Public Policy Track Courses

PBPL 26: Health Policy & Clinical Practice

Health care in the United States costs more than in other countries, but is it better? Answering this question requires understanding a wide range of subjects, including the pathophysiology of disease, clinical decision making, epidemiology, and public policy. This course provides an introduction to these tools. We will also consider additional questions: Is more screening and early diagnosis the best way to stay healthy? Does more treatment always help people feel better? And how has the “Dartmouth School” of health policy contributed to the debate? Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

PDF iconPBPL 26 Syllabus

PBPL 28/GOVT 30.09: Law, Courts, and Judges

This course explores fundamental questions about American law, courts, and judges.  Do courts administer “Equal Justice Under Law,” as the Supreme Court’s facade promises, or are cases determined by “what the judge ate for breakfast,” as Judge Jerome Frank famously claimed?  Are judges political?  Can courts produce social change, or is law a conservative force?  What incentives shape the legal profession?  We address issues ranging from the Supreme Court and civil rights to small claims courts and street harassment.  Distr: SOC. WCult: W.

PBPL 51: Leadership in Civil Society

This course examines the relationship between leadership and civil society. Known commonly as the “nonprofit” sector, civil society mediates the space between citizens and the state, and is often how citizens engage in public problem solving, have a direct impact on policy, and participate in civic life. This course focuses on aspects of leadership directly applicable to organizational manifestations of civil society: nongovernmental and social movement organizations, philanthropy, religious institutions, media, and public interest groups. Students will explore nonprofit and public leadership as it relates to these organizations, and critically analyze concepts of social capital, grassroots mobilization, interest group influence, organizational maintenance, political representation, and civic action. The course also looks at political parties and coalitions as aggregators of societal interests and as intermediaries between citizens and the state. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

PBPL 52/GOVT 30.02: Leadership and Political Institutions

This course explores how political leaders in the U.S. reconcile the constraints of public office with the opportunities to make major changes in society. Drawing from diverse materials on the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, the course explores the following questions: How does leadership differ in the public and private spheres? What personal skills and attributes affect the success or failure of leaders of political institutions? What criteria do/should citizens apply to public leaders? How do political context and historical contingency shape institutional leadership? Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

PDF iconPBPL 52 Syllabus

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences