law and policy in light of these presuppositions and involve students in an effort to develop an adequate and systematic ethical basis for environmental law and policy.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 839
Critical Health Issues Facing The U.S.
Is the U.S. attempted entry into the community of nations which provide universal health care a moral imperative that will enhance and save millions of lives, or is the 2010 health care reform law an unnecessarily costly and unconstitutional program that will destroy free enterprise? Are Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security sustainable or will they bankrupt the nation? Have we reached the reasonable limits of life expectancy, and will new and epidemic health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, and lack of physical activity, actually reverse the advances made in the quality and length of life? These issues, along with health disparities and discrimination that still exist among a number of groups, are the focus of this course. Students will be given the opportunity to research and present a major topic of interest relevant to these issues, in addition to participation in lively discussions generated by diverse readings and guest lecturers.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 841
Health and Emerging Biotechnologies
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 843
Improving Health Care for Persons with Special Needs
Despite the expansion of Medicaid and the implementation of other provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the specific needs of various groups - those suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, incarcerated populations, children with chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions, the elderly, those in poverty, etc. - are not being met adequately. This course will focus on how the circumstances of such groups differ from the general population, what is or is not being done to address their needs, and new initiatives, policies, or programs that might be advisable. Students will choose a specific population group for analysis and development of policy recommendations for improving health care delivery to the selected group.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 844
Law & Environmental Policy
The course examines the development of environmental policy and regulation in the U.S. through analysis of case studies of national environmental policy debates and landmark environmental legislation. We will consider the historical roots of environmentalism to better understand the policies underlying state and federal laws regulating air, water, toxic waste, and use of natural resources. Students will gain an understanding of the framework and policy approaches underlying such laws. In additions, students will identify a current urban, national or global environmental issue and draft a policy memorandum for a policy maker which summarizes the issue, describes the policy choices, and proposes a course of action.
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 847
Diversity and Democracy
What is the impact of increasing religious and cultural diversity on American democratic culture and institutions? Grounded in classical theories of the function of religion in maintaining social order, this seminar addresses 1) the changing place of religion in American public life historically, 2) the shift from a public culture of communal values to one that emphasizes individual rights, and 3) contemporary debates about religious diversity.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 848
Religion, Economy and Society
An examination of economic behavior as expressive of cultural assumptions and values that define rules of appropriateness and fairness, and instill economic behavior with meaning. Beginning with the classic insights of Weber, Mauss, and Gertz, the class proceeds to explore the relationship between economic and cultural change in contemporary western societies.
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 850
Public Policy and the Politics of Power
This course will examine the executive, legislative, and judicial relationships which help to shape our complex three-branch system of government. We will analyze the core roles and influences of each individual branch on the formation and implementation of public policy, focusing on the functions of each, as well as the issues that arise when such functions overlap or conflict, as has recently been the case with the issue of presidential war powers and the congressional enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). How do the different considerations of each branch affect policy goals currently, and how will these varying perspectives affect the future of policy-making?
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 851
Living Healthier and Longer: Public Policy Opportunities and Challenges
Healthy life expectancy around the world continues to increase, and emerging technologies promise even more radical longevity. But many policy makers see a crushing burden on medicine and social services from the shifting "old age dependency ratio" and health care costs as society ages. In this course we will review the factors that have contributed to longevity, and promise to do so in the future. We will review the relationship of aging to disease and disability, and approaches to retirement and senior care around the world. We will explore the idea of a "longevity dividend" to be gained from extended healthy longevity, which may balance out the additional burdens of sick and disabled seniors. We will explore trends in informatics, home care, implants, gene therapy, and pharmaceuticals that may offer additional longevity. Students will conduct several research projects on topics related to aging, longevity, and public policy. (Warning: this class may extend your life.)
