Department Website: https://harris.uchicago.edu/academics/undergraduate
Program of Study
Public Policy Studies is a multidisciplinary major grounded in the social sciences, with substantial inputs from economics, sociology, political science, and law, among other disciplines. The major recognizes that public issues are not neatly contained within traditional disciplinary boundaries and that analysts possessing a broad range of social scientific understanding, quantitative expertise, and communication skills are well placed to contribute to improved public policies. Public Policy involves direct contact with policy problems, ensuring that academic speculations are well-informed and connected to real-world conditions.
The Public Policy Studies major strives to put analysis before advocacy, stressing that compelling policy analysis is a central component of effective advocacy. We aim to be open and helpful to students of all political persuasions and challenge students to rethink clichéd responses to policy problems. The program of study for the BA degree in Public Policy Studies is designed to introduce students to policy analysis and implementation, equip them to use quantitative and economic methods, train them in policy research, enhance their spoken and written policy communication skills, and provide them with a thorough grounding in one or more specific policy areas.
Two quarters of calculus, one quarter of statistics, five “core” Public Policy courses, one “Methods” and one “Windows” course, three related courses constituting an area of specialization, a BA paper preparation course, and a successful BA paper (senior thesis): these are the necessary components for completing the Public Policy Studies major. The calculus and statistics requirements, and frequently some courses constituting an area of specialization, too, are generally fulfilled through courses offered in programss outside of Public Policy Studies. Students have considerable flexibility in terms of when in their undergraduate career they take the required courses. One useful precept, however, is that it is helpful (though not required) to have taken the Methods and Windows courses, as well as most of the core courses, before embarking on the BA paper.
Calculus and Statistics: Public Policy Studies students take two quarters of calculus (typically MATH 13100-13200 Elementary Functions and Calculus I-II or MATH 15100-15200 Calculus I-II), and one quarter of statistics (either STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications or STAT 23400 Statistical Models and Methods).
Five Public Policy Core Courses: Students are required to take PBPL 20000 Economics for Public Policy; an acceptable substitute for PBPL 20000, however, is ECON 20000 The Elements of Economic Analysis I. Completion of PBPL 20000 (or ECON 20000) is a prerequisite for the required course PBPL 22200 Public Policy Analysis. With the exception of PBPL 20000 Economics for Public Policy (which must be taken prior to PBPL 22200), the core courses can be taken in any order, and the core requirements can be fulfilled over multiple academic years.
The five core courses are listed in the table below. Except for PBPL 22300 Policy Implementation, the core courses typically are offered only one quarter each academic year: for instance, PBPL 22100 Politics and Policy is offered in the Autumn Quarter, and PBPL 22200 Public Policy Analysis is offered in the Winter Quarter. This standard timing, however, is subject to change, so students should check with their academic adviser before committing to a plan that necessitates, for instance, taking a specific core course in the quarter just before graduation.
|PBPL 20000||Economics for Public Policy||100|
|PBPL 22100||Politics and Policy||100|
|PBPL 22200||Public Policy Analysis||100|
|PBPL 22300||Policy Implementation||100|
|PBPL 26400||Quantitative Methods in Public Policy||100|
Methods and Windows
Students must take one “Methods” course and one “Windows” course to fulfill the practicum requirement of the major. The practicum requirement is designed to help students to learn research methods (e.g., demography, interviewing, GIS mapping, survey design) and then apply their methodological skills in a “real world” context, opening a “window” from the ivory tower into the outside world. Some Windows courses, in particular, involve collective work on a substantive policy problem with a community organization or government entity.
A sample of approved Methods and Windows courses are listed in the tables below; for a more complete list, please see harris.uchicago.edu/academics/undergraduate/overview/practicum. Students can also petition to fulfill their Methods or their Windows requirement with an appropriate course that is not listed.
Some approved Methods courses:
|PBPL 26303||Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Urban Education||100|
|PBPL 26304||Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Policing||100|
|PBPL 26355||Environmental Justice Field Research Project II||100|
|PBPL 28829||Artificial Intelligence for Public Policy||100|
|CHDV 20100||Human Development Research Design||100|
|GEOG 20273||Urban Spatial Archaeology I||100|
|GEOG 28202||Geographic Information Science I||100|
|PPHA 34600||Program Evaluation||100|
|SOCI 20140||Qualitative Field Methods||100|
Some approved Windows courses:
|PBPL 24751||The Business of Non-Profits and The Evolving Social Sector||100|
|PBPL 26255||Environmental Justice Field Research Project I (also PBPL 26355)||100|
|PBPL 26303||Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Urban Education||100|
|PBPL 26304||Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Policing||100|
|PBPL 26433||Practicum in Environmental Management||100|
|CHDV 20305||Inequality in Urban Spaces||100|
|ENST 27155||Urban Design with Nature||100|
|ENST 27221||Sustainable Urbanism||100|
|SOCI 20140||Qualitative Field Methods||100|
Area of Specialization
Students are required to complete three related, policy-relevant courses that together constitute their area of specialization. The specialization courses must be related with respect to a policy sub-field, such as Urban Policy, Human Rights, or Environmental Policy. Specialization courses can be drawn from any academic department, but at least one of the three courses must be listed within Public Policy Studies. Proposed areas of specialization can be pre-approved before some or all of the constituent courses have been taken. Please see the Public Policy Studies website for examples of recommended specializations: harris.uchicago.edu/academics/undergraduate/overview/specialization.
The BA Prep Course and the BA Paper
All Public Policy Studies majors must produce a substantial piece of policy-relevant research—their BA paper (or senior thesis)—which is intended to serve as a capstone experience for students within the major. The BA paper–creating process covers almost an entire academic year, from the Autumn Quarter through the early Spring Quarter. As part of the process, students are required to take PBPL 29800 BA Seminar: Public Policy in the Autumn Quarter of their final (typically fourth) year. A public presentation of the BA paper at the annual BA Paper Symposium is also required for Public Policy Studies majors. More information about the BA Thesis process can be found at harris.uchicago.edu/academics/undergraduate/overview/thesis.
Students majoring in Public Policy Studies should subscribe to our e-mail list email@example.com, which disseminates announcements concerning courses, internships, fellowships, and other information connected with the major. You can subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of Requirements
|MATH 13100-13200||Elementary Functions and Calculus I-II (or higher)||200|
|STAT 22000||Statistical Methods and Applications||100|
|or STAT 23400||Statistical Models and Methods|
|PBPL 20000||Economics for Public Policy||100|
|PBPL 22100||Politics and Policy||100|
|PBPL 22200||Public Policy Analysis||100|
|PBPL 22300||Policy Implementation||100|
|PBPL 26400||Quantitative Methods in Public Policy||100|
|Approved Methods Course||100|
|Approved Windows Course||100|
|Three Courses in an Area of Specialization||300|
|PBPL 29800||BA Seminar: Public Policy||100|
|BA Paper and Public Presentation|
All courses counting toward the public policy major must be taken for quality grades.
Fourth-year students are eligible for honors if their overall GPA is 3.4 or higher. Qualifying students are recommended for honors if their BA papers are judged to be of superior quality. For additional information about honors, please visit harris.uchicago.edu/academics/undergraduate/overview/thesis.
The University of Chicago’s Spring quarter Barcelona Public Policy program provides University of Chicago students with an opportunity to study comparative public policy in the exciting cultural and political capital of Catalonia in northeastern Spain. The program is designed to expose students to policymaking in a non-U.S. setting through a combination of courses and excursions that will allow students to learn how the political and policymaking system operates in other nations. The three-course Public Policy sequence will meet the requirement for three courses in an area of specialization within the Public Policy major (though students need not be Public Policy majors to participate in the program). In addition to the Public Policy sequence, participants take a fourth course in Spanish language. Students with sufficient knowledge of Catalan may substitute a Catalan language course in place of the Spanish language course. For more information, or to apply, visit the Study Abroad website.
Public Policy Studies (PBPL) Courses
PBPL 20000. Economics for Public Policy. 100 Units.
This course develops the microeconomic theories of consumer and producer choices, as well as demonstrates the application of these theoretical tools to policy problems. Supply, demand, and competitive markets are examined, along with the conditions under which government policy can increase efficiency.
Instructor(s): R. Kellogg Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Completion of two quarters of calculus required; prior knowledge of economics not required. For ECON majors and students who have taken ECON 20000: consent of instructor required.
Note(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000 is required of all students who are majoring in public policy. PBPL 20000 satisfies the ECON 20000 prerequisite for PBPL 22200. Students who have taken ECON 20000 require the instructor's consent to enroll in PBPL 20000.
PBPL 20115. Women, Peace and Security. 100 Units.
This course focuses on critical feminist theorizing and scholarship on militarization, war and masculinities, and on feminist articulations of peace and (demilitarized) security. Students will learn about the transnational feminist research, policy and advocacy network known as the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, and the important inroads this network has made in establishing international and national policies in the fields of gender, conflict, peace and development. The course highlights the background, history and policy significance of the historic Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, as well as subsequent and related UN resolutions. Students will also learn about alternative feminist approaches and visions for international peace and security, through powerful case study examples of feminist activism, solidarity and diplomacy.
Instructor(s): Maliha Chishti Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): PBPL 28498 Women, Development and Politics (recommended)
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 20115
PBPL 20150. Sustainable Urban Development. 100 Units.
The course covers concepts and methods of sustainable urbanism, livable cities, resiliency, and smart growth principles from a social, environmental and economic perspective.
Instructor(s): Evan Carver Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): ENST 21201 and 20150 are required of students who are majoring in Environmental and Urban Studies and may be taken in any order.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20150, ARCH 20150, GLST 20150
PBPL 20170. Pandemics, Urban Space, and Public Life. 100 Units.
Much of the cultural vibrance, economic strength, and social innovation that characterizes cities can be credited to their density. Put simply, cities bring people together, and togetherness allows for complex and fruitful exchange. But togetherness also brings risks, notably from infectious disease. A pandemic feeds on propinquity. "Social distance," while a short-term public health imperative, is antithetical to the very idea of the urban. In this seminar, we will explore these competing tensions in light of current and past disease outbreaks in urban settings. Drawing on a range of texts from history, design theory, sociology, and anthropology, as well as cultural artifacts like film, graphic memoir, and photography, we will engage questions like: How are the risks of contagion balanced with the benefits of density? How are such risks distributed throughout society? What creative responses have architects, urban designers, and planners brought to this challenge? Most importantly, how can we respond constructively to the challenge of pandemic to create cities where the benefits of togetherness are maximized, perhaps even improved on compared with the pre-outbreak condition? Students will have the opportunity to propose design or policy interventions to help their own communities cope with the present coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis as it is unfolding and to return to post-pandemic life more vibrant than ever.
Instructor(s): Evan Carver Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20170, HLTH 20170, ARCH 20170, GEOG 20170
PBPL 20521. Sociology of urban planning: cities, territories, environments. 100 Units.
