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U.S. Public Policy

Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies

Thomas E. Patterson

Public policy puts laws into action. The executive branch directs the combined activities of the federal government to address a multitude of problems, from the environment to the economy. The policies of the United States affect social issues, economic growth, taxes, regulation, and foreign affairs. This course will take a broad view of public policy in America but will use specific examples, such as the 2008 economic downturn and climate change, to illustrate the wide-ranging effects of those policies.

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Public policy puts laws into action. The executive branch directs the combined activities of the federal government to address a multitude of problems, from the environment to the economy. The policies of the United States affect social issues, economic growth, taxes, regulation, and foreign affairs. This course will take a broad view of public policy in America but will use specific examples, such as the 2008 economic downturn and climate change, to illustrate the wide-ranging effects of those policies.

We’ll address the intersection of religion and politics, and how issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage have played out in the political arena. We’ll discuss fiscal, monetary, welfare and income policy—what they are, what tools they involve, and what political divisions they create. We’ll examine partisan divisions over regulatory policy, and the basis for those divisions. Finally, we’ll trace the evolution of America’s position as a trading nation by examining trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This course will also serve as an overview of American government, concentrating on overarching tendencies such as its fragmented power structure. The importance of these tendencies will be explained by showing how thoroughly each of them affects American politics.

What's inside

Learning objectives

  • How religion and politics have been a persistent source of conflict
  • The nature of u.s. fiscal policy and monetary policy
  • How america’s welfare policies are distinct from those of other western democracies
  • The structure and politics of the u.s. tax system
  • The partisan divisions over regulatory policy and the basis for those divisions
  • The factors that made america an economic powerhouse

Syllabus

Week 1: Social Policy This session will concentrate on the intersection of religion and politics, historically and currently. We will explain how issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage have played out in ways that have aligned religious conservatives with the Republican Party and religious liberals and seculars with the Democratic Party.
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Week 2: Fiscal & Monetary Policy This session examines fiscal policy and monetary policy—what they are, what tools they involve, and what political divisions they create. The nature of these policies will be illustrated through several cases, including the policies enacted in response to the economic downturn that began in 2008.
Week 3: Welfare & Income Policy This session will describe and explain these developments, relating them to both the nature of the U.S. economy and the nature of U.S. policy. The structure and politics of the U.S. welfare system and the U.S. tax system will be points of emphasis.
Week 4: Regulatory Policy While emphasizing policy, the session will also address partisan divisions over regulatory policy, and the basis for those divisions. Several cases, most notably the politics and policies of climate change, will be used to illustrate key points.
Week 5: Foreign Policy This session will trace the evolution of America’s position as a trading nation during the post-World War II era, concentrating first on the factors that made America in the immediate post-war period the world’s unquestioned economic power and then on the factors that weakened that position. The session will conclude with an examination of the politics and policies of trade agreements, including adoption in 1993 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the rejection in 2017 of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Week 6: Dynamics of American Politics This session will serve as an overview of the course, concentrating on major tendencies within the American system, such as its fragmented power structure. The importance of these tendencies will be explained by showing how thoroughly each of them affects American politics. The purpose of this session is to reinforce and clarify the “lessons learned” during the course.

Good to know

Know what's good
, what to watch for
, and possible dealbreakers
Covers social policy through a lens of the intersection of religion and politics, emphasizing current and historical dynamics
Examines fiscal and monetary policy, explaining the concepts and tools involved, and their impacts
Explores welfare and income policies, delving into their distinctions with other Western democracies
Analyzes regulatory policy, exploring partisan divisions and their basis through relevant case studies
Investigates the evolution of America's position as a trading nation, examining factors contributing to its economic status and trade agreements
Provides an overview of American government, highlighting overarching tendencies like its fragmented power structure

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Reviews summary

Adequate overview of policy

According to students, this course provides a decent overview of the core concepts of public policy, though some learners found the coursework to be dry and the exams to be challenging. Others appreciated the flexibility and broad range of topics covered.
Course offers flexibility for learners
Course provides overview of public policy
"I think this Course improve my knowlage in any field"
"This Course is most important for any graduation And master's"
Assignments can be dry and exams are difficult
"I think this Course improve my knowlage in any field .This Course is most important for any graduation And master's ."