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 852
Modern Day Campaigns, Politics, and the Media: How They Influence Public Policy
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 853
Current Controversies in Law, Science, and Public Policy
Over the past decade Americans have engaged in vigorous debate about a variety of important issues that require us to think clearly about the relationship between science, law, and public policy. Recently, issues like climate change, Gardasil vaccine, and stem cell research have captured the headlines and generated considerable controversy among politicians who often disagree about the veracity of scientific evidence. We will explore the debates surrounding the role of science in the making of public policy and consider the way in which the Obama administration is likely to adopt an approach toward these vexing and often divisive issues that differs significantly from the one implemented by President George W. Bush.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 854
Leading Issues in Bioethics, Public Policy, and Law
This course examines leading issues in bioethics, public policy, and law in relation to recent developments in medicine, public health, and the life sciences. After tracing the historical background of bioethical issues and law and deciding on methods of legal and ethical analysis, we will consider how issues in contemporary medicine, public health, and science challenge traditional ethical principles as well as existing law and public policy. Among other topics, we will explore the tension between traditional biomedical ethics, centering on individual autonomy, and the public health model, focusing on the common good. Recent and ongoing legal cases and controversies will be closely followed along with other current developments in bioethics.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 855
Viewing The Wire Through a Critical Lens
Through analysis and dissection of David Simon's The Wire, this course seeks to equip students with the tools necessary to examine our postmodern society. The Wire seamlessly juxtaposes aesthetics with socio-economic issues, offering up a powerful lens for investigating our surroundings. Whether issues of unregulated free market capitalism, the bureaucracy of our school systems, politics of the media, false notions of equal opportunity, devaluation of human life, or a failed war on drugs, The Wire addresses the complexities of American urban life. Through a socio-political and cultural reading of the five individual seasons, students will be able to explore a multitude of contemporary problems.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 855
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.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 856
Policy Challenges for U.S. Criminal Justice
While many believe the U.S. has the best criminal justice system in the world, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, General Barry McCaffrey, expressed concern in 1996 that our prison system has become an American Gulag. Does the U.S., with the highest per capita imprisonment rate in the world, have too many criminal laws? Do our criminal laws rationally make the punishment fit the crime? Are criminal laws being uniformly and fairly applied, or are there disparities and discrimination that unfairly impact certain minorities? What should be the goals of our prison systems and have we been successful in these goals? These and other issues that offer opportunities for improvement in our criminal justice system are the focus of this course. Students will be given the opportunity to research and present a major topic of interest relevant to these issues, in addition to participation in lively discussions and debates generated by diverse readings and guest lecturers.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 857
Health Care Reform Policy
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which passed without a single Republican vote in either house of Congress, was immediately challenged on constitutional grounds in several states. Several of these cases have already reached the Supreme Court's docket. The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with both the legal and policy dimensions of the new health care law and the constitutional challenges to it. To achieve that end, we will examine the policy rationale for reforming the American health care system, analyze the law itself, and discuss the principal criticisms of the law. In addition, we will study the constitutional arguments made by opponents and supporters of the law, and we will evaluate the Supreme Court's decision in the three cases it agreed to hear. (The decision will be made during our summer session.) Readings will include relevant statutes, analysis and commentary by policy analysts, legal briefs submitted by the parties to the cases, and the Supreme Court's decision. Students will write one 6-8 page policy memo on health care reform and a final research paper on a topic related to the legal and policy implications of the Court's decision.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 858
Alt Paradigms for Health Care
In light of widespread recognition that providing high quality, affordable healthcare to everyone is not possible within the current, fragmented system, this course will focus on national, state, and local policy implications of alternative paradigms for addressing this dysfunctional situation. After studying the nature, causes, and implications of the current health and healthcare debacle in the U.S., students will develop their own paradigms for creating more sustainable, equitable, efficient, and effective approaches for addressing current problems, and then develop policy approaches and prescriptions for fostering the paradigm that they wish to propose.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 861
War and Public Policy: Vietnam and Iraq
This course will examine the public policy debates surrounding United States' involvement in the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, in the context of larger contemporary conflicts (the Cold War and War on Terrorism). We will study the policy rationales and contested constitutional mechanisms employed to commit the nation to these wars, and the public policy challenges presented by actual warfighting circumstances, including particularly issues of soldier conduct, treatment of civilians and prisoners, establishing goals and measuring success or failure, use of conventional v. unconventional weapons and tactics, and media coverage and information control. Students will be asked to compare the two wars from a public policy perspective, and debate their "lessons".
1.00 units, Lecture
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 863
Child Health, Child Development and Public Policy
The explosion in knowledge of early brain development, child development, and the biology of adversity has profound implications for the transformation of child health services and health policy. A critical review of the current content of child health services will assess its efficacy in developmental promotion. Promising new strategies will be explored. Key frameworks, theories, and concepts within the child health and development policy sphere will be examined through a case-based approach. The story of Help Me Grow, with its focus on early detection and intervention for vulnerable children at risk for adverse developmental and behavioral outcomes, will be shared from initial idea formulation in Hartford to its current replication in more than 20 states. Students will apply public policy concepts to propose an innovation that promotes young children’s healthy development. Readings include research articles, professional and popular texts, issue briefs, and policy statements.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 865
The Supreme Court and Public Policy
Over the past 30 years, the Supreme Court has been called upon to resolve many important and often controversial public policy questions. The 2010-2011term is no exception, and the Court will issue opinions on matters ranging from the rights of religious protesters at funerals to the liability of childhood vaccine manufacturers. The purpose of this course is two-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, many 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.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 866
The Conservative Movement
A study of the contemporary conservative movement in American politics. The course examines the history of modern conservatism from its emergence in the 1960s to its triumph in the 1980s. 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, Seminar
PBPL 866
State and Local Policy and Politics
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 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 867
Affirmative Action: The Public Policy Debate
This course will explore the educational, political, and legal dimensions of the public policy debate around the issue of affirmative action. Readings will focus on the history and evolution of affirmative action as well as the case law that has shaped the policy.