This course provides a high-intensity introduction to the sociology of urban planning practice under modern capitalism. Building upon urban sociology, planning theory and history as well as urban social science and environmental studies, we explore the emergence, development and continual transformation of urban planning in relation to changing configurations of capitalist urbanization, modern state power, sociopolitical insurgency and environmental crisis. Following an initial exploration of divergent conceptualizations of "planning" and "urbanization," we investigate the changing sites and targets of planning; struggles regarding the instruments, goals and constituencies of planning; the contradictory connections between planning and diverse configurations of power in modern society (including class, race, gender and sexuality); and the possibility that new forms of planning might help produce more socially just and environmentally sane forms of urbanization in the future.
Instructor(s): N. Brenner Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 20521, ARCH 20521, GEOG 20521, ENST 20521, SOCI 20521, PPHA 30521, SOCI 30521, KNOW 30521, PLSC 30521, CHST 20521
PBPL 20702. Introduction to Environmental Ethics. 100 Units.
This course will examine answers to four questions that have been foundational to environmental ethics: Are religious traditions responsible for environmental crises? To what degree can religions address environmental crises? Does the natural world have intrinsic value in addition to instrumental value to humans, and does the type of value the world has imply anything about human responsibility? What point of view (anthropocentrism, biocentrism, theocentrism) should ground an environmental ethic? Since all four of the above questions are highly contested questions, we will examine a constellation of responses to each question. During the quarter we will read texts from a wide variety of religious and philosophical perspectives, though I note that the questions we are studying arose out of the western response to environmental crises and so often use that language. Some emphasis will be given to particularly influential texts, thinkers, and points of view in the scholarship of environmental ethics. As the questions above indicate, the course prioritizes theoretical issues in environmental ethics that can relate to many different applied subjects (e.g. energy, water, animals, climate change) rather than emphasizing these applied issues themselves. Taking this focus will give you the background necessary to work on such issues.
Instructor(s): Sarah Fredericks Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 30702, KNOW 20702, ENST 24106, KNOW 30702, RLST 24106, LLSO 24106
PBPL 21011. Clinical Research Design and Interpretation of Health Data. 100 Units.
This course will introduce the interdisciplinary field of clinically-oriented health services research with a focus on the interpretation of health-related metrics and policy-related applications. We will examine how translational medical science informs healthcare providers, payers, and professional societies. COVID-19 and postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy will illustrate the challenges of data interpretation, translation of research findings into clinical medicine, and the adoption of evidence-based guidelines. Using a highly interactive approach, students will gain experience in selection of research study designs, measurement of health status, risk adjustment, causal inference, and understanding the placebo effect. We will discuss how clinicians, administrators, and public reporting entities judge and use information derived from investigations. The COVID-19 pandemic will demonstrate the challenges that varied clinical presentations, diagnostic accuracy, and case definition (identification of diseased patients) create in the formulation of health statistics (e.g. case-fatality rates and disease attribution of mortality). We will also discuss methods of defining study populations for both clinical research and public health reporting.
Instructor(s): Gregory Ruhnke Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 29331, CCTS 41011, CCTS 21011, HLTH 21011
PBPL 21220. Cities Through Space and Time. 100 Units.
This course introduces you to cities. What are cities? Where do they come from? How do they work? In Calvino's words, what are the "invisible reasons that make cities live"? And, crucially, how can cities be better than they are today? In investigating these questions, we will explore the spatial, economic, cultural, political, and social aspects of cities, including topics like industrialization, transportation technologies, social movements, gentrification, and environmental design. We will examine case studies drawn from both the Global North and South that will help us see how the ideas we explore are being worked out in actual practice in cities, and we will also explore the qualitative, quantitative, and spatial tools used for studying cities. Class sessions will involve a mix of (interactive) lectures, discussion, and exercises. Outside class, the primary work will be reading selected texts and writing responses. There will also be a midterm and a final exam.
Instructor(s): Evan Carver Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Not offered during the 2020-21 academic year.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 21221, ENST 21220
PBPL 21310. Water: Economics, Policy and Society. 100 Units.
Water is inextricably linked to human society. While modern advances in technology and new economic and policy mechanisms have emerged to address water stressors from overconsumption, development pressures, land use changes and urbanization, challenges continue to evolve across the globe. These problems, while rooted in scarcity, continue to become more complex due to myriad human and natural forces. In addition to water quality impairments, droughts and water shortages persist, putting pressure on agricultural production and urban water use, while the increased frequency and severity of rainfall and tropical storms, already being experienced globally, are only projected to grow in intensity and duration under climate change. Students will explore water from the perspective of the social sciences and public policy, with attention on behavioral dimensions of water use and water conservation. Qualitative and quantitative approaches to examining how humans use and affect water will be considered, with particular applications to Chicago and the Great Lakes region.
Instructor(s): Sabina Shaikh Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): One economics course (ECON 19800, PBPL 20000, ENST 21800 or equivalent)
Note(s): The following courses are recommended prior to enrollment in ENST 21310: ENST/MENG 20300: The Science, History, Policy, and Future of Water
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 16510, CHST 21310, GLST 21310, ENST 21310, LLSO 21310
PBPL 21425. Health in a Changing America: Social Context and Human Rights. 100 Units.
In this interdisciplinary course, students will consider the social context of health and the social and political commitments necessary to protect health as a human right. We will analyze recent trends in population health, such as the obesity epidemic, the opioid crisis, and the large gaps in life expectancy between neighborhoods in urban centers. Using case studies, students will envision a human rights-based response to these and other health challenges. We will examine the ways that framing health as personal versus public responsibility is consequential for social policy.
Instructor(s): Alicia Riley, Graduate Lecturer in Human Rights Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 21403
PBPL 21700. Applied Research in Environment, Development and Health. 100 Units.
This course engages students in collaborative research on topics that connect the environment, health, agriculture and development. After identifying a shared theme, students will design and commence a plan of research with the goal of producing content including reading lists, research and policy briefs, data visualizations, maps, blog posts and web content, as well as creative media such as podcasts. Students will also apply their findings to programming surrounding the Frizzell Speaker and Learning Series for 2020-21 by identifying possible keynote speakers and curating other events. Students are strongly encouraged but not required to enroll in both the autumn and winter courses to gain the full benefit of a sustained research experience.
Instructor(s): Shaikh, Sabina Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): This course is open to 3rd and 4th years only. Open to 2nd years with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 21700, ENST 21700, ECON 16530, GEOG 21710
PBPL 21750. Urban Spaces and Unnatural Disasters: Humans-Nature Connections in Cities. 100 Units.
A natural disaster is thought of an event or series of events caused by the Earth's natural forces and processes. These include hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, and other events provoked by the earth's processes. But what about the outcomes of such disasters? How do social, economic and spatial conditions affect the impact of natural disasters on the population? What role do humans play in these events and the outcomes? How does human activity and public policy lead to or mitigate large one-time events like oil spills, as well as chronic conditions like deforestation, pollution, and climate change? Are humans part of the natural system in this context or is the human influence considered "unnatural"? This course explores the human relationship to such disasters, including humans as contributors to the severity and extent of such disasters through energy consumption, land use, public policy and other behaviors, and the response by humans to disasters including mitigation, adaptation, and policy formation and implementation. Students will explore how historic policies both created and mitigated environmental vulnerabilities, and how these risks are distributed across the population. Students will study the role of contemporary human behavior in outcomes related to the environment and natural resources through a series of seminal and current readings, and an independent yet collaborative research project using mixed methods from the social sciences.
Instructor(s): Sabina Shaikh Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Must be 3rd or 4th year to enroll
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 21750, ENST 21750, ECON 16540, CHST 21750
PBPL 21800. Economics and Environmental Policy. 100 Units.
This course combines basic microeconomic theory and tools with contemporary environmental and resources issues and controversies to examine and analyze public policy decisions. Theoretical points include externalities, public goods, common-property resources, valuing resources, benefit/cost analysis, and risk assessment. Topics include pollution, global climate change, energy use and conservation, recycling and waste management, endangered species and biodiversity, nonrenewable resources, congestion, economic growth and the environment, and equity impacts of public policies.
Instructor(s): S. Shaikh Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): ECON 19800 or higher, or PBPL 20000
Note(s): Not offered in Autumn of the 2020-21 academic year.
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 16520, ENST 21800, LLSO 26201
PBPL 22100. Politics and Policy. 100 Units.
This course has two fundamental aims. The first is to introduce students to a set of analytical tools and concepts for understanding how political institutions generate public policy. The second is to apply these tools in examining the major institutions of democracy in the United States. Note(s): Public Policy 22100-22200-22300 may be taken in any order.
Instructor(s): C. Berry Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Public Policy 22100-22200-22300 may be taken in any order.
PBPL 22200. Public Policy Analysis. 100 Units.
This course reviews and augments the basic tools of microeconomics developed in ECON 20000 and applies these tools to policy problems. We examine situations in which private markets are likely to produce unsatisfactory results, suggesting a potential rationale for government intervention. Our goal is to allow students to comprehend, develop, and respond to economics arguments when formulating or evaluating public policy.
Instructor(s): J. Leitzel Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000
Note(s): PBPL 22100-22200-22300 may be taken in any order. PBPL 22200 is not intended for students majoring in public policy who are planning to specialize in economics or to take advanced economics courses; those students should meet with the program director or administrator to arrange an alternative.
PBPL 22300. Policy Implementation. 100 Units.
Good public policy has the potential to advance justice in society. However, once a policy or program is put in place, policymakers often face challenges in getting it carried out in the ways it was intended. This course explores some of the structural and cultural challenges that government and organizations face as they attempt to put policies into effect. Focusing on the United States, we will draw on organizational theory as well as case studies from education, policing, healthcare, and the corporate world in order to investigate the broader context of policy implementation. In addition to the lectures, there will be a weekly discussion section with the TA, the exact time of which will be determined during Week 1 of the quarter.
Instructor(s): Chad Broughton Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing is recommended; attendance on the first day of class is required or registration is dropped.
Note(s): PBPL 22100-22200-22300 may be taken in any order.
PBPL 23001. Analyzing Public Policy Organizations. 100 Units.
In this course, we will draw on the tools of organizational theory in order to better understand organizational dynamics in nonprofits, social service, and government organizations. We will pair organizational theory texts with contemporary case studies and interviews with class guests in order to develop conclusions about how change is created in organizations, how conflict impacts their success, and how they are impacted by the external environment.
Instructor(s): Brophy, Sorcha Terms Offered: Spring
PBPL 23007. Clinical and Health Services Research: Methods and Applications. 100 Units.
