PUBLIC POLICY (PLCY)
This seminar explores linkages among nations, global environmental institutions, and the environmental problems they cause and seek to rectify. The course will examine how global environmental policy is made, with specific attention to the roles of institutions, nations, commercial and nonprofit entities.
This seminar provides students with an opportunity to discuss current topics in United States immigration. Students will explore theories of migration, acculturation and assimilation, and the ways in which policies influence the well-being of immigrants.
This first-year seminar provides an introduction to contemporary policy issues in higher education. Students will discuss challenges to current models of higher education, including accessibility, academic freedom, safety and security, and athletics.
Despite major improvements in living standards across the globe, nearly a fifth of the world's population still lives in extreme poverty. This course will examine the key determinants of human material well-being from an interdisciplinary perspective, discuss interventions and policies that can affect poverty including an assessment of market mechanisms, and interpret quantitative data to understand the causes and consequences of human development failures.
This seminar will define a policy entrepreneur and examine strategies used by policy entrepreneurs to achieve policy change or innovation in the policy making process. We will also explore models of innovative public-private-non-profit partnerships in the delivery of public goods. Honors version available.
Where do social entrepreneurs come from? How do they develop their passion for changing the world? Where do they get their motivation? Can anyone become a social entrepreneur? This seminar will look at the history and theory of social change, review the skills, strategies, and ideas of effective change agents and give students the tools to create a blueprint for their ideas for social transformation.
This course introduces students to the study of health and inequality in the United States. The overarching themes of this course cover topics about population health, the US health care system, and US health and health care policies. In learning these aspects of health, the course also presents a comparative perspective of how health, health care, and health policies in the US differs from those in other countries around the world.
This seminar investigates the value of equality, and asks which forms of inequality are unjust and ought to be addressed by governments. Topics include income inequality, political inequality, marriage inequality, racial inequality, and global inequality. Honors version available.
Is inequality a policy choice? Students in this course will examine and participate in debates around whether and which policies have the capacity to create, sustain, exacerbate, and/or ameliorate inequalities in the United States.
This course provides students with a variety of opportunities to understand the epidemiologic trends in world health, the institutions of global health governance, and the effects of globalization on global and national health policy. Honors version available.
This seminar provides an introduction to entrepreneurship and innovation and considers their relationship to economic growth. Honors version available.
The course will familiarize students with the major public policies and movements affecting the American labor market. Students will learn how each of the following impacts the labor market: education, the minimum wage, Social Security, pensions, unions, unemployment insurance, welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF), income taxes (including the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC), self-employment, immigration, automation, and the gig economy.
Examines the role of schools and other institutions play in determining life chances, which educational interventions work well for economically and academically disadvantaged students, and what to do when institutions cease to work well. Students will learn how to analyze complex educational public policy problems. Honors version available.
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
Overview of the policymaking process and of major public policy issues. Study of policy and political challenges in areas such as economic and tax policy, the social safety net, income support and the minimum wage, health care, education, environment and energy, foreign policy and national security, and homeland security. Honors version available.
Global issues are challenges whose sources, impacts, and solutions extend beyond the borders of any one country. This course introduces students to some of the most pressing issues facing populations around the globe and to possible policy responses. Honors version available.
Workshop open only to students who have received the APPLES Bryan Fellowship. Each fellowship team develops a project's underlying theory of change and the skills necessary for successful implementation. Students study the theories and implementation of one another's projects and external case studies.
Selected topics in public policy.
Permission of the instructor. Undergraduate research in public policy.
Supervised study for students interested in public policy.
There is a need to define innovative solutions to public policy problems, to provide analysis of different alternatives, and to create a plan that would benefit the largest number of stakeholders. This course focuses on the process of constructing, evaluating, and deciding among alternatives based on their ability to satisfy society's goals. Honors version available.
Examines approaches to American politics and public policy and analyzes why government responds to problems in predictable ways. Honors version available.
This course explores the uses of history and historical perspectives for public policy. Students will learn how historical processes have shaped today's public policies and examine how the origins and development of a policy can inform current policy decisions.
Special topics in public policy for undergraduates.
This course is for students selected as Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) for public policy courses. During the semester they serve as ULAs. This course will provide support and structure to make them effective in their role, including training in pedagogy and University policies; ongoing mentorship and supervision; opportunities to reflect; and assessment and evaluation. May not count toward the major or minor in public policy. Permission of the instructor.
Permission of the instructor. For public policy majors and minors. Offers students the opportunity to integrate and apply academic knowledge and skills by assuming active roles in nonprofit, nongovernmental, or government organizations. Under supervision of a mentor, students gain valuable knowledge that prepares them for the labor market after graduation.
