POL 2185H: Power and Public Policy
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Course Overview: An exploration of the relationship between policy and economic outcomes—or "who gets what"—in the United States. We will examine the causes of rising inequality and its effects on American democracy, with a focus on wages, taxes, food, education, and criminal justice. The first part of the course will be a look at the current state of inequality and policymaking in the United States. We will discuss the political causes and consequences of economic and social stratification, as well as the role that inequality plays in voting and elections. Along the way, we will pick up some basic skills related to statistical literacy and research design, particularly experimental research design. We will then pivot to an in-depth exploration of “who governs,” as we examine the extent to which government represents the interests of Americans across the income distribution. The final part of the course will be a survey of several policy areas that are influenced by economic inequality and serve to structure socioeconomic outcomes themselves. We will assess the levels of inequality across various dimensions (e.g.: education, criminal justice), as well as analyze policies that serve to ameliorate or exacerbate inequality. Students will complete a midterm exam as well as a longer research paper. Goals: • Understand the feedback loops between economic and political inequality • Synthesize ideas related to social policy and inequality from across social sciences • Apply various methodological and analytical approaches from across the social sciences • Learn how social scientists ask and answer interesting questions about politics • Hone critical thinking, reading, research and writing skills
Incantalupo, Matthew. (2021, Spring). Syllabus, POL 2185H: Power and Public Policy, Yeshiva College, Yeshiva University.
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