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:

    No data submitted

    Class Format:

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  • PUBPOL 475 - Topics in Public Policy
    Schedule Listing
    101 (SEM)
    P
    32233
    Open
    9
    7PUBPOL UG
    10Ugrd
    -
    F 9:00AM - 12:00PM
    Note: Taught by Dudley Benoit Towsley Policymaker in Residence, Director of Community Development Investments at Santander Mr. Benoit joined NJCC?s Board in 2001 and currently serves as Board Chair and Credit Committee Chair. A nationally recognized expert on community development financial institutions (CDFIs), Mr. Benoit currently serves as Director of Community Development Investments at Santander. Mr. Benoit previously held the position of Senior Vice President and Regional Sales Manager on Chase?s Commercial Term Lending team, where he leads the multifamily lending business in the Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. markets. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Benoit spent five years managing the Intermediaries Lending group in Chase?s Community Development Banking unit, where he worked closely with many community development financiers. Mr. Benoit also previously managed JPMorgan Chase?s New Markets Tax Credit program. Mr. Benoit holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan?s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and a BA from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
    103 (SEM)
    P
    28829
    Open
    1
    4PUBPOL UG
    9Ugrd
    -
    M 6:00PM - 8:00PM
    Note: Taught by editorial page editor of The Detroit News Nolan Finley A look at the unique deal that settled Detroit's municipal bankruptcy. Foundations, corporations, foundations and governments stepped out of their normal operating boundaries to craft an $800 million agreement that allowed Detroit to move out of Chapter 9 without a fire sale of its assets or sacrificing its pensioners. The class will examine the part played by each of the principles, and how the experience in Detroit changed the way collaborations between government, foundations and the business community will work in the future. Class will feature guest appearances by and video-taped interviews with many of those involved in the Grand Bargain. It is taught by Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of The Detroit News, who covered bankruptcy. Class will be held from October 23 - December 11
    200 (SEM)
    P
    27274
    Closed
    0
     
    -
    TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
    W 6:00PM - 7:00PM
    TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
    F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
    305 (SEM)
    P
    21075
    Open
    11
    4PUBPOL UG
    8Ugrd
    -
    MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
    Note: 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.
    306 (SEM)
    P
    26482
    Open
    26
    24PUBPOL UG
    22Ugrd
    -
    Th 6:00PM - 9:00PM
    Note: This course examines the interaction of politics and policymaking at the state level. It examines issues such as the role of lobbyists, the impact of campaign and election reforms, and the relationship between state governments and other levels of government.
    307 (SEM)
    P
    32041
    Open
    6
    4PUBPOL UG
    9Ugrd
    -
    TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    Note: Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society," but who should pay and how much? In this course, we will develop the tools of policy analysis and economics to engage in several current debates in tax policy at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Examples include: - Carbon taxes, soda/sugar taxes and other sin taxes--What are the pros and cons? - "Economic development wars"--Should states and local governments use big tax breaks to lure businesses? - "Amazon tax"--Should Amazon and other online retailers have to collect state and local sales taxes? States are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and brick and mortar stores argue that online retailers have an unfair advantage. - The "Buffet Rule"--How much do the rich pay in taxes and how much should they pay? - The "Double Irish Dutch Sandwich" and other strategies to use international tax havens--What is being done? What should be done? Students will prepare short writing assignments and engage in mock debates on policy issues. The major project in the class will be the development of a white paper on a topic of choice.
    308 (SEM)
    P
    31856
    Open
    29
    7PUBPOL UG
    10Ugrd
    -
    W 4:00PM - 6:00PM
    309 (SEM)
    P
    31857
    Open
    10
    7PUBPOL UG
    9Ugrd
    -
    MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    Note: Higher Education and Public Policy --- This course will examine the higher education sector from several different angles, but with an emphasis placed on the economic issues. Topics include the benefits of higher education, government's interest in promoting it, and various policies that impact access, persistence, and affordability, and accountability. Policies examined include financial aid, affirmative action, state and federal funding, regulation of the for-profit sector, and many others. STATS 250 must be completed prior to enrolling in this course.
    502 (SEM)
    P
    31855
    Closed
    0
    5PUBPOL UG
    8Ugrd
    1
    Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
    Note: This is a short introductory course module in facilitating complex and difficult dialogic moments of engagement in the social, professional and institutional spheres of the public arena. Its purpose is to provide the possibility for actual engagement with tense social issues and phenomena bedeviling complex societies. It will briefly explore the historical and theoretical contexts, which give rise to sometimes painful and traumatic moments that filter in and color what may otherwise be perceived as simplistic conversations and interactions. It will introduce students?regardless of perceived color, gender, class, or ethnic identity categorization?to the necessity for transcending their subject locations. In order to facilitate, mediate, and engage in trans-formative moments of learning, dialogue, leadership and communal capacity building with due regard of difference and the respect of mutuality.
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