Public Policy Upper-Division Courses

C101. Drug Abuse Control Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Introduction to drug abuse as social problem and to drug abuse control as policy issue, with examination of both necessity and difficulty of making and executing wise policies around psychoactive substances. Concurrently scheduled with course C235. Letter grading.

102. Imperfect Rationality. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Idea that individuals are capable of acting rationally, in their own interest, is central to economic theory and to custom, law, and common sense thinking. Economics offers thorough account of ways in which such people should deal with choice, risk, and time. Casual observation and experimentation agree that actual behavior deviates in systematic ways from prescriptive model of rationality. Groups of rationally seeking individuals might fail to act as rationally self-seeking groups. Consideration of deviations between rational choices and actual behavior in public policies. Letter grading.

103. Ethics, Morality, and Public Life: Contemporary Controversies. (4) Lecture, four hours; outside study, eight hours. Study of ethical and moral questions that arise in public life. Goal is not to imbue students with a given body of factual knowledge or to develop new quantitative or social science methodologies to analyze such questions, but to enhance their critical thinking skills. Letter grading.

104. Culture and Political Structure of Los Angeles. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Exploration of two pieces of the puzzle in modern urban life: the different communities that live here (and in most other major cities) and political structure that binds us all together. Who are the communities living here? How do they organize themselves and develop leaders? How does integration into mainstream take place? What is “mainstream” today? How does political structure help or impede the notion of a united city? Letter grading.

105. Leadership in Public Interest. (4) Lecture, three hours. Examination of prevailing models, theories, and practices of leadership in public settings and application of them through case studies, films, and situational articles. Participation in group projects and discussions designed to improve understanding of role of leadership in mobilizing people groups to do difficult work. Introduction to literature and theory on leadership, examination of leadership and group dynamics, and challenge of leadership in times of stress and change. Letter grading.

112. Controversies in Education Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Focus on several controversial topics in contemporary education. Topics vary each year and include multiculturalism, affirmative action, test score gap, bilingual education, and school choice. Introduction to major arguments for and against several important education policies and to encourage students to critically evaluate logic and evidence behind these policies. Letter grading.

113. Politics of U.S. Health Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours. Every modern nation faces similar health system challenges, such as promoting health and longevity, providing effective treatments, balancing benefits and burdens of medical technology, and controlling healthcare costs that grow faster than national income. U.S. seems uniquely disadvantaged with lower life expectancy, problematic quality of medical services, lack of insurance for millions, and highest costs in world, hampering families, businesses, and government. What political dynamics produced this result and influence possibility and direction of ongoing policy change? Examination of meaning of health and healthcare; international experience; current status, organization, and financing of U.S. healthcare system; and factors that affect national health policymaking, including comprehensive healthcare reform: framing of problems, role of public opinion, influence of interest groups, composition and organization of Congress, and opportunities for and applications of presidential leadership. P/NP or letter grading.

C115. Environmental and Resource Economics and Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours. Requisites: Economics 11, 143. Survey of ways economics is used to define, analyze, and resolve problems of environmental management. Overview of analytical questions addressed by environmental economists that bear on public policies. Concurrently scheduled with course CM250. Letter grading.

C119. Crime Control Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Design, implementation, and evaluation of policies to control crime. Operations of major institutions within criminal justice system. Theories of crime causation and prevention and their relationship to impacts of alternative policies. Concurrently scheduled with course C219. Letter grading.

M120. Race, Inequality, and Public Policy. (4) (Same as African American Studies M120.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Background in economics, sociology, or urban studies preferred but not required. Survey course to examine major debates and current controversies concerning public policy responses to social problems in urban America. Letter grading.

C124. Budget Politics, Social Policy, and Entitlement Reform. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Examination of politics of public budgeting in the U.S., with emphasis on financing of social safety net. Exploitation of budgetary process as setting both for gaining substantive knowledge about how government really works and for developing political skills required to influence resource allocation decisions. Concurrently scheduled with course C239. Letter grading.

125. Rights and Wrongs of Affirmative Action. (4) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Exploration of race-based affirmative action from moral, political, and social philosophy standpoint. Topics include defining discrimination, individual and group equality; different meanings of “diversity”; meritocracy and its critics; historical and future-based arguments; sociology of values; possibilities for moral compromise. Letter grading.

M127. Understanding Public Issue Life Cycle. (4) (Same as Political Science M142D.) Lecture, three or four hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Recommended preparation: Political Science 10, 40, and one course from Economics 1, 2, 5, 11, or 101. Examination of how public issue life cycle is shaped by (1) economic and political incentives of various actors — business, news media, mass public, organized interests, Congress, the president, regulatory agencies, and courts and (2) ideology, cognitive biases, and ethical reasoning. P/NP or letter grading.