Career center

Learners who complete U.S. Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies will develop knowledge and skills that may be useful to these careers:
Public Policy Analyst
Public policy analysts research, analyze, and make recommendations on public policy issues. They work for a variety of organizations, including government agencies, think tanks, and non-profit organizations. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful public policy analyst, including how to research and analyze policy issues, how to write and present policy briefs, and how to communicate your findings to policymakers and the public.
Legislator
Legislators make laws and policies that govern our society. They work at the local, state, and federal levels. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful legislator, including how to research and analyze policy issues, how to build relationships with constituents, and how to communicate your message effectively.
Government Relations Manager
Government relations managers are responsible for managing relationships between their organizations and government agencies. They work to influence public policy decisions that affect their organizations. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful government relations manager, including how to research and analyze policy issues, how to build relationships with policymakers, and how to communicate your message effectively.
Lobbyist
Lobbyists play a key role in shaping public policy. Their job is to advocate for the interests of their clients, which can include businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be an effective lobbyist, including how to research and analyze policy issues, how to build relationships with policymakers, and how to communicate your message effectively.
Political Consultant
Political consultants help candidates and political organizations win elections. They develop and implement campaign strategies, raise money, and manage public relations. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful political consultant, including how to research and analyze political issues, how to develop and implement campaign strategies, and how to communicate your message effectively.
Policy Advisor
Policy advisors provide advice to policymakers on a variety of issues, including social, economic, and foreign policy. They work for a variety of organizations, including government agencies, think tanks, and non-profit organizations. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful policy advisor, including how to research and analyze policy issues, how to write and present policy briefs, and how to communicate your findings to policymakers and the public.
Diplomat
Diplomats represent their countries abroad. They work to build relationships with other countries and to promote their country's interests. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful diplomat, including how to research and analyze foreign policy issues, how to negotiate with other countries, and how to communicate your message effectively.
Community Organizer
Community organizers work to build and empower communities to address social and economic problems. They work with residents, businesses, and government agencies to create change. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful community organizer, including how to research and analyze community needs, how to build relationships with community members, and how to advocate for change.
Nonprofit Program Manager
Nonprofit program managers are responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating programs that serve the public good. They work for a variety of organizations, including social service agencies, educational institutions, and environmental groups. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful nonprofit program manager, including how to research and analyze social problems, how to develop and implement effective programs, and how to evaluate the impact of your work.
International Development Specialist
International development specialists work to improve the lives of people in developing countries. They work for a variety of organizations, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and international organizations. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful international development specialist, including how to research and analyze development issues, how to design and implement development programs, and how to evaluate the impact of your work.
Journalist
Journalists research, write, and report on news and current events. They work for a variety of media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful journalist, including how to research and analyze information, how to write clearly and concisely, and how to communicate your findings to the public.
Lawyer
Lawyers advise clients on legal matters and represent them in court. They work in a variety of practice areas, including criminal law, civil law, and corporate law. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful lawyer, including how to research and analyze legal issues, how to write and argue legal briefs, and how to communicate your findings to clients and judges.
Economist
Economists study how people make decisions in the face of scarcity. They work in a variety of settings, including academia, government, and business. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful economist, including how to research and analyze economic data, how to build and test economic models, and how to communicate your findings to policymakers and the public.
Teacher
Teachers educate students in a variety of subjects, including social studies, English, math, and science. They work in a variety of settings, including public schools, private schools, and charter schools. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful teacher, including how to plan and deliver lessons, how to assess student learning, and how to create a positive learning environment.
Social Worker
Social workers help people cope with personal and social problems. They work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics. This course will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful social worker, including how to assess and intervene in social problems, how to work with clients from diverse backgrounds, and how to advocate for social justice.

Reading list

We've selected eight books that we think will supplement your learning. Use these to develop background knowledge, enrich your coursework, and gain a deeper understanding of the topics covered in U.S. Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the public policy process. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how public policy is made and implemented.
Provides a comprehensive overview of monetary policy. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how the central bank uses monetary policy to manage the economy.
Provides a comprehensive history of American trade policy. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how the United States has used trade policy to achieve its economic and foreign policy goals.
Provides a comprehensive overview of policy analysis in public administration. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how public policy is made and implemented.
Provides a comprehensive overview of public policy from a comparative perspective. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how public policy is made and implemented in different countries.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the politics of the American economy. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how the government uses economic policy to achieve its political goals.
Provides a comprehensive overview of public policy. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand how public policy is made and implemented.

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