Permission of the instructor. Independent reading/study in public policy.
Whether raising awareness of issues, building stakeholder coalitions, or advocating policy change, addressing public policy problems requires effective communication. Students will learn and practice cognitive, vocal, and physical skills to enhance communication under stressful conditions like high stakes meetings, negotiations and mediations, or public presentations. Emphasis on exercises that give "soft" skills harder edges so they can be developed and reliably utilized.
This course allows students to enhance their working knowledge of microeconomic theory, explore microeconomic theory as a methodology to solve policy problems, understand market failures and the role of collective action in markets, apply economic models to a variety of policy situations, and evaluate and critique economic analyses. Previously offered as PLCY 410.
Examines students' knowledge and understanding of social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to addressing complex social needs. Affords students the opportunity to engage in a business planning exercise designed to assist them in establishing and launching a social purpose entrepreneurial venture. Honors version available.
This seminar explores arguments about moral issues in public policy. Students examine both the means used to implement policies and policy ends through discussions of case studies of policy choice. Honors version available.
Students will gain an understanding of the role interest groups play in American public policy and how that role has shifted over time. The course emphasizes the role of interest groups in four policy areas: civil rights, the environment, social policy, and campaign finance.
The objective of this course is to enhance students' understanding of the causes and consequences of United States immigration within a social, historical, political, and economic context.
This is a graded seminar course that focuses on a study of domestic and international affairs within the United States policy-making process. This seminar is taught in Washington, DC. Students must apply for this program with UNC Study Abroad.
This is a graded seminar course that focuses on the role of policy experts (and advocates) in addressing domestic and global challenges. This seminar is taught in Washington, DC. Students must apply for this program with UNC Study Abroad.
The course will explore the gap between public policy and the lived experiences of and reactions from constituents. Students will explore this gap by studying the development of twentieth-century public policy, examining the differing outcomes across groups, and the contemporary impact on housing, voting, education, and policing.
A range of public policy topics at the state and local level.
An analysis of the evolution of American health policy with special emphasis on current health care finance and delivery challenges.
If you eat, you are impacted by federal, state, and local food policies. These policies are, in turn, shaped by values. This course examines the ethical perspectives that underpin different approaches to food policy, including food labeling, nutrition assistance, agricultural subsidies, and responses to food deserts.
Recommended preparation, at least one course in ethics (PHIL 160, 163, or 170) or one course in economics. Issues at the intersection of ethics and economics, including value; the relation between values and preferences; rationality; the relevance to economics of rights, justice, and the value of human life.
Public policies affect men and women differently, and they participate differently in the policy-making process. This course examines several key areas of public policy, some expressly related to gender or sexuality and others that have significantly gendered impacts, organized around four themes: family, labor, body, and the world.
This course will provide an overview of some of the most challenging energy issues of the 21st century and will cover the tools and perspectives necessary to analyze those problems.
Explores linkages among nations, global environmental institutions, and the environmental problems they cause and seek to rectify. Introduces pressing challenges of the global environment such as China and India's energy and climate policies, the environmental impacts of coal, nuclear energy, shale gas and fracking, and marine pollution. Discusses perspectives of nations, the role of financial markets and NGOs, and the international community involved in crafting policy solutions.
Climate change-perhaps the defining issue of the 21st century-is a highly complex problem that requires interdisciplinary collaboration to develop policy responses. This course explores the science of climate change and uses theories from multiple disciplines, including law, political science, economics, and earth and atmospheric sciences, to frame solutions to this global challenge. Students will apply quantitative and qualitative tools to understand causes and impacts of climate change, as well as policy responses.
Law is one of the main technologies of action of individuals and of the American state. This seminar offers useful ways of thinking about the relationship between law and public policy.
Special topics in public policy for undergraduate students.
Permission of the instructor. The clinic offers students the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge by collaborating with local nonprofits and governmental agencies. Under faculty guidance, students identify, explore, and recommend solutions for real-world public policy problems while developing skills in team building and professional leadership.
Permission of the instructor. This course aims to empower undergraduates to explore ways that local public, private, and non-profit sectors collaborate to address problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone. Students will utilize the Intersector toolkit to gain an understanding of how to diagnose, design, implement, and assess successful cross sector collaborations.
Permission of the instructor. Research in public policy for undergraduates. Honors version available.
By special arrangement and permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.
Many risks and shocks can make individuals and families vulnerable to economic hardship. This course examines America's social policy regime through a wide-ranging investigation of the origins, development, and future of critical features of our social safety net. We pay particular attention to challenges emerging in the era of globalization.