141. Employment and Labor Policy: Survey. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Introduction to current public policy issues in employment, labor relations, and labor markets. Historical context for current employment and labor policies in the U.S. Pro and con philosophical analysis of reasons for government regulation. Analysis of current data on labor unions, the workplace, and labor-market trends. Workforce diversity, education and training, social welfare policy, and global issues (immigration, trade, and global economy as it affects the workforce). Future trends and issues on policy horizon. Letter grading.

145. Labor Policies in the U.S.: Historical Perspective. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Insight into evolution of labor policies in the U.S. from 19th century to the present. Exploration of important policy areas such as child labor, labor standards, protective legislation for women workers, industrial relations, civil rights, occupational safety and health, and international labor standards in (1) historical context (economic, political, and social factors that shaped the debate), (2) motivation and action of major players (business, labor, government), and (3) changing patterns of government involvement in public policy. Letter grading.

146. Democracy, Disobedience, and Dissent. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: Philosophy 6 or Political Science 10. Theories of political and legal obligation and their critics; justified disobedience in response to inequality, injustice, and social exclusion; moral and religious pluralism as argument for both obedience and dissent. Letter grading.

C147. Critical Policy Issues and Problems in Globalizing World. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. To enable students to (1) think of world in dynamic terms, (2) be able to map, divide, and assemble world in many different ways, and (3) be able to articulate patterns of flux, change, and movement in world space and history. Concurrently scheduled with course C245. Letter grading.

148. Business and Public Policy. (4) Lecture, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Introduction to key issues arising at interface between business and government policy. Discussion of why government focuses so intensively on regulating economic outcomes, nature of business/government relationship, business political activity, and major government policies. Topics include economic regulation (industrial policy, antitrust, technology policy); social regulation of business (energy, environment, risk, liability, corporate governance); and corporate social responsibility, business ethics, and green business. Discussion of topics in their historical and political context, with comparison between economic regulation in the U.S. and other countries. Letter grading.

M149. California Sustainable Development: Economic Perspective. (4) (Same as Environment M135 and Urban Planning M163.) Lecture, three hours. Examination of specific environmental challenges that California faces. Microeconomic perspective used, with special emphasis on incentives of polluters to reduce their pollution and incentives of local, federal, and state government to address these issues. Focus on measurement and empirical hypothesis testing. P/NP or letter grading.

CM182. Science, Technology, and Public Policy. (4) (Same as Electrical and Computer Engineering CM182.) Lecture, three hours. Recent and continuing advances in science and technology are raising profoundly important public policy issues. Consideration of selection of critical policy issues, each of which has substantial ethical, social, economic, political, scientific, and technological aspects. Concurrently scheduled with course CM282. Letter grading.

187. Research Seminar: Public Policy. (4) Seminar, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Requisite: course 10A. Limited to and required of seniors in Public Affairs minor. Production of research project that examines in depth one particular policy issue in its social context, including political pressures involved and problems of implementation. Emphasis on skills of data acquisition and analysis, conceptualization, and written analysis and presentation. Letter grading.

189. Advanced Honors Seminars. (1) Seminar, three hours. Limited to 20 students. Designed as adjunct to undergraduate lecture course. Exploration of topics in greater depth through supplemental readings, papers, or other activities and led by lecture course instructor. May be applied toward honors credit for eligible students. Honors content noted on transcript. P/NP or letter grading.

189HC. Honors Contracts. (1) Tutorial, three hours. Limited to students in College Honors and departmental honors programs. Designed as adjunct to upper-division lecture course. Individual study with lecture course instructor to explore topics in greater depth through supplemental readings, papers, or other activities. May be repeated for maximum of 4 units. Individual honors contract required. Honors content noted on transcript. Letter grading.

191A. Variable Topics Research Seminars: Public Policy. (4) Seminar, three hours; outside study, nine hours. Examination of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instructor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

191B. Variable Topics Research Seminars: Public Policy. (3) Seminar, three hours; outside study, six hours. Examination of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instructor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

191C. Variable Topics Research Seminars: Public Policy. (2) Seminar, two hours; outside study, four hours. Examination of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instructor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

191D. Variable Topics Research Seminars: Public Policy. (1) Seminar, one hour; outside study, two hours. Examination of particular subfields of policy studies (e.g., international policy, crime policy, policy history) in depth, with specific topics to be identified by instructor. Reading, discussion, and development of culminating project. Must be taken for credit if applied toward Public Affairs minor. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading.

193A. Marschak Colloquium: Social Sciences. (2) Seminar, two hours. Limited to undergraduate students. Attendance at biweekly Marschak Colloquium presentations, highly regarded and long-standing interdisciplinary lecture series given by leading social science experts, required. Discussion of lecture topics and research models in behavioral sciences. Letter grading.

197. Individual Studies in Public Policy. (2 or 4) Tutorial, four hours. Preparation: 3.0 grade-point average. Limited to juniors/seniors. Individual intensive study, with scheduled meetings to be arranged between faculty member and student. Assigned reading and tangible evidence of mastery of subject matter required. May be repeated for credit. Individual contract required. P/NP or letter grading.