PUBAFRS 2110 Intro to Public Affairs

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to the range of topics that constitute “public affairs.” The first section of the course provides an introduction to the policy making process — emphasizing theoretical frameworks that help students understand how actors and institutions (both in and out of government) interact to produce public policies. The remainder of the course introduces students to the core crafts on which schools of public affairs focus: policy analysis & evaluation and public administration & management. The former entails the generation of rational advice relevant to public decisions and the systematic evaluation of the impact of public policies and programs. The latter focuses on the management of public agencies and non-profit organizations and the implementation of public policy.

Course learning goals and objectives are pursued via lectures, written assignments, online and in-person discussions, and in-person exams. You will be expected to access the online components of the course and participate multiple times during the week, equivalent to the total in-class and out-of-class time commitment of an in-person 3-credit course.

Course Learning Objectives

After completing this course, students will:

  • Understand the process by which U.S. public policy is developed and implemented
  • Be familiar with techniques for providing rational advice to public-sector decision-makers; evaluating the impact of public policies on societal outcomes; and managing public and non-profit organizations
  • Be able to apply public affairs concepts and frameworks to real-world public challenges