1.00 units, Lecture
PBPL 868
Obama in Afghanistan: Policy Options for a Strategic Prize
Once a graveyard for British and Soviet armed forces, Afghanistan is now a strategic epicenter of terrorism and a 21st-century prize for the United States. This course will examine the policy options facing the Obama administration in its determination to bolster the Afghan government, defeat the resurgent Taliban, and deny al-Qaeda terrorists a safe haven. What are the views of the U.S. military command, the Pentagon, the National Security Council, and the State Department? How should the United States and its allies assist Afghans to stabilize the country, arrest the rise of Taliban extremists and destroy al Qaeda sanctuaries in the northeast provinces and tribal agencies of Pakistan? We will assess the blend of special operations, counterinsurgency, economic development and governance plans and regional diplomacy on the table for this delicate political and military mission. The stakes are high: the emerging regional strategy will define future U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan--and American international prestige for years to come.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 870
The Supreme Court as Policy Maker: Voting Rights, Gay Marriage, and Affirmative Action
Over the past 30 years, the Supreme Court has been called upon to resolve many important and often controversial public policy questions. The 2012-2013 term is no exception, and the Court will issue opinions on matters including voting rights, affirmative action, search and seizure, and gay marriage. The purpose of this course is two-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, many 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.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 871
The Least Dangerous Branch? Federal Courts as Policy Makers
Over the past several decades the federal courts have been asked to resolve some of the nation's most contentious public policy questions. By Jun, the Court will issue opinions on matters including the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, gun rights, the president's authority to made recess appointments, affirmative action, and warrantless collection of cell phone data. In addition, several federal coursts have recently struck down state gay marriage bans. The purpose of this cours is two-fold: (1) to familiarize students with the role of the federal coursts in the policy-making process; and (2) to analyze these important decisions and assess their policy implications.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 872
Implementing ObamaCare in Connecticut
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to be the largest expansion of health care coverage in US history and to fix our troubled health care system. This class will compare the goals of the ACA to its early performance, public perception, and look into the future. We will explore the competing interests and impacts of stakeholders, explore barriers and facilitators of reform, and the impact of the outside forces on implementation. The class will focus in depth on Connecticut’s experience implementing the ACA. By the end of the class, students will have a practical understanding of ACA implementation in this state including the process, the players, how to track progress, and how to participate in the process.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 877
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.
1.00 units, Lecture
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 911
Bioethics and Health Policy
In the next thirty years biotechnologies will not just repair disabilities and push back diseases. They will also delay aging, increase memory and intelligence, and allow the precise control of emotions and experience. We will struggle with intergenerational justice and social priority-setting, and how to ensure that rapidly accelerating innovations are safe and equitably accessible. Healthcare technologies spread from the control of doctors and hospitals to homes and pockets. Information about our bodies and health will be monitored by our health care providers and government agencies. This course will focus on the emerging "biopolicy" conflicts around these changes, and how they are shaped by both lay and elite ethical theories and ideologies. To what extent do traditional bioethical theories, such as utilitarianism and principleism, shape emerging biopolicies, as compared to political ideologies of market versus state, or religious and social values? How do neurophilosophy and evolutionary genetics help explain why we feel certain things are right or wrong? Health policy issues to be addressed include: individual responsibility versus social solidarity; privacy versus the benefits of transparency; the perception and regulation of risk; the debate over intellectual property in human genes; the line between therapy and enhancement; the industrialization, commercialization and decentralization of medicine; the impact of radical longevity on social policy; and debates over mandatory vaccination, the control of obesity, psychoactive drugs, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and human genetic engineering. The course will be structured around role-playing debates between students assigned to adopt the perspectives of key stakeholders – principally interest groups and elected officials.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 911
Happiness and Public Policy
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Seminar
PBPL 911
Infectious Diseases and Public Policy
Medicine has made tremendous strides in overcoming infectious diseases in the 20th century. Despite this, epidemics of previously unrecognized diseases have occurred during the last 25 years, including Lyme disease, AIDS, Ebola, SARS and, potentially, avian flu. Public health observers are increasingly anxious about the possibility of devastating plagues emerging due to the erosion of Third World eco-systems and human migration. This course will examine the public policy questions raised by epidemics, including efforts to address the social, economic, and ecological origins and patterns of disease; the social construction of disease risk; stigma and control, the responsibilities of citizens, researchers, and health care workers in times of plague; global health priority-setting; and interventions to address tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera; the threat of, and efforts to control, bio-weapons; secrecy and freedom of information in the biological research monopoly; and intellectual property issues around the production and distribution of vaccines and anti-retroviral emerging technologies for the rapid detection and sequencing of pathogens; and production of vaccines.
1.00 units, Seminar
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 950
Community Research and Public Policy
This independent study will include a research project conducted for an area non-profit organization dealing with public policy issues. Projects are available in such fields as transportation, education, and community economic development. Students will meet with a professor to develop a reading list appropriate to the project and the student's interests. They will be exposed to theoretical and case-study literature keyed to the field in which they will perform research. During the course, students will participate in group activities, including an orientation to the City of Hartford and independent field research with a minimum of 5-7 hours a week. The course will conclude with development of a report and a presentation.
1.00 units, 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