This course will introduce the interdisciplinary field of clinically-oriented health services research with a focus on policy-related implications. Through exposure to theoretical foundations, methodologies, and applications, students without significant investigative experience will learn about the design and conduct of research studies. We will cover the integration of research within the stages of translational medicine, and how science conducted across the translational medicine spectrum informs policy through purveyors of clinical services (e.g. physicians, hospitals), government, insurers, and professional societies. We will use the examples of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation to illustrate pitfalls in the progression from basic science research to clinical trials leading to diffusion in clinical medicine that can complicate the creation of logical, evidence-based practice guidelines, reimbursement, and clinical practice.
Instructor(s): Greg Ruhnke Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 29329, CCTS 21007, CCTS 43007, HLTH 21007
PBPL 23100. Environmental Law. 100 Units.
This course will examine the bases and assumptions that have driven the development of environmental law, as well as the intersection of this body of law and foundational legal principles (including standing, liability, and the Commerce Clause). Each form of lawmaking (statutes, regulations, and court decisions) will be examined, with emphasis on reading and understanding primary sources such as court cases and the laws themselves. The course also analyzes the judicial selection process in order to understand the importance of how the individuals who decide cases that determine the shape of environmental law and regulations are chosen.
Instructor(s): R. Lodato Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing, or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23100, LLSO 23100
PBPL 23200. The Economics of Crime. 100 Units.
This course uses theoretical and empirical economic tools to analyze a wide range of issues related to criminal behavior. Topics include the police, prisons, gang behavior, guns, drugs, capital punishment, labor markets and the macroeconomy, and income inequality. We emphasize the analysis of the optimal role for public policy.
Instructor(s): S. Levitt Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): ECON 20100/20110; STAT 23400, ECON 21010, or ECON 21020 strongly recommended
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 28700
PBPL 23240. Intergenerational Mobility: Theory, Methods and Evidence. 100 Units.
Economic inequality is increasingly a top concern among both policy-makers and the public over the past decade. This course will examine how intergenerational mobility, or the lack thereof, potentially contributes to these concerns. Students in this course will learn about fundamental theories of distributive justice, learn how to evaluate different measures of mobility and persistence, and discuss the latest theories and empirical evidence on intergenerational mobility.
Instructor(s): Lukina, A Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 33240
PBPL 23300. Justice, Equity, and Opportunity: Shifting Approaches to Criminal Justice Reform. 100 Units.
The events revolving the death of George Floyd have proliferated the discourse about the criminal justice system in the United States, including the role of police and incarceration. Historically, this public discourse has been dominated mostly by media and political advocacy, with the balance of evidence-based policy solutions and political acumen receiving relatively short shrift. In this practicum, students will be trained to approach these issues from the perspective of a senior criminal justice policymaker in government who has practiced multiple theories of change, from community organizing to litigation. In turn, we will develop criminal justice policy intelligence and knowledge on the history, core themes, debates, and concepts, such as the movement to defund the police, abolish the cash bail system, and decriminalize drugs. The discussions will allow students to interrogate the extent to which efforts have been successful, imagine new strategies in the future, and learn from additional visiting guests, including politicians, community organizers, academics, artists, and formerly incarcerated individuals. We will exit with a sophisticated understanding of the skills and tools necessary to handle criminal justice policy problems raising complex legal, political and social questions.
Instructor(s): Rallins, Quinn Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): In addition to a seminar component examining criminal justice policy, students engage in a hands-on policy project involving identifying and defining key criminal issues, conducting primary and secondary research, analyzing research findings and making policy recommendations to a client in the criminal justice policy arena.
PBPL 23550. Urban Ecology and the Nature of Cities. 100 Units.
Urban ecology is an interdisciplinary field derived from the academic discipline of ecology. How well does classical ecological theory, typically formed from reductionist views of nature without humans, describe and predict patterns in human-dominated landscapes? Students will learn fundamental concepts in ecological theory, examine how these concepts apply to urban systems, and explore the paradigms of ecology in, of, and for cities. Readings and discussions will focus on classical research papers from the ecological literature, history of modern ecology, and contemporary approaches to studying biotic systems in cities.
Instructor(s): Alison Anastasio Terms Offered: Winter. Not offered Winter 2021
Note(s): Not offered Winter 2021
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23550
PBPL 23600. Political Sociology. 100 Units.
Political sociology explores how social processes shape outcomes within formal political institutions as well as the politics that occur in the family, civic associations, social networks, and social movements. This course surveys the emergence of the most historically significant forms of political ordering (particularly nation-states and empires); explores the patterns of participation, mobilization, and policy feedback's within nation-states, both democratic and non-democratic; and considers how transnational politics and globalization may reorder political relations.
Instructor(s): E. Clemens Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in the social sciences
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20106, SOCI 30106, ENST 23500
PBPL 23606. Political Culture, Social Capital, and The Arts. 100 Units.
Many analysts like Robert Putnam hold that bowling alone signals a decline in social capital, with major consequences for trust and legitimacy of the political system. But new work finds that certain arts and cultural activities are rising, especially among the young, in many countries. This course reviews core related concepts--political culture, social capital, legitimacy-and how they change with these new developments. We lay out new concepts and related methods, such as a grammar of scenes, measured for 40,000+ U.S. zip codes. Scenes, nightlife, design, the internet, and entertainment emerge as critical drivers of the post-industrial/knowledge society. Older primordial conflicts over class, race, and gender are transformed with these new issues, which spark new social movements and political tensions. The course has two halves: first to read and discuss major works and complete a mid-term exam, second to continue as a seminar where the main requirement is writing a paper.
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20184, SOCI 30184
PBPL 23700. Geographical Issues in Housing and Community Development. 100 Units.
This course is part of the College Course Cluster, Urban Design.
Instructor(s): M. Conzen Terms Offered: Spring. This course offered in even years.
Prerequisite(s): Open to Chicago Studies Program students.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 23700, GEOG 33700
PBPL 24102. Environmental Politics. 100 Units.
Politics determines not only which particular faction holds power, but the parameters upon which contests for power are conducted. At present, the desirability of economic growth is the universal consensus principle that actors across the political spectrum and national borders agree upon despite their disagreement on the shape that this should take and the beneficiaries of it. This principle overrides any other consideration, including environmental protection and restoration, regardless of the political beliefs of the leader or party in question. This course undertakes a term-long discussion of how the assumptions and practices of politics, policy, and activism would be changed if the protection of the environment was the central organizing principle of the international system, with particular attention to theories that challenge conventional ways of organizing society, economics, and politics.
Instructor(s): R. Lodato Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24102, LLSO 24102
PBPL 24105. Urban Design: The Chicago Experience. 100 Units.
This course examines the theory and practice of urban design at the scale of block, street, and building--the pedestrian realm. Topics include walkability, the design of streets, architectural style and its effect on pedestrian experience, safety and security in relation to accessibility and social connection, concepts of urban fabric, repair and placemaking, the regulation of urban form, and the social implications of civic spaces. Students will analyze normative principles and the debates that surround them through readings and discussion, as well as firsthand interaction with the urbanism of Chicago.
Equivalent Course(s): SOSC 36001, GEOG 24100, SOSC 26001, GEOG 34100
PBPL 24202. Chicago Politics. 100 Units.
This course is part of the Spring 2021 Chicago Studies bundle, that will permit students to collaborate with historian and political scientist John Mark Hansen (author of The City in a Garden: A History of Hyde Park and Kenwood) in ongoing research into the history and politics of Chicago's 10th Ward (Southeast Chicago). Meeting schedule and individualized projects will be decided in collaboration with enrollees' specific schedules and interests.
Instructor(s): John Mark Hansen Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 24202, PLSC 24202
PBPL 24599. Historical and Contemporary Issues in US Racial Health Inequality. 100 Units.
This course explores persistent health inequality in the U.S. from the 1900s to the present day. The focus will be on racial gaps in urban health inequality with some discussion of rural communities. Readings will largely cover the research on Black and White gaps in health inequality, with the understanding that most of the issues discussed extend to health inequalities across many racial and ethnic groups. Readings cover the broad range of social determinants of health (socioeconomic status, education, access to health care, homelessness) and how these social determinants are rooted in longstanding legacies of American inequality. A major component of class assignments will be identifying emerging research and innovative policies and programs that point to promising pathways to eliminating health disparities.
Instructor(s): M. Keels Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Only students with 2nd year standing or above.
Note(s): Fulfills grad requirement (4) and undergrad major requirement (4).
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 24599, HLTH 24599, CHST 24599, CHDV 44599, CRES 24599
PBPL 24605. Introduction to Urban Sciences. 100 Units.
This course is a grand tour of conceptual frameworks, general phenomena, emerging data and policy applications that define a growing scientific integrated understanding of cities and urbanization. It starts with a general outlook of current worldwide explosive urbanization and associated changes in social, economic and environmental indicators. It then introduces a number of historical models, from sociology, economics and geography that have been proposed to understand how cities operate. We will discuss how these and other facets of cities can be integrated as dynamical complex systems and derive their general characteristics as social networks embedded in structured physical spaces. Resulting general properties of cities will be illustrated in different geographic and historical contexts, including an understanding of urban resource flows, emergent institutions and the division of labor and knowledge as drivers of innovation and economic growth. The second part of the course will deal with issues of inequality, heterogeneity and (sustainable) growth in cities. We will explore how these features of cities present different realities and opportunities to different individuals and how these appear as spatially concentrated (dis)advantage that shape people's life courses. We will show how issues of inequality also have consequences at more macroscopic levels and derive the general features of population and economic growth for systems of cities and nations.
Instructor(s): Luis Bettencourt Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): STAT 22000
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20285, GEOG 34600, GEOG 24600, ENST 24600
PBPL 24701. U.S. Environmental Policy. 100 Units.
Making environmental policy is a diverse and complex process. Environmental advocacy engages different governmental agencies, congressional committees, and courts, depending on the issue. This course examines how such differentiation has affected policy making over the last several decades.
Instructor(s): R. Lodato Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24701, LLSO 24901
PBPL 24751. The Business of Non-Profits and The Evolving Social Sector. 100 Units.
Led by an experienced practitioner, this course aims to provide both an intellectual and experiential understanding of the contemporary nonprofit sector. In addition to a seminar component examining the rapidly evolving social sector, students engage in a hands-on consulting project for an area nonprofit involving analysis, reporting, and presentation. This course satisfies the Public Policy practicum WINDOWS requirement.
Instructor(s): C. Velasquez Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Instructor consent required. During 6th and 7th week, students must submit an application to CampusCATALYST, a nonprofit that assists in the coordination of consulting projects. Please see the quarterly time schedules for the CampusCATALYST application link.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 24751
PBPL 24756. Exploring the Resilient City. 100 Units.
In recent years, sub-national units of government have enacted meaningful policy plans in the wake of the ongoing failure of the international community to address global climate change. Cities in particular have shaped their plans to address the now-inevitable effects of climate change by adopting policies that emphasize resilience and environmental protection, without sacrificing economic growth, and with attention to the ongoing challenges of poverty and inequality. This course will take a comparative look at the policies adopted by cities on an international basis, while defining what it means to be a resilient city and how much the built environment can be adjusted to limit the environmental impact of densely populated metropolises. It will also consider what impact citizen activism and input had upon the shape of each plan and the direction that its policies took. Students will also be asked to consider what might be missing from each plan and how each plan could be improved to foster greater resiliency.
