11.002J / 17.30J Fundamentals of Public Policy

Fall 2004

The cover of the Federalist Papers.

The cover of the Federalist Papers. (Image courtesy of Teaching Politics.)

Course Highlights

This course features an in-depth set of lecture notes on topics in public policy, as well as a detailed list of readings by topic. Together, they give a comprehensive look at the subject of this class.

Course Description

Fundamentals of Public Policy is an introductory course that explores policy-making as both a problem-solving process and a political process. We look at policy-making from the perspective of different focal actors and institutions, including: administrative agencies, legislators, the courts, the mass public, interest groups, and the media. We examine the interplay between policy development and institutions, and review normative and empirical models of policy-making.

Exploring these issues will require us to address questions like: How and why does something come to be seen as a "public problem" requiring a governmental response, while others fail to get attention? Why do we need public policies? What determines the content and nature of public policies? Who decides public policy priorities? Does public policy ever accomplish anything worthwhile?

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. David Laws
Prof. Steve Meyer

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / sessions

One session / week
1 hour / session



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