Some Recent Courses

Policy Implementation: 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.

The Politics of Health Care: In this course we 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 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?

Medical Ethics: In this course we will tackle some of the complex ethical challenges faced in health care. We will discuss the broad philosophical frameworks used in health care settings to make decisions around hot-button issues like: abortion, organ donation, and the right to die. We will also investigate how legal and cultural factors complicate decision-making around these topics. Class time will be divided between debates over real case studies, class guests, and field trips.