Instructor(s): R. Lodato Terms Offered: Course was not offered 2019-2020
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24756
PBPL 24776. International Environmental Policy. 100 Units.
Environmental issues have become a prominent part of the work of international organizations and their member nations. The international community has recognized the efficacy of multi-national agreements as a method for comprehensive solutions to problems that were once dealt with on a nation-by-nation basis. This course will address such topics as the Montreal Protocol, climate change agreements, and the Law of the Sea treaty, as well as the efforts being undertaken by some leading nations to address present-time environmental challenges.
Instructor(s): R. Lodato Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24776
PBPL 24800. Urban Policy Analysis. 100 Units.
This course addresses the explanations available for varying patterns of policies that cities provide in terms of expenditures and service delivery. Topics include theoretical approaches and policy options, migration as a policy option, group theory, citizen preference theory, incrementalism, economic base influences, and an integrated model. Also examined are the New York fiscal crisis and taxpayer revolts, measuring citizen preferences, service delivery, and productivity.
Instructor(s): T. Clark Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 20120, SOCI 20120, SOCI 30120, GEOG 30120
PBPL 24901. Trade, Development and Poverty in Mexico. 100 Units.
With a focus on the past two decades, this interdisciplinary course explores the impact of economic integration, urbanization, and migration on Mexico and, to a lesser extent, on the United States-in particular, working class communities of the Midwestern Rust Belt. The course will examine work and life in the borderland production centers; agriculture, poverty, and indigenous populations in rural Mexico; evolving trade and transnational ties (especially in people, food products and labor, and drugs) between the U.S. and Mexico; and trade, trade adjustment, and immigration policy.
Instructor(s): C. Broughton Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20251, LACS 24901
PBPL 25003. Immigration, Law and Society. 100 Units.
Law is everywhere within the social world. It shapes our everyday lives in countless ways by permitting, prohibiting, protecting and prosecuting native-born citizens and immigrants alike. This course reviews the major theoretical perspectives and sociological research on the relationship between law and society, with an empirical focus on immigrants in the United States, primarily from Mexico and Central America. To begin, we explore the permeation of law in everyday life, legal consciousness, and gap between "law on the books" and "law on the ground." The topic of immigration is introduced with readings on the socio-legal construction of immigration status, theories of international migration, and U.S. immigration law at the national and subnational levels. We continue to study the social impact of law on immigrants through the topics of liminal legality; children, families, and romantic partnerships; policing, profiling, and raids; detention and deportation; and immigrants' rights. This course adopts a "law in action" approach centered on the social, political, and cultural contexts of law as it relates to immigration and social change. It is designed to expose you to how social scientists study and think about law, and to give you the analytical skills to examine law, immigration, and social change relationally.
Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 25003, SOCI 28079, SSAD 25003, CRES 25003, HMRT 25003
PBPL 25004. Punishment and Social Theory. 100 Units.
How is the power to punish derived? How has the role of punishment been conceived? What do the practices of punishment produce? What do they tell us about ourselves? Are there alternatives? Taking up these questions, the course outlines major theories of punishment advanced by political philosophers, penologists and scholars who study the role of punishment in society, tracing the trajectory of our modern impulse to punish "wrong doers." We will interrogate the shifting terrain of crime control policy and attend to the ways that prison reformers, scholars, and activists have sought to bring about change. We examine the political economy, culture, and consequences of punishment through readings on the carceral state and conclude by raising new questions about punishment and its alternatives in the age of mass incarceration.
Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 25004, SSAD 25004
PBPL 25005. Inequality at Work: The Changing Nature of Jobs and Prospects for Improvement. 100 Units.
This course will consider sources of inequality in the labor market and in workplaces. Empirical evidence and theory on labor markets and job conditions will be analyzed to provide insights into the changing nature of work and workplace inequality for the majority of Americans -- who do not hold a four-year college degree. Although the course will consider ways to ready workers for good jobs in the economy, the emphasis will be on improving jobs themselves, through voluntary employer behavior, collective action, and public policy. The assignment for the course involves observing and/or interviewing workers in an occupation chosen by the student.
Instructor(s): Susan Lambert Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 25005, SSAD 25005
PBPL 25006. How Things Get Done in Cities and Why. 100 Units.
Innovation. Prosperity. Democracy. Diversity. Cities long have been lauded as unique incubators of these social features. In contrast to the national level, the smaller scale and dense diversity of cities is thought to encourage the development of civic solutions that work for the many. But cities are inhabited by distinct groups of people with divergent interests and varied beliefs about how to address countless urban issues, such as creating jobs, delivering education, ensuring safe neighborhoods, promoting environmental sustainability, and taking care of the vulnerable. Many groups and organizations have an interest in the outcomes of these processes. Some take action to try to shape them to their own advantage, while others have few chances to make themselves heard. This course examines the social and political dynamics that undergird possible avenues for creating social change in cities, including interest representation, decision-making, and inclusion/exclusion. We will draw insights from multiple disciplines and explore a variety of substantive areas, such as housing, public safety, economic development, education, and the provision of social welfare. This course is part of the College Course Cluster program: Urban Design.
Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 21100, SSAD 21100, SOCI 20294, ENST 25006
PBPL 25120. Child Development and Public Policy. 100 Units.
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the literature on early child development and explore how an understanding of core developmental concepts can inform social policies. This goal will be addressed through an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. The course will emphasize research on the science of early child development from the prenatal period through school entry. The central debate about the role of early experience in development will provide a unifying strand for the course. Students will be introduced to research in neuroscience, psychology, economics, sociology, and public policy as it bears on questions about "what develops?", critical periods in development, the nature vs. nurture debate, and the ways in which environmental contexts (e.g., parents, families, peers, schools, institutions, communities) affect early development and developmental trajectories. The first part of the course will introduce students to the major disciplinary streams in the developmental sciences and the enduring and new debates and perspectives within the field. The second part will examine the multiple contexts of early development to understand which aspects of young children's environments affect their development and how those impacts arise. Throughout the course, we will explore how the principles of early childhood development can guide the design of policies and practices that enhance the healthy development of young children, particularly for those living in adverse circumstances, and thereby build a strong foundation for promoting equality of opportunity, reducing social class disparities in life outcomes, building human capital, fostering economic prosperity, and generating positive social change. In doing so, we will critically examine the evidence on whether the contexts of children's development are amenable to public policy intervention and the costs and benefits of different policy approaches.
Instructor(s): A. Kalil Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Attendance on the first day of class is required or registration will be dropped.
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 35120, PPHA 31520, CHDV 25120, PSYC 25120, EDSO 25120
PBPL 25216. The American Presidency. 100 Units.
This course examines the institution of the American presidency. It surveys the foundations of presidential power, both as the Founders conceived it, and as it is practiced in the modern era. This course also traces the historical development of the institutional presidency, the president's relationships with Congress and the courts, the influence presidents wield in domestic and foreign policymaking, and the ways in which presidents make decisions in a system of separated powers.
Instructor(s): W. Howell Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25215, LLSO 25215, AMER 25215
PBPL 25220. Constructing a Society of Human Rights: A Psychological Framework. 100 Units.
This course is designed to discuss the ways that cultural and social psychology contribute to understandings about human rights conceptually, and how human rights issues emerge from social dynamics. Over the course of the quarter, students will learn about theories on intergroup conflict and prejudice, how an individual's beliefs emerge from social contexts and shape their relationships with others, how obedience to authority is created and abused, and how social positioning and narratives influence conceptions of self and other. We will also discuss the relevance and impact of psychological study and data on human rights issues.
Equivalent Course(s): INRE 30600, CHDV 25220, HMRT 25220
PBPL 25550. Economic Development and Policy. 100 Units.
The history, current pattern, and causes of the distribution of the wealth of nations remains one of the most fascinating and fundamental of all questions in economics and policy. This course will attempt to give an overview of economic growth and development, focusing on real-world data, by looking at the empirical and theoretical research that has been used to understand them and subsequently form the basis of development policies. The course is divided into three major sections: measuring and modeling growth and development, human capital, and markets. Throughout the quarter, we'll explore sets of "development facts" - the way that the world currently appears to us as policy-makers - by looking at contemporary data. For each topic, we will discuss contemporary methodology and debates in development policy.
Instructor(s): Menendez, A Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 35550
PBPL 25563. Does American Democracy Need Religion? 100 Units.
In the United States, we find ourselves living as part of a democracy. But that simple fact doesn't necessarily make us fans of democracy by default. In fact, it leaves many questions unanswered: Is democracy a good thing? If so, why and on what grounds? Why should you or I value democracy and its ideals (e.g., equality, liberty, fraternity)? If we do, what (if anything) grounds our devotion to this shared political tradition? And does, can, or should religion have a role to play? In this course, we will explore American democracy as a normative tradition and its relationship to various religious traditions in American society. Through examining key interpreters of American democracy such as Danielle Allen, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cornel West, Joshua Abraham Heschel, and Amanda Gorman, we will approach the question of how religion and democracy relate to one another. We'll investigate the relative independence of democracy and religion, focusing on philosophers and poets who emphasize American democracy as tradition in its own right. We will also consider "Civil Religion in America," through the work of sociologists and historians who suggest the dependence of the democratic on religion or something like it. Finally, we'll question the relative interdependence of American democracy and religious traditions by turning to claims of influential religious and political leaders and activists. No prerequisite knowledge required.
Instructor(s): Derek Buyan Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 25563, CRES 25563, AMER 25563
PBPL 25663. Urban Studies: Placemaking. 100 Units.
This course considers the values that drive neighborhood transformation, how policy is shaped and implemented, and the role that arts and culture can play in mindful city-building. Classroom hours will be spent with Theaster Gates, professor, Department of Visual Art, in addition to other UChicago faculty, discussing key principles in guiding city redevelopment in mindful and equitable ways. Students will gain field experience working with Place Lab, Gates's multidisciplinary team that documents and demonstrates urban ethical redevelopment strategies initiated through arts and culture. Working across a variety of projects, students will be exposed to programming, data collection, development, community building, strategy, and documentation. Weekly site visits will give students the opportunity to see analogous projects and meet practitioners throughout Chicago.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 20663
PBPL 25695. Workplace and Family Policy. 100 Units.
The topics covered in the course will include: the demographic transition, human capital accumulation, gender wage and employment gaps, discrimination in the workplace, family leave and childcare policies, tax policies including subsidies like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and related welfare policies. We will draw on the theory of static and dynamic labor supply, theories of labor demand, and labor market equilibrium to guide its investigation, and use empirical tools to answer research questions. For each topic covered in this course, I will introduce an elementary treatment of the canonical theoretical model and give examples of its empirical application. In studying empirical applications, we will often draw on analysis from international experience.
