PUBPOL 750 - Special Topics
Fall 2016, Section 308 - Psychology of Climate Change
Instruction Mode: Section 308 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Public Policy (PUBPOL)
Department: SPP: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
3 (Non-LSA credit).
Waitlist Capacity:
99
Advisory Prerequisites:
Permission of Instructor.
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Description

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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  • Schedule

    PUBPOL 750 - Special Topics
    Schedule Listing
    101 (LEC)
     In Person
    27336
    Open
    6
     
    5Graduate Standing
    15PUBLIC POL GRAD
    -
    M 4:00PM - 6:00PM
    Note: The class deals with the political, practical and substantive facets of policy making. We do this by analyzing the passage - and sometimes failure - of signature pieces of federal legislation that imposed massive change on the country. We study LBJ's civil rights act, GW Bush's no child left behind act and Clinton's welfare reform. We study the similarities and differences politically and substantively of how each was passed and then look at how that President and Congress and subsequent ones confronted continued enforcement of the law and policy changes. We don't confine our study to just these 3 men and their policy changes, but will often bring in other big political/policy moments/changes to underscore points.
    103 (LEC)
     In Person
    27484
    Closed
    0
    5Graduate Standing
    12PUBLIC POL GRAD
     
    1
    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 on the following dates: Oct 31, Nov 14, 21, 28, Dec 5 and 12
    200 (LEC)
     In Person
    27333
    Closed
    0
     
    -
    MW 4:00PM - 7:00PM
    MW 2:30PM - 7:00PM
    MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
    TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
    TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
    TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
    F 9:00AM - 12:00PM
    TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
    304 (LEC)
     In Person
    27332
    Open
    6
     
    5Graduate Standing
    15PUBLIC POL GRAD
    -
    MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
    Note: Taught by outgoing White House Deputy Director James Kvaal This course will delve into policy issues and controversies in the US Higher Education system. Topics will include: affordability issues and student debt, scholarships, and "free tuition"; efforts to encourage access and diversity in higher education including affirmative action in light of Supreme Court decisions; graduation rates; and technology, MOOCs, and the future of higher education.
    305 (LEC)
     In Person
    27327
    Open
    15
    22Graduate Standing
    -
    TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    Note: In 2017-2018, the University of Michigan will celebrate its Bicentennial, two hundred years of leadership in American higher education. The study of Michigan's history its current challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities, and its future possibilities illustrates not only many of the key policy issues that have shaped American higher education but also suggests those that will challenge both the University and the nation in the years ahead. This course will consider the University as an exemplar both of the evolution of higher education and the forces that will shape it in the future. Included will be subjects such as the cost, price, and value of a college education (e.g., who benefits, who pays), the ability to serve an increasingly diverse population, and the critical role of university research in determining the prosperity, security, and public welfare of the nation. Current issues such as student activism, diversity, faculty tenure, the financing of higher education, college sports, and the political environment characterizing higher education will be considered. Of particular importance will be a consideration of the future of the university, considering issues such as changing demographics, globalization, and the rapid evolution of key technologies such as cyber infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and gene editing, again using the University of Michigan as a case study.
    308 (LEC)
     In Person
    27998
    Open
    13
    7Graduate Standing
    15PUBLIC POL GRAD
     
    -
    TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
    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.
    309 (LEC)
     In Person
    33046
    Closed
    0
     
    -
    MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
    Note: Global financial markets provide both opportunities and risks for macroeconomic policymakers. In this course we will explore the role of financial markets in economic development, the causes and consequences of financial crises, whether and how policies and institutions can be used to stabilize markets and help countries recover from crises, and what lessons we can learn from recent experiences which might help prevent future crises. There will be heavy emphasis on understanding and using data to study country experiences -- with examples drawn from developing and industrial economies.
    310 (LEC)
     In Person
    33416
    Open
    20
     
    -
    MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
    Note: What is a "global" environmental problem, and how do we "know" when we have one? How have societies conceived of the environment in the past, and how might we re-imagine our relationship to the environment today to ensure a sustainable future? How have innovations in science and technology shaped our current approaches to managing planet Earth? In this course, we'll draw on insights from political science, anthropology, history, and science and technology studies to explore how people's views on what the global environment is and how it should be managed have changed over time. In particular, we'll consider the various political and ethical dilemmas that often arise when those views differ. Climate change and biodiversity conservation will be key topics in the course. Students will learn how to write policy memos and develop oral presentations for a general audience.
    502 (LEC)
     In Person
    25171
    Closed
    0
     
    1
    Tu 4:00PM - 6:00PM
    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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