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Theories and Principles of Socially Just Policies

SW638, Section 001

In this course, students will be exposed to various theoretical frameworks informing policy development, delve deeply into the role of different institutional actors in the policy process, and gain an understanding of basic economic principles frequently employed in policy debates and discussions. With this knowledge, students will be able to identify, in a more sophisticated and nuanced way, policies that promote social justice and those that do not; understand how certain theoretical frameworks and ideas have been used to oppress and to empower different groups, and identify points of interventions within existing institutions.

One part of the course will cover different concepts of justice, fairness, and equity as they apply to public policy, including Rawls’ theory of justice and Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed. Student will also interrogate ideas about neoliberalism, capitalism, globalization, and financialization and their influence on policies. A second part of the course will allow students to look closely at various actors in the policy process, including but not limited to: federal agencies; the courts; and international institutions such as the World Bank. Finally, students will be introduced to concepts from economic theory that often used to promote or thwart the development of certain policies. This includes the concepts of supply and demand; market failure; and public goods.

Semester: Winter 2020
Instructor: Kristin S. Seefeldt
U-M Class #: 33834
Time: Tue 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: 2629 SSWB
Program Type: Residential
Credits: 3 Credit Hours

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