Instructor(s): Y. Asai Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 25695
PBPL 25704. Environmental Justice in Chicago. 100 Units.
This course will examine the development of environmental justice theory and practice through social scientific and ethical literature about the subject as well as primary source accounts of environmental injustices. We will focus on environmental justice issues in Chicago including, but not limited to waste disposal, toxic air and water, the Chicago heat wave, and climate change. Particular attention will be paid to environmental racism and the often understudied role of religion in environmental justice theory and practice. Throughout the course we will explore how normative commitments are expressed in different types of literature as well as the basis for normative judgments and the types of authorities authors utilize and claim as they consider environmental justice.
Instructor(s): Sarah Fredericks Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 25704, RLST 25704, ENST 25704, CHST 25704, AMER 25704
PBPL 25832. Early Human Capital Development. 100 Units.
We will study the social and policy contexts aimed at promoting the development, health, and well-being of young children, with an emphasis on our host nation and the European Union. Topics to be covered include family policies such as fertility and related family planning policies; marriage and family formation; policies targeting working parents (i.e. parental leave); income support policies for lone or low-income parents; as well as child care and early education programs targeted directly to children.
Instructor(s): A. Kalil Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into the Barcelona Public Policy Program
PBPL 25840. Odyssey Engaged Nonprofit Practicum. 100 Units.
The Odyssey Engaged nonprofit practicum is a unique partnership between the Office of Civic Engagement, the Public Policy department of the College, Career Advancement, the campusCATALYST (cC) RSO and local nonprofit organizations. The Odyssey Engaged program integrates career development, public service, and innovation with academic work. This course presents a broad overview of the nonprofit sector and offers an opportunity to study the theory that underlies the hands-on work students are doing at local nonprofit organizations. Each student is required to complete a capstone project, which allows them to apply the knowledge that they will be receiving from the academic component of the program to their work at their host organization.
Instructor(s): C. Velasquez Terms Offered: Summer
Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into the Odyssey Engaged Program
PBPL 25860. Crime, Justice, and Inequality in the American City. 100 Units.
This course explores perspectives on street gangs and criminal activity; policing and the criminal justice system; and obstacles to securing housing, employment, and services for reentry after incarceration. Students will examine advances in the social science of adolescence and innovations in government policy and community-based programs aimed at encouraging public safety and youth development, improving policing and prisons, and promoting criminal desistance and decarceration. In addition, we will delve into the lived experience of adolescence and beyond in the context of racially-segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods, with a focus on Chicago. Our approaches will include discussion and lecture; ethnographic, autobiographical, and policy-oriented readings; panels and guest speakers; and documentary films and other media.
Instructor(s): Broughton, C. Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20255
PBPL 26003. Chicago by Design. 100 Units.
This course examines the theory and practice of urban design at the scale of block, street, and building-the pedestrian realm. Topics include walkability; the design of streets; architectural style and its effect on pedestrian experience; safety and security in relation to accessibility and social connection; concepts of urban fabric, repair, and placemaking; the regulation of urban form; and the social implications of civic spaces. Students will analyze normative principles and the debates that surround them through readings and discussion as well as firsthand interaction with the urbanism of Chicago. This course is part of the College Course Cluster, Urban Design.
Instructor(s): Emily Talen Terms Offered: Spring. Not offered in Spring 2021
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 26003, GEOG 24300, SOSC 26003
PBPL 26005. Cities by Design. 100 Units.
This course examines the theory and practice of city design-how, throughout history, people have sought to mold and shape cities in pre-determined ways. The form of the city is the result of myriad factors, but in this course we will hone in on the purposeful act of designing cities according to normative thinking-ideas about how cities ought to be. Using examples from all time periods and places around the globe, we will examine how cities are purposefully designed and what impact those designs have had. Where and when has city design been successful, and where has it resulted in more harm than good?
Instructor(s): Emily Talen Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARCH 26005, ENST 26005, GEOG 26005
PBPL 26255. Environmental Justice Field Research Project I. 100 Units.
This two-quarter sequence will expose students to real-world policy-making questions and field-based research methodologies to design an environmentally based research project, collect data, conduct analyses, and present findings. In the first quarter, we will follow a robust methodological training program in collaboration with University partners to advance the foundations laid elsewhere in the public policy studies program. In the second quarter, this expertise in a full range of research methodologies will be put into practice to tackle public policy problems in the city and neighborhoods that surround the University. PBPL 26255 and PBPL 26355 satisfy the Public Policy practicum Windows and Methods requirements.
Instructor(s): Lodato, R. Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Students taking this course to meet the Public Policy practicum requirement must take both courses.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 26255
PBPL 26260. Environmental Justice in Principle and Practice. 100 Units.
This course will investigate the foundational texts on environmental justice as well as case studies, both in and out of Chicago. Students will consider issues across a wide spectrum of concerns, including toxics, lead in water, waste management, and access to greenspaces, particularly in urban areas. These topics will be taught in accompaniment with a broader understanding of how social change occurs, what barriers exist to producing just outcomes, and what practices have worked to overcome obstacles in the past. The class will welcome speakers from a variety of backgrounds to address their work on these topics, and the class will design a research project that will be executed in Spring on a topic related to environmental justice in Chicago.
Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course will cover the same content as ENST 26255.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 26260
PBPL 26302. Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Gun Violence. 100 Units.
This one-quarter practicum in qualitative methods aims to develop interview research skills, including instrument design, questioning, transcription, thematic analysis, and write-up, in the context of a mini-BA thesis trial run. The topic of this version of the practicum is gun violence in Chicago. Students will engage in weekly in-class interviews with informants with wide-ranging vantage points on gun violence as a social and policy problem including community members, scholars, and policy-makers. Meant to prepare Public Policy Studies students for the BA thesis process, each student, using the weekly in-class interviews conducted by students, and supplemented by interviews and observations of their own, will formulate a question related to gun violence and construct the component parts of their own research paper, which they will submit at the end of the quarter.
Instructor(s): Broughton, Chad Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Public Policy Studies majors.
Note(s): Can fulfill either the “Methods” or “Windows” major requirement. Recommended for third-year students.
PBPL 26303. Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Urban Education. 100 Units.
This one-quarter practicum in qualitative methods aims to develop interview research skills, including instrument design, questioning, transcription, thematic analysis, and write-up, in the context of a mini-BA thesis trial run. The topic of this version of the practicum is urban education. Students will engage in weekly in-class interviews with informants with wide-ranging vantage points on education as a social and policy issue including community members, scholars, and policy-makers. Meant to prepare Public Policy Studies students for the BA thesis process, each student, using the weekly in-class interviews conducted by students and supplemented by interviews and observations of their own, will formulate a question related to urban education and construct the component parts of their own research paper, which they will submit at the end of the quarter.
Instructor(s): Gorski, Karlyn Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open only to Public Policy Studies majors. Can fulfill either the “Methods” or “Windows” major requirement. Recommended for third-year students.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 26303
PBPL 26304. Public Policy Practicum: Interview Project on Policing. 100 Units.
This one-quarter practicum in qualitative methods aims to develop interview research skills-including instrument design, questioning, transcription, thematic analysis, and write-up-in the context of a mini-BA thesis trial run. The topic of this version of the practicum is policing in America. Students will engage in several in-class interviews with informants with wide-ranging vantage points on police-citizen relations as a social and policy issue including scholars, activists, police officers, and policy-makers. Meant to prepare Public Policy students for the BA thesis process, each student, using in-class interviews conducted by students-and supplemented by interviews, observations, and other data exercises they conduct on their own-will formulate a question related to policing and construct the component parts of their own "Mini-Thesis," which they will submit at the end of the quarter. Can fulfill either the "Methods" or "Windows" major requirement in the Public Policy major. Strongly recommended for third-year Public Policy majors, but open to all students interested in policing and/or qualitative methods.
Instructor(s): Chad Broughton Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Can fulfill either the “Methods” or “Windows” major requirement in the Public Policy major. Strongly recommended for third-year Public Policy majors, but open to all students interested in policing and/or qualitative methods.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 26304
PBPL 26355. Environmental Justice Field Research Project II. 100 Units.
This two-quarter sequence will expose students to real-world policy-making questions and field-based research methodologies to design an environmentally based research project, collect data, conduct analysis, and present findings. In the first quarter, we will follow a robust methodological training program in collaboration with University partners to advance the foundations laid elsewhere in the public policy studies program. In the second quarter, this expertise in a full range of research methodologies will be put into practice to tackle public policy problems in the city and neighborhoods that surround the University. PBPL 26255 and PBPL 26355 satisfy the Public Policy practicum Windows and Methods requirements.
Instructor(s): Lodato, R. Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students taking this course to meet the Public Policy practicum requirement must take both courses.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 26355, CHST 26355
PBPL 26383. Mapping Global Chicago Research Lab: Life During Lockdown/COVID in Chicago. 100 Units.
Mapping Global Chicago is a collaborative, interdisciplinary undergraduate research initiative investigating the idea of the "global city." This year, we will examine how life in Chicago has been impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic, shedding light on how different aspects of daily life have responded to public health measures, fear and uncertainty, and the economic recession. Students from across disciplines are encouraged to participate in this lab, which has been student-designed and will take shape according to diverse student interests and skill sets. Together, students will produce material to be featured on an interactive, multimedia website, going live at the end of the quarter. Please note that participation in the lab is by instructor consent only. Early application is encouraged. For more information, see https://globalstudies.uchicago.edu/mapping-global-chicago
Instructor(s): Callie Maidhof Terms Offered: Spring. Consent required; students must complete an online application at https://globalstudies.uchicago.edu/mapping-global-chicago
Prerequisite(s): Consent required; students must complete an online application at https://globalstudies.uchicago.edu/mapping-global-chicago
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 26383
PBPL 26400. Quantitative Methods in Public Policy. 100 Units.
This class will provide an introduction to quantitative analysis in public policy. Much of the class is devoted to learning about the effects of policies and answering empirical, policy-relevant questions from observational data. In doing so, the course provides an introduction to critical and quantitative thinking in general. Students will be introduced to the basic toolkit of policy analysis, which includes sampling, hypothesis testing, Bayesian inference, regression, experiments, instrumental variables, differences in differences, and regression discontinuity. Students will also learn how to use a statistical software program to organize and analyze data. More importantly, students will learn the principles of critical thinking essential for careful and credible policy analysis.
Instructor(s): Anthony Fowler Terms Offered: Winter
PBPL 26690. The Politics of Health Care. 100 Units.
IIn this course we will tackle some of the complexity of health care head on, considering how cultural, legal and structural factors shape the delivery of care. Our goal will be to address foundational questions about how we as a society imagine health care, the professionals who work within the field, and the patients. We will draw on evidence from the United States to ask: How have shifts in the institutional context in which medical professionals work altered their task? How do we imagine patients and their choices? How do external and internal pressures shape what issues are prioritized and who receives care? In addition to traditional coursework, PBPL 26690 will take part in the ExoTerra Imagination Lab
Instructor(s): S. Brophy Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 26690
PBPL 26705. Economics of Education. 100 Units.