Course explores contemporary threats to national security, approaches to national security strategy, policy instruments, the role of military force, and the policy-making process.
Focuses on the entrepreneurial process to solve social or environmental issues. Using modern methods and tools, students engage in experiments to test hypotheses around problem definition, opportunity recognition and solutions. Experience gained in this course enable students to launch their own social enterprise or join social enterprises in progress.
This course aims to provide students with the tools necessary to most effectively engage in interpersonal conflicts. Students engage with diverse conflict management practitioners--from formally incarcerated individuals to public policy negotiation to international conflict mediators and role-play cross-cultural communication, inter-governmental negotiations, human rights, and workplace negotiations. Students will learn new negotiation and mediation skills, build upon existing ones, and learn to cope with stress, discomfort, and emotions when in conflict. Previously offered as PLCY/PWAD 330.
Application of statistical techniques, including regression analysis, in public policy program evaluation, research design, and data collection and management. Honors version available.
This course examines the political and economic dimensions of the food we eat, how it is produced, who eats what, and related social and environmental issues, both domestic and international, affecting the production, pricing, trade, distribution, and consumption of food. Honors version available.
Introduces factors shaping environmental decision making by individuals, businesses, governments, advocacy groups, and international institutions. Explores public policy incentives and action strategies for influencing them.
Growing research shows that socially marginalized communities are disproportionally more at risk from environmental hazards and thus unable to recover fully. This course is designed to introduce students to natural disasters, their impact on marginalized populations, and the policies that help or hurt communities from recovering. We will also address topics of systemic racism, equity, and think critically about terms such as vulnerability and resiliency to determine their applicability in the 21st century.
This course provides an understanding of how poverty is defined, the consequences of poverty, and policies to reduce poverty. It explores the determinants of human development outcomes from an interdisciplinary perspective (with a heavy economics focus).
Special topics in public policy for undergraduate and graduate students.
This course offers students an opportunity to reflect upon and enhance their internship experience. The external internship must be designed to allow the student to do policy-relevant research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and/or policy advocacy under the supervision of a mentor at a nonprofit, nongovernmental, or governmental organization (students will not receive credit for any partisan or campaign-based internship, regardless of their duties).
By special arrangement and permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.
To introduce advanced undergraduates and graduate students to the three basic purposes of data science: to describe the social world, to make predictions for policy planning, and to establish causal relationships. The focus of the course will be on examples and applications rather than statistical and mathematical foundations, but will require hands-on computer programming and data analysis.
Reviews environmental problems in developing countries. Analyzes proposed solutions, such as legal remedies, market instruments, corporate voluntary approaches, international agreements, and development policies. Discusses the link between trade and environment, environmental cases from the World Trade Organization, and sustainable development.
This course provides a foundation in public finance theory and applications. Students learn to analyze taxation policies and expenditures on income redistribution, programs for the poor (e.g., TANF), and social insurance programs (e.g., Social Security). Honors version available.
Reviews current debates and policy solutions in education. Topics analyzed through three of the most commonly used evaluative criteria: equity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Topics: equality of educational opportunity, racial segregation, the black-white test score gap, school choice, and the use of incentives to promote increased performance. Lecture, case studies, discussion. Honors version available.
This course critically examines the causes, consequences of racial wealth inequality and social policies to address these disparities. More specifically, we will examine the merits and limitation of various paradigms aimed at explaining these persistent disparities, explore how economic inequality is affected by race, systemic racism, and sociodemographic factors (education, gender, marriage) and identify evidence-based policy options and proposals for reducing wealth inequality.
Coursework will focus on public policy approaches to global health, employing interdisciplinary methodologies to understand selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. For students who have a basic understanding of public health.
Course focuses on rights-based approaches to health, applying a human rights perspective to selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. Students will apply a formalistic human rights framework to critical public health issues, exploring human rights as both a safeguard against harm and a catalyst for health promotion.
Introduction to analysis of science policy. Course explores how events transformed science's role in American life and how science relates to industry and economic development. Topics include the mechanisms of allocating scientific resources, the commercialization of academic discoveries, regulating emerging technology, and achieving consensus on controversial scientific issues.
Students will explore the scientific method as applied to policy research. They will formulate testable policy research questions, become familiar with methods for conducting policy research, and learn to think critically about causal inference. Honors version available.
Intensive introduction to environmental management and policy, including environmental and health risks; policy institutions, processes, and instruments; policy analysis; and major elements of American environmental policy. Lectures and case studies. Three lecture hours per week.
