PUBPOL 475 - Topics in Public Policy
Section: 305
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Public Policy (PUBPOL)
Department: SPP: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Credits:
3 (Non-LSA credit).
Waitlist Capacity:
99
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Climate change often feels like a problem that our brains have been hardwired to ignore. Climate change is abstract and complex, making it hard for non-scientists (including policy-makers) to understand. For most Americans, it is a problem that will harm people who are far away in time and geography. And the significant political polarization surrounding climate change has turned it into a form of identity politics. Yet like so many environmental problems—from habitat destruction to overconsumption of natural resources—climate change is the result of human behavior. If we want to solve or mitigate these problems, we must first understand what is driving these beliefs and behaviors.

Most policy to address environmental issues such as climate change has focused on legal or economic tools such as prohibiting certain forms of pollution or giving subsidies for renewable energy. In this discussion-based policy seminar, we will examine an alternative framework for motivating environmentally-friendly behavior: psychological and social incentives. We will explore factors affecting climate change beliefs and related behaviors, including reactions to and support for policies. The focus will be primarily on the US, and we will discuss policy programs and private interventions that have incorporated social psychological research to promote climate change mitigation as well as potential new applications of this research. Although this class will mainly cover climate change and other environmental issues, the psychological tools we will discuss are used in other domains as well, so will be useful to students interested in a range of policy topics.

Course Objectives

  • Gain a critical understanding of the social and psychological factors that influence climate change beliefs and behaviors, including topics such as information deficits, identity, social norms, motivated reasoning, psychological distance, and habits;
  • Learn to evaluate (and improve) existing climate and environmental policy interventions using social psychological principles;
  • Develop the ability to apply behavioral intervention tools to real-world problems;
  • Enhance analytical and writing skills via a final paper that proposes a climate-related behavior intervention.

    Course Requirements:

    No data submitted

    Intended Audience:

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    Class Format:

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  • PUBPOL 475 - Topics in Public Policy
    Schedule Listing
    101 (SEM)
    P
    32233
    Open
    9
     
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    103 (SEM)
    P
    28829
    Open
    1
     
    -
     
    200 (SEM)
    P
    27274
    Closed
    0
     
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    F 8:30AM - 2:30PM
    F 8:30AM - 11:00AM
    TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
    305 (SEM)
    P
    21075
    Open
    11
    6Ugrd
    -
    MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
    Note: More than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, significant gender and ethno-racial inequality in the labor market remains. Why? This course relies on a multidisciplinary literature from sociology, economics, psychology, moral philosophy, and socio-legal studies to examine ethno-racial and gender inequality in the labor market. We will first review and evaluate major explanations of inequality in the labor market, including employer discrimination, human capital differences, sexual harassment, occupational sex segregation, mass incarceration, inflexible workplaces, and segregated social networks. Then, we will discuss public policies and organizational efforts that seek to directly or indirectly ameliorate ethno-racial and/or gender inequality, such as paid family leave, "ban the box," unconscious bias and sexual harassment trainings, and increases to the minimum wage. We will discuss the motivation for these remedies, their effectiveness, and the ethical questions they raise.
    306 (SEM)
    P
    26482
    Open
    26
    4Ugrd
    -
    MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    Note: Fulfills the BA in Public Policy Values & Ethics requirement. Immigration is a phenomenon that touches upon every aspect of American society, from economic growth to neighborhood institutions to national culture. This seminar provides an overview of the effects of immigration on the United States and of the United States on immigrants, with particular emphasis on policies that govern the flow of immigration and that seek to regulate its impact. Topics include immigration law and its development; attitudes toward immigration and immigrants; unauthorized migration; return migration and transnational communities; labor market issues; economic mobility and economic and social niches; political inclusion, organization and co-optation; Americanization and assimilation; generational change; language controversies; ethnic and pan-ethnic identities; and the commercialization of immigrant cultures.
    307 (SEM)
    P
    32041
    Open
    6
     
    -
     
    308 (SEM)
    P
    31856
    Open
    29
     
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    309 (SEM)
    P
    31857
    Open
    10
     
    -
     
    502 (SEM)
    P
    31855
    Closed
    0
     
    1
     
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