This course explores economic models of the demand for and supply of different forms of schooling. The course examines the markets for primary, secondary, and post-secondary schooling. The course examines numerous public policy questions, such as the role of government in funding or subsidizing education, the design of public accountability systems, the design of systems that deliver publicly funded (and possibly provided) education, and the relationship between education markets and housing markets.
Instructor(s): D. Neal Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): ECON 21020 or ECON 21030
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 26700, ECMA 36700
PBPL 27000. International Economics. 100 Units.
This course covers international economics with an emphasis on international trade. The basic theories of international trade are introduced and used to analyze welfare and distributional effects of international trade, government policies, and technology diffusion. In addition, this course also discusses the main empirical patterns of international trade and international investment.
Instructor(s): F. Tintelnot Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): ECON 20100/20110
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 27000
PBPL 27070. Philanthropy: Private Acts and Public Goods. 100 Units.
Under what conditions do philanthropy and other forms of private action come to be significant elements of the provision of public goods? What are the consequences of organizing society in this way? In this course, we will address the social role of philanthropy, its historical development as a significant economic and political institution, and the place of philanthropy in contemporary public policy and civic projects.
Instructor(s): E. Clemens Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Completion of at least 2 quarters of SOSC
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20222
PBPL 27115. Crime and Policing. 100 Units.
This class covers recent empirical work in crime and policing, including the effects of arrests, bail, criminal records, and incarceration on long-term outcomes, as well as interactions between family formation and the criminal justice system. We also study the effects of officer diversity and police reforms, body cameras, and stop and frisk. We will examine both individual (e.g., officer, judge) racial discrimination as well as systemic racism in the justice system.
Instructor(s): Norris, Sam Terms Offered: Spring
PBPL 27156. Urban Design with Nature. 100 Units.
This course will use the Chicago region as the setting to evaluate the social, environmental, and economic effects of alternative forms of human settlement. Students will examine the history, theory and practice of designing cities in sustainable ways - i.e., human settlements that are socially just, economically viable, and environmentally sound. Students will explore the literature on sustainable urban design from a variety of perspectives, and then focus on how sustainability theories play out in the Chicago region. How can Chicago's neighborhoods be designed to promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability goals? This course is part of the College Course Cluster program: Urban Design.
Instructor(s): Sabina Shaikh and Emily Talen Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Third or fourth-year standing
Note(s): Students who have taken ENST 27150: Urban Design with Nature: Assessing Social and Natural Realms in the Calumet Region in the Spring of 2018 may not enroll in this course.
Equivalent Course(s): BPRO 27155, ENST 27155, GEOG 27155
PBPL 27210. Where We Come From: Methods & Materials in the Study of Immigration. 100 Units.
This course provides an interactive survey of methodologies that engage the experiences of immigrants in Chicago. Exploring practices ranging from history to fiction, activism to memorialization, this course will introduce students to a variety of the ways that immigrants and scholars have approached the Second City.
Instructor(s): William Nickell Terms Offered: Spring. Not offered in Spring 2021
Note(s): Enrollment is based on acceptance into the Chicago Studies Quarter Program.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 27712, REES 24417, ENST 27210
PBPL 27307. Schools and Space: A Chicago History. 100 Units.
This course fuses urban and educational history into a two-century case study of Chicago. When the Chicago Public Schools closed fifty schoolhouses in 2013, many stressed the links between public education, uneven neighborhood investment, and racial segregation. But this episode was part of a longer regional history of how metropolitan development, labor markets, and anxieties over migration affected educational policy. The course stresses the relationship between educational policy and the politics of urban development, gender, and race. Schools were sites of gendered work, for the women who operated them and for the children who navigated the moral and vocational paths laid for their futures; meanwhile, the rise of racial ghettoes had an enduring impacts on educational inequity and the shape of African American political life. Over the time span covered by the course, the United States became an indisputably "schooled" society, and Chicago was a leading indicator of national trends. Key historic episodes in American education-the rise of the modern high school, the birth of progressive education, the origins of teachers' unions, the Catholic encounter with race, the fragmentation of suburban school districts, the civil-rights critique of de facto school segregation, the pronounced "failure" of urban education, and the triumph of choice-and-accountability reforms, and the teacher-led resistance that followed-are especially well-illustrated by this course's focus on Chicago.
Instructor(s): N. Kryczka Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course combines lecture with discussions of primary sources and secondary literature each week, beginning with the one-room, log-stable schoolhouses of the antebellum Illinois prairie and ending with the nation's first charter-school teacher strikes in 2018. In addition to composing a research paper on a chosen school or school policy, students will take a field trip to local schoolhouses, reading the city's urban history through its educational architecture.
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 27307, ARCH 27307, GNSE 27307, EDSO 27307, HIST 27307, CHST 27307
PBPL 27330. Spaces of Hope: The City and Its Immigrants. 100 Units.
The city is the site where people of all origins and classes mingle, however reluctantly and agonistically, to produce a common if perpetually changing and transitory life." (David Harvey) This course will use the urban studies lens to explore the complex history of immigration to Chicago, with close attention to communities of East European origin. Drawing on anthropological theory and ethnographic materials, we will study the ways in which the city and its new citizens transform one another.
Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic Terms Offered: Spring. Not offered in Spring 2021
Note(s): Enrollment is based on acceptance into the Chicago Studies Quarter Program.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 27713, REES 21500, ENST 27330
PBPL 27547. Race, Ethnicity, and American Public Schools. 100 Units.
This seminar is designed to introduce students to recent trends in research about race and ethnicity in American public schools. Although there are no pre-requisites for enrollment, this is a reading-intensive course, and students will be asked to read one full book per week throughout the quarter (with the exception of weeks 1 and 10). In this discussion-based course, students will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of scholars' theoretical and methodological approaches to exploring how race and/or ethnicity shape and are shaped by the institutions of schooling. We will focus primarily on texts published in the past two decades in order to develop an understanding of the current landscape of the literature. For their final paper, students will evaluate the conceptualization and evaluation of a theme, concept, or theory across at least four texts from the course.
Instructor(s): Karlyn Gorski Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27547, CRES 27547, SOCI 28096, EDSO 27547
PBPL 27900. Global-Local Politics. 100 Units.
Globalizing and local forces are generating a new politics in the United States and around the world. This course explores this new politics by mapping its emerging elements: the rise of social issues, ethno-religious and regional attachments, environmentalism, gender and life-style identity issues, new social movements, transformed political parties and organized groups, and new efforts to mobilize individual citizens.
Instructor(s): T. Clark Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 20116, SOCI 20116, HMRT 20116, HMRT 30116, GEOG 20116, SOCI 30116, GEOG 30116
PBPL 27905. Global Health Metrics. 100 Units.
This course provides an overview of the causes of illness and injury in populations across the world and the most important risk factors. We will discuss how population health is measured using summary indicators that combine mortality and non-fatal health outcomes. We will use these indicators to compare and contrast the health of populations across global regions and in time. Sound measurement of the global burden of disease is essential for prioritizing prevention strategies. Therefore, there will be a strong emphasis on understanding how data sources in information-poor settings are used to generate estimates of population health.
Instructor(s): Kavi Bhalla Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PBHS 27900, HLTH 27905, PBHS 31900
PBPL 27919. Research in School Improvement. 100 Units.
Research evidence and data play an increasingly important and complex role in efforts to reform underperforming school systems in the United States. Both education policy and practice increasingly rely on sophisticated understandings of a dynamic interplay of complex organizations, systems, and policymaking. This course introduces students to cutting edge models for using research and data public school reform efforts, including examples of randomized control trials, district-based research, research-practice partnerships, and quality improvement strategies. The course includes concrete illustrations of research that reshaped educational practice drawn from the UChicago Consortium on School Research.
Instructor(s): David Johnson Terms Offered: Winter. Offered 2020-21
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 37919, CHST 27919, EDSO 27919
PBPL 28029. Education Policy. 100 Units.
Which education policies work and which do not? How are these policies evaluated? The main goal of this course is to familiarize students with the methods and research frontier in the economics of education, with an emphasis on policies designed to improve students' outcomes. We will explore and discuss a wide range of educational policy issues, including the returns to schooling, student in- centives, teacher labor markets, school choice, accountability, school funding, and higher education. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the methods employed to evaluate the effects of education policies.
Instructor(s): Delgado, W Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): PBPL 26400 recommended
PBPL 28139. Society, Politics and Security in Israel. 100 Units.
This graduate course examines Israel's unique DNA through a thorough examination of its history, society, politics and security challenges. We shall explore these traits as manifested in the defining chapters of Israel's history, since the early stages of the Zionist driven immigration of Jews to the Holy Land, through the establishment of the Jewish State in 1948, until present time. Students will work with primary sources, diverse theoretical perspectives, and rich historiographical material to better understand the Israeli experience, through domestic, regional and international perspectives. Particular attention will be given to the emergence of the Israeli vibrant society and functioning democracy in the background of continuous conflict and wars. The course will explore topics such as: How Israel reconciles between the imperatives and narratives of democracy and Jewishness, between collective ethos and heterogeneous tribalism, and between protracted security challenges and resilience. We will also discuss the multifaceted aspects of the changing Israeli security doctrine and practice, in light of regional threats and international involvement.
Instructor(s): M. Elran Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): INRE 36001, JWSC 28139
PBPL 28300. Health Economics and Public Policy. 100 Units.
This course analyzes the economics of health and medical care in the United States with particular attention to the role of government. The first part of the course examines the demand for health and medical and the structure and the consequences of public and private insurance. The second part of the course examines the supply of medical care, including professional training, specialization and compensation, hospital competition, and finance and the determinants and consequences of technological change in medicine. The course concludes with an examination of recent proposals and initiatives for health care reform.
Instructor(s): Meltzer, D Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000 and one undergraduate course in quantitative research methods (Statistics or Econometrics) or the equivalent or consent of the instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 27700, PPHA 38300, CCTS 38300
PBPL 28350. Education and Economic Development. 100 Units.
This course covers policy issues related to education in developing contexts. We will analyze education policies and reforms, develop skills to be a critical consumer of relevant research on each topic, and examine implications of the findings to policy and practice. Topics include discrimination and inclusion in education, understanding factors that influence educational decisions, provision of basic needs in schools, teacher pay and incentives, education in emergency settings, and school choice.
Instructor(s): A. Adukia Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Recommended prerequisite courses: Microeconomics and econometrics. Students in their last years will be given priority.
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 16710, EDSO 28350
PBPL 28425. Strategic Behavior and Regulation of Firms. 100 Units.
