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

Introductory Courses

Please review the prerequisites for the public policy minor.

Gateway Policymaking Course PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy

This course is designed as the gateway offering for students beginning to pursue a minor in public policy through the Rockefeller Center. The term will be divided into four main components:

  • The nature of public policy: What is public policy, who makes it, and why study it?
  • Making public policy: The process, structure, and context of policymaking
  • The policy players: Institutional and non-institutional actors
  • The policy game: Rules, strategies, culture, and resources

In the concluding section of the course, we will be pursuing specific policy domains—environmental policy, education policy, health care policy, welfare policy, immigration policy, and defense policy. QDS: Soc; WCult: W.

***Please Note:  Books needed for Winter 2018:

  • Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making, 4th edition, Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, ISBN 978-0-7656-4662-0, $47.95
  • Robert A. Katzmann, Judging Statutes, New York: Oxford University Press,  2016, ISBN:  0190263296, Paperback
  • Stella Z. Theodoulou and Matthew A. Cahn, eds., Public Policy: The Essential Readings, Second Edition, Pearson, 2013, ISBN: 0205856330, Paperback
  • George E. Shambaugh IV and Paul J. Weinstein, Jr., The Art of Policy Making: Tools, Techniques, and Processes in the Modern Executive Branch, Sage-CQ Press, 2016, Second Edition, ISBN: 0483385518, Paperback
  • Harold Winter, Trade-Offs: An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and Social Issues, University of Chicago Press, Second Edition, 2013, Paperback, ISBN: 978-0226924496, $25.00
  • Jim Nussle and Peter Orszag, Moneyball for Government, Second Edition, Disruption Books, 2015, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1633310032

PDF iconSyllabus for PBPL 5

First-Year Seminar: PBPL 7: Leadership and Foreign Policy Decision-making

Do heads of state matter when it comes to making foreign policy decisions? We certainly act as if they do and we vote as if they do. But how and when do they matter most? In this course, we will study the essence of foreign policy decision-making with a special emphasis on the sorts of decisions that leaders can and do make. As we do so, we will be introduced to a number of concepts that will help to explain the processes of foreign policy decision-making. These include the political psychology of leaders, the dangers of groupthink and crisis decision-making, and the role that various organizations play in setting foreign policy. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

PDF iconSyllabus for PBPL 7

PBPL 10: Statistical Analysis for Public Policy

This class is a prerequisite option for the public policy minor. One course in quantitative and statistical methods is required for the minor. Other options for this prerequisite include ECON 10, GOVT 10, MATH 10, PSYCH 10, SOCY 10, MSS 15, GEOG 11, GEOG 50, SOCY 11, EDUC 11.

Public policy analysis involves quantitative methods and statistical methods in particular. PBPL 10 introduces students to basic statistical techniques and to the statistical software package, STATA, with a heavy emphasis on application, from the initial stages of data exploration to presentation of results. Coursework will involve “real world” policies and problems and will utilize existing datasets from the public policy sphere. The course will also consider research design and the ethics of quantitative policy research. Because of the large overlap in material covered, students may not receive credit for more than one of the following courses: Public Policy 10, Economics 10, Government 10, Mathematics 10, Psychology 10, Mathematics and Social Sciences 15, or Sociology 10 except by special petition. Dist: QDS.

 

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