This course will examine the role of public policy in oligopoly markets, where competition is imperfect. We will examine the strategies that firms use to increase profits, the effects of those strategies on consumers, and the cases for and against regulatory intervention in markets. Topics will include issues such as mergers, predation, price discrimination, collusion, and network economics. Class discussions will frequently focus on the economics of recent business and regulatory case studies, such as the California electricity crisis, Google's use of its search engine, and net neutrality regulation. An important component of the course will be the Competitive Strategy Game, in which students will form firms that compete against one another in several simulated markets, allowing students to gain first-hand experience with some of the strategic decisions firms regularly face.
Instructor(s): Baird, Katherine Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000
PBPL 28430. International Trade, Banking and Capital Markets. 100 Units.
Over the past 50 years, the markets for goods and services have become dramatically globalized. The internationalization of financial markets and the liberalization of trade have been critical to this growth. In contrast to a few decades ago, today's companies manage global supply chains and investment capital moves quickly from market to market. International Trade, Banking and Capital Markets is an introduction to the drivers of and issues behind these changes. The course assumes only an introductory course in microeconomics. Topics covered include: the economic models presenting the gains from trade and gains and issues created by instruments of trade policy such as tariffs and treaties, as well as international trade bodies including the World Trade Organization. The course will then cover aspects of international capital markets, focusing on floating and fixed foreign exchange regimes. The growth of international banking out of trade finance and the international expansion of domestic businesses will be presented along with the issues these developments created. The parallel deregulation of international financial markets will be discussed and its impact on developed and developing countries. We will discuss the importance of these markets in supporting the underlying growth in trade and services as well as the issues created, e.g., the precipitation of the 1997 East Asian Crisis by developing economies' increased access to capital markets.
Instructor(s): David H. Schabes Terms Offered: Autumn
PBPL 28488. Politics and Public Policy in Latin America. 100 Units.
This course will cover the politics of policy making in Latin America. The first part will focus on understanding the problems of economic development in the region. It will address how and why Latin America is different by looking at its economic outcomes, economic and social policies and political institutions. It will also look at different examples of how political institutions shape policy outcomes. The second part will ground the distinctiveness of Latin America in its history, and show why understanding this is critical for comprehending why it is so different from the United States. It will explore how these historical factors persist, for example, how the legacy of authoritarianism shapes redistributive policies and how these historical foundations have created the weak Latin American states we see today. The third part of the course will look at how groups such as civil society or violent actors can also shape policymaking and welfare in this region. Finally, it will discuss some perspectives on whether some countries in the region have managed to find ways to change their political institutions and subsequently their social and economic policies with the prospect of creating a more prosperous society. The aim of this course is for students to gain empirical knowledge on the region's politics and policies as well as a practical understanding of political factors that shape policy outcomes.
Instructor(s): Maria Bautista Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 28488
PBPL 28498. Women, Development and Politics. 100 Units.
This course will explore the dominant and emerging trends and debates in the field of women and international development. The major theoretical perspectives responding to global gender inequities will be explored alongside a wide range of themes impacting majority-world women, such as free market globalization, health and sexuality, race and representation, participatory development, human rights, the environment and participation in politics. Course lectures will integrate policy and practitioner accounts and perspectives to reflect the strong influence development practice has in shaping and informing the field. Course materials will also include anti-racist, postcolonial and post-development interruptions to dominant development discourse, specifically to challenge the underlying biases and assumptions of interventions that are predicated on transforming "them" into "us". The material will also explore the challenges of women participating in politics and what are the consequences when they do or do not.
Instructor(s): Bautista, M. and Chishti, M. Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 28498, GNSE 28498
PBPL 28501. Process and Policy in State and City Government. 100 Units.
This course consists of three interrelated sub-sections: (1) process and policy in city and state government; (2) the role played by influential, key officials in determining policy outcomes; and (3) policymaking during and after a political crisis. Issues covered include isolating the core principles driving policy at city and state levels; understanding how high level elected officials can shape the course of policy; and determining how a political crisis affects policy processes and outcomes. Most of the specific cases are drawn from Chicago and the State of Illinois.
Instructor(s): C. Harris III Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 28501
PBPL 28502. Policing in America: Black, White and Blue. 100 Units.
The course will focus on policing issues in Chicago and across the nation. It will feature guest speakers and class discussions. This course satisfies the Public Policy practicum Windows requirement.
Instructor(s): Clayton Harris Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course satisfies the Public Policy practicum windows requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 28502
PBPL 28528. Household Finance: Theory and Applications. 100 Units.
This course will examine the choices households make about important financial decisions and how these individual choices can impact the aggregate economy. Each week, basic predictions from economic theory will be discussed and compared with empirical findings. Topics will include: asset market participation and household portfolio choice; human capital and student loans; housing and mortgages; retirement planning; credit card debt; payday loans; and the gig/sharing economy. Focus will also be placed on government policies affecting these topics, including so-called household financial engineering, the creation of Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) like "Fannie" and "Freddie," and regulatory agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The course will provide an introduction to structural modeling for conducting policy counterfactuals. Assessment will be based on problem sets, a midterm and a final. These problem sets will require students to work in R, Stata or other statistical package of the student's choice (with permission of instructor).
Instructor(s): D. Koustas Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000 required; PBPL 22200 preferred.
Note(s): Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000 and one undergraduate course in quantitative research methods (Statistics or Econometrics) or the equivalent or consent of the instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 13110
PBPL 28550. Social Experiments: Design and Generalization. 100 Units.
The pressure in many fields (notably medicine, health research, and education) for evidence-based results has increased the importance of the design and analysis of social investigations. This course will address two broad topics: (i) the design of experiments, quasi-experiments, and surveys; and (ii) the use of these social investigations for generalization in policy areas. The course will explore how the relationship between surveys and experiments can inform generalization from experiments. Randomized clinical trials in medicine, field experiments in economics and psychology, and the use of scientific evidence in policy formulation will be among the examples. This course satisfies the Public Policy practicum METHODS requirement.
Instructor(s): C. O'Muircheartaigh Terms Offered: Winter
PBPL 28605. Economic Analysis of Law. 100 Units.
This course involves the application of the choice theory of economics to the opportunities obtainable within different legal environments. The likelihood that a person will choose to return a lost wallet, keep a promise, drive more carefully, or heed the terms in a will is partly a function of the applicable laws and regulations. Alternative rules, under the standard Law and Economics approach, are compared in terms of the economic efficiency of their subsequent outcomes. This efficiency lens of Law and Economics is applied to rules concerning property, torts, contracts, and criminal behavior.
Instructor(s): J. Leitzel Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): ECON 20100/20110
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 28600
PBPL 28681. Applied Investments for Public Policy. 100 Units.
Financial markets play an important role for public policy. Central banks, Federal and local governments, and public and private pension funds are faced with decisions about risk and return in financial markets. Being able to use financial data to inform these decisions is crucial. The tools of investments analysis can be used to understand the effects of these financial decisions for individuals saving for retirement, governments, and pension funds. This class covers the core tools of financial investments and applies them in the context of public policy. Over the course of this class you will familiarize yourself with the main concepts of investments theory for stocks, bonds, and investment portfolios and apply them using real data in Excel. A particular focus will be on empirical applications. Applications and assignments in this course will be structured around Excel with real-world data - the basic tool in the financial industry and many organizations to analyze data. Theory and data analysis will be supplemented with speaker events from the intersection of investing and public policy, and weekly market updates.
Instructor(s): Pflueger, Carolin Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000, PBPL 26400, and Statistics 22000 or 23400 or higher
PBPL 28683. Introduction to Corporate Finance. 100 Units.
This course presents an introduction to the principles of corporate finance and its applications. These principles are critical to understanding the nature of how corporations and many government entities present their financial condition, finance themselves and manage their financial risks. We will examine corporate structure, evaluation of new projects, financial planning and governance. Perspectives will include those of the debt the shareholders and key management members, including the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Additional material relating to the public policy issues that certain corporate decisions create will be considered. There will be problem sets, graded and ungraded, to support most areas.
Instructor(s): Schabes, D. Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): This course requires no prior finance or business knowledge.
PBPL 28728. Climate Change and Society: Human Impacts, Adaptation, and Policy Solutions. 100 Units.
Anthropogenic climate change is one of the most difficult challenges faced by modern society. A revolution in socioeconomic and environmental data, along with new and old insights from economics, can inform how we face this global challenge. During the course, our focus will be on the impacts of climate change upon society, and the necessity of solutions that deal with the global scope, local scales, and often unequal nature of the impacts. This interdisciplinary course covers the tools and insights from economic analysis, environmental science, and statistics that inform our understanding of climate change impacts, the design of mitigation and adaptation policies, and the implementation of these policies. Students will develop a mastery of key conceptual ideas from environmental economics relevant for climate change and acquire tools, both theoretical and empirical, for conducting analyses of climate impacts and policies. The latter part of the course will hone students' ability in applying these insights and tools through policy debates and presentations. The goal is to help students become informed and critically-minded practitioners of evidence-based, climate-informed policy making.
Instructor(s): Jina, A. Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PBPL 20000 or ECON 20000 or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 28728
PBPL 28765. The Politics of Authoritarian Regimes. 100 Units.
This course provides an overview of topics related to politics in authoritarian regimes. We begin by introducing the concept of authoritarianism: how it differs from democracy and how authoritarian regimes differ from each other. We then investigate the tools authoritarian rulers employ to maintain power, including institutions, policies, and tactics, and we examine the effects and side effects of these tools. Finally, we study transitions of power and of institutions, both on the way out of authoritarianism (democratization) and on the way in (democratic backsliding). Students who take this course will acquire a broad understanding of authoritarian politics and how it is covered in the literature.
Instructor(s): Scott Gehlbach; Zhaotian Luo Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Prior recommended coursework for undergraduates: one semester in Statistics (Stats 220 or equivalent) and current or prior training in game theory (PBPL 222, Social Science Inquiry core, or equivalent). Prior recommended coursework for graduate students: one semester of statistics and current or prior training in game theory.
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 38765, PLSC 38765, PLSC 28765
PBPL 28775. Poverty and Economic Development. 100 Units.
This course focuses mainly on the microeconomic fundamentals of economic development. We will study causes of poverty and underdevelopment, poverty measurement issues, and policies to improve well-being. We will concentrate on topics such as fertility, nutrition and health, education, labor markets, intra-household allocation of resources and foreign aid. Empirical evidence from developing economies will be used extensively.
Instructor(s): A. Menendez Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): A microeconomics course and a statistics/econometrics course is required. This course is recommended for third and fourth-year students.
PBPL 28776. Political Development and Policy. 100 Units.
The study of the inter-relationship between politics and economics is a lively one. In 1755, when Adam Smith wrote: "Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice, all the rest being brought about the natural course of things." he might not expected even after 400 years we would be in search of such a state. Yet alone, we would still be trying to understand the economic consequences of the political decisions, and the political consequences of the economic decisions. This course provides students with a broad understanding of development economics and political economy. We will explore questions such as but not limited to: What is the effect of state capacity, especially in the areas of fiscal and legal capacity, on development? On the other hand, how socio-political factors such as ethnic fractionalization, polarization, gender discrimination affect economic outcomes? What are economic causes and consequences of political violence? What is development assistance? How should we analyze the effect of development assistance on the developing nations?"
Instructor(s): Raul Sanchez de la Sierra Terms Offered: Spring
PBPL 28780. The Art and Science of Negotiations and Persuasion. 100 Units.
The ability to influence other people and convince them to go along with your beliefs about what they should do is perhaps one of the most sought after, but misunderstood, professional skills. Those who appear to be successful at negotiation and persuasion are routinely built up as having unique traits like charisma, excellent leadership skills, and innate talent. However, this course will explain how success in influencing others depends not on innate or unique traits, but rather on knowledge and practice of basic psychological principles that govern interpersonal behavior. This course will increase your understanding of negotiations and persuasion in several ways. First, you will experience varied negotiation situations firsthand in the classroom on a weekly basis. Second, you will learn how to analyze your work using insights collected from decades of research in social psychology, decision-making, and behavioral science. Third, and unlike most real-life situations, you will be able to receive feedback on your performance. Life, unfortunately, does not often offer the opportunity to compare your outcomes to other people's outcomes. This course does, thereby enabling you to identify what you did right, what you did wrong, and improve your performance by evaluating your work compared to the rest of the class. This course aims to provide you with negotiation experience, tools for persuading others to go along with your beliefs, and general knowledge of human psychology.
Instructor(s): Klein, N. Terms Offered: Spring
PBPL 28791. Behavioral Science and Public Policy. 100 Units.
Many policies are aimed at influencing people's behavior. The most well-intentioned policies can fail, however, if they are not designed to be compatible with the way people actually think and make decisions. This course will draw from the fields of cognitive, social, and environmental psychology to (1) examine the ways in which human behavior deviates from the standard rational actor model typically assumed by economics, and (2) provide strategies for improving the design, implementation, and evaluation of public-facing policies. The basic premise of this course is that a foundational understanding of human behavior can lead not only to more effective policies, but enhanced decision-making and well-being.
Instructor(s): K. Wolske Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 28791
PBPL 28805. Behavioral Economics and Policy. 100 Units.
The standard theory of rational choice exhibits explanatory power in a vast range of circumstances, including such disparate decision making environments as whether to commit a crime, have children, or seek to emigrate. Nonetheless, shortfalls from full rationality seem not to be uncommon, and are themselves, to some extent, systematic. Behavioral economics documents and tries to account for these departures from full rationality. This course looks at areas in which some modification of the traditional rational choice apparatus might most be warranted; these include decisions that unfold over time, involve low probability events, or implicate willpower. To what extent should public policy respond to shortfalls from rationality or concern itself with promoting happiness?
Instructor(s): J. Leitzel Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 26920
PBPL 28829. Artificial Intelligence for Public Policy. 100 Units.
It is hard to name a sector that will not be dramatically affected by artificial intelligence (or machine learning). There are many excellent courses that teach you the mechanics behind these innovations -- helping you develop an engineering skill set. This course takes a different approach. It is aimed at people who want to deploy these tools, either in business or policy, whether through start-ups or within a large organization. While this requires some knowledge of how these tools work, that is only a small part of the equation, just as knowing how an engine works is a small part of understanding how to drive. What is really needed is an understanding of what these tools do well, and what they do badly. This course focuses on giving you a functional, rather than mechanistic, understanding. By the end, you should be an expert at identifying ideal use-cases and thereby well-placed to create new products, businesses and policies that use artificial intelligence.
Instructor(s): J. Ludwig Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students should have some Statistics experience.
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 38829
PBPL 28920. Inequality: Origins, Dimensions, and Policy. 100 Units.
For the last four decades, incomes in the United States and across the globe have grown more unequal. That fact has attracted worldwide attention from scholars, governments, religious figures, and public intellectuals. In this interdisciplinary course, participating faculty members drawn from across the University and invited guest speakers will trace and examine the sources and challenges of inequality and mobility in many of its dimensions, from economic, political, legal, biological, philosophical, public policy, and other perspectives. This course is part of the College Course Cluster program: Inequality.
Instructor(s): A. Sanderson and Staff Terms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing
Note(s): ECON 24720 or ECON 22410 may be used as an Economics elective, but only one of the two may be used toward Economics major requirements.
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 24720, BPRO 28900
PBPL 28925. Health Impacts of Transportation Policies. 100 Units.
Governments invest in transport infrastructure because it encourages economic growth and mobility of people and goods, which have direct and indirect benefits to health. Yet, an excessive reliance on motorized modes of transport harms population health, the environment, and social well-being. The impact on population health is substantial: Globally, road traffic crashes kill over 1.3 million annually. Air pollution, to which transport is an important contributor, kills another 3.2 million people. Motorized modes of transport are also an important contributor to sedentary lifestyles. Physical inactivity is estimated to cause 3.2 million deaths every year, globally. This course will introduce students to thinking about transportation as a technological system that affects human health and well-being through intended and unintended mechanisms. The course will examine the complex relationship between transportation, land use, urban form, and geography, and explore how decisions in other sectors affect transportation systems, and how these in turn affect human health. Students will learn to recognize how the system level properties of a range of transportation systems (such as limited-access highways, urban mass transit, inter-city rail) affect human health.
Instructor(s): Bhalla, Kavi Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ARCH 28925, HLTH 28925, ENST 28925
PBPL 29050. Youth Law and Policy: Child Welfare and Juv. Just. in the U.S. 100 Units.
This course explores how legal institutions protect and punish children in the United States. We will spend the first part of the course exploring the child welfare system, which purports to protect children from abuse and neglect through various mechanisms including foster care and the termination of parental rights. We will spend the second part of the course exploring the juvenile justice system, which purports to prosecute and rehabilitate children for their criminal acts in a system separate from the criminal justice system. In the final part of the course, we will consider special topics in this area of law and policy including "cross-over youth" (i.e. children involved in both systems), unaccompanied immigrant children, homeless and runaway youth, and the so-called "school-to-prison-pipeline." This course will place special emphasis on the judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and social workers that comprise these legal institutions.
Terms Offered: Not offered in 2020-21
Prerequisite(s): Course limited to 3rd and 4th year students only.
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 29050, LLSO 29050
PBPL 29070. Nuclear Policy. 100 Units.
While issues arising from technologies that have both military and civilian applications are not new, the nearly incomprehensible destruction from exploding nuclear weapons focuses the mind as few other dual-use technologies can. This course will examine the development of national policies and the international regimes on the uses of nuclear energy. We will review military doctrine and the plans for nuclear war-fighting as well as the effects on societies of developing and using nuclear weapons. We will review the history of international proliferation of nuclear technology and fissile material and examine efforts to curtail the spread of weapons. In the second part of the course, we will focus on the development of civilian nuclear power and on current policy to prevent accidents and dispose of nuclear waste materials. Political leaders often face policy dilemmas because nuclear technology and materials offer great benefit, as well as presenting great danger. We will explore these dilemmas throughout the course.
Instructor(s): Benedict, K Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 33510
PBPL 29404. Inequality, Household Finance, and Tax Policy: A Practicum. 100 Units.
The first component of this course will feature seminar discussions of inequality in the US, with respect to income, gender and race, and how these interact with US tax policy. We will have a focus on income transfers to low-income households such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. We will also review current policy topics in Household Finance, the study of how households save, borrow, and/or use insurance to overcome unexpected changes in household income. In addition, we will discuss the process of filing tax returns, the prevalence of income tax refunds, and the various industries, both non-profit and for-profit, that have arisen around this phenomenon. Next, students will go into the field, and work as volunteer tax preparers for a local, Chicago non-profit, Ladder Up. Students will be trained as tax preparers (which requires a 3-hour training session), learn how these services are delivered, and will also learn about the various social goals and public benefits that are often coupled with this process. Tax season begins in late January, and the students will volunteer weekly for about 6 weeks, until the end of the quarter. Students are also encouraged, though not required, to continue to volunteer until the end of the tax season, April 15th. Finally, students will produce a final project as a part of a group project. This course satisfies the Public Policy windows practicum requirement. Note: due to the limitations created by the current pandemic, students will volunteer remotely with the tax preparation nonprofit.
Instructor(s): Jones, Damon Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 29404
PBPL 29507. The Politics of Healthcare Policy in the United States, 1900 - 2020. 100 Units.
In the modern history of United States social politics, there have been few issues as enduring, divisive, and consequential as that of healthcare policy. This seminar examines the political, economic, legal, and social origins of the modern U.S. system of healthcare financing and delivery. Our discussion and analysis will be organized around a series of key turning points in the history of U.S. healthcare politics, from the first push for "workingmen's insurance" in the Progressive Era to the debate over Obamacare and "Medicare for All" since 2008. We will learn to view healthcare policy as contested terrain fought over by labor unions, insurance companies, physicians, think tanks, policymakers, grassroots activists, trade associations, and corporate employers. In the process, we will explore themes such as the rise of the modern corporation, public interest law, welfare capitalism and business conservatism, and the politics of race- and class-based healthcare inequality.
Instructor(s): Ben Zdencanovic Terms Offered: Spring. Not offered in 2020-21
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25319, HLTH 29507, HIPS 27507, LLSO 29507
PBPL 29600. Internship: Public Policy. 100 Units.
Students write a paper about their experience working for a government agency or nonprofit organization.
Instructor(s): J. Leitzel Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent of the Program Director is required. Students must obtain consent before beginning the internship.
Note(s): The College Reading and Research Course Form is required. Must be taken for P/F grading.
PBPL 29700. Reading and Research: Public Policy. 100 Units.
This is a reading and research course for independent study not related to BA research or BA thesis preparation.
Instructor(s): STAFF Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Public Policy majors. Must be taken for a letter grade.
Note(s): The College Reading and Research Course Form is required.
PBPL 29800. BA Seminar: Public Policy. 100 Units.
In Autumn Quarter students learn about sources, methods of research, and the treatment of evidence. In Winter Quarter students continue to work with their preceptor and peers in conducting their research and revising their written work in a workshop or writing group format.
Instructor(s): Staff Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open only to fourth-year Public Policy majors.
Note(s): Students are required to register for PBPL 29800 during Autumn of their 4th year but must attend in both autumn and winter to satisfy the requirement of the major. Must be taken for a letter grade.
PBPL 29900. BA Paper Preparation: Public Policy. 100 Units.
This is a reading and research course for independent study related to BA research and BA thesis preparation.
Instructor(s): Staff Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open only to 4th year Public Policy majors. Must be taken for a letter grade. The College Reading and Research Course Form is required.
Undergraduate Primary Contact
Senior Lecturer and Executive Director
Associate Professor and Faculty Director
Instructional Professor, Social Sciences Collegiate Division
Assistant Instructional Professor, BA Thesis Faculty Lead