Special topics for undergraduate and graduate students.
Permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.
Design of public policy instruments as incentives for sustainable management of environmental resources and ecosystems, and comparison of the effects and effectiveness of alternative policies.
Special topics for graduate or undergraduate students.
Permission of the instructor. In preparing their honors theses, students will formulate a testable policy research question, design a study to answer this research question, and learn to think critically about causal inference.
Permission of the instructor. For senior public policy majors. Directed research for the honors thesis. Students may only receive credit for one semester of this course. An application for enrollment must be completed by the student and approved by the director of the public policy honors program.
Permission of the instructor. Independent reading in public policy.
Pre- or corequisite, PLCY 581. Students apply knowledge and skills gained in the major to a real-world policy problem. In small teams, students produce actionable, client-centered, public policy analysis for a government agency or nonprofit organization. Students also develop skills in team work, leadership, communication, professional etiquette, and time management.
An intensive preparation course in mathematical and statistical analysis for public policy and economics. Reviews and introduces topics in linear algebra, calculus, optimization and mathematical statistics, and prepares students for PLCY 788 and PLCY 789. Also serves as a prerequisite for HPM 881, which satisfies one methods requirement in the Ph.D. program.
This course introduces students to the theoretical foundations and the analytical techniques to examine policy problems and design policy solutions. The course provides opportunities to put these foundations and techniques into practice by examining cases and by completing a set of memo writing assignments. It also conveys an appreciation for the ethical issues, values, and political context of government policy.
This course introduces data science coding, software, analysis, visualization and communication for public policy. It provides practical and applied skills for understanding the entire data analysis pipeline - from data mining to wrangling, visualization and statistical analysis. Implementation of statistical modeling and inference will be covered.
Students build a theoretical foundation about the politics of policymaking. We examine the governmental institutions and actors that make policy decisions, incentive structures, and influences that shape these decisions as well as the macro-environment within which policy demands arise and policy decisions are made.
Course examines the role of institutions in the analysis of public policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Consider how institutions are used to address market failures, how formal and informal institutions form, persist, and change, and theoretical and empirical approaches for studying the role of institutions.
This course explores the application of economic analysis in public policy, with an emphasis on public finance. The first part of the course develops the concepts, techniques, and framework of analysis, including externalities, public goods, and social welfare analysis. The second part applies the framework and techniques to public policy and public finance questions. Examples include social insurance, social security, health insurance, unemployment insurance, and taxation.
Students will be introduced to the mixed-methods program evaluation design; learn how to collaborate with diverse partners and funders in developing and implementing a rigorous evaluation using mixed methods; study the fundamentals of designing exploratory, process, implementation, and impact evaluations; and learn how to select an evaluation design that best addresses the evaluation questions.
This course will train an interdisciplinary group of graduate students to apply the mindsets, methods, and process associated with design thinking (i.e. human-centered design) to solve real world problems. Design thinking is a creative problem solving process that prioritizes ethnographic market research, convergent and divergent thinking, as well as rapid prototyping. Students will collaborate with community members to design solutions (products, services, etc.) that are desirable, feasible, and viable.
This course presents an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods. It addresses the theoretical, ethical, and practical aspects of conducting research in local and global contexts. Students will learn how to collect and analyze empirical information from multiple sources such as interviews, focus groups, written records, and surveys. Students will develop the skills necessary to understand and critique the methods of evaluation in others' work.
With a focus on Latin American migration to the U.S., this course introduces students to the inter-relationships between migration and health. Students will gain an understanding of the theories of migration and the ways in which immigration and settlement policies influence the health and well-being of immigrant populations.
Covers theories of distributive justice and how ethical arguments can be used as a basis for public policy decision-making.
This course introduces microeconomic theory using multivariate calculus and constrained optimization. Topics covered include consumer theory, producer theory, market equilibrium, taxes, and market power. Applied public policy examples are incorporated.
This course provides further applications of economic theory to public policy including risk and uncertainty, information economics, general equilibrium and welfare policy, externalities, public goods and taxation, and game theory.
This graduate-level course aims to offer a broad overview of the emerging field of social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is about creating novel, scalable, and sustainable solutions for critical social problems, using tools and techniques commonly associated with business entrepreneurship. Students will explore concepts, theories, and applications associated with social entrepreneurship. The course will involve reading, discussions, presentations, teamwork, and written assignments.
Logic of designing research for the analysis of planning problems and the formulation of public policies. Elements of research design, case study, survey research, quasi-experimental designs, and the social experiment are covered.
Three main objectives: to deepen students' understanding of important issues and topics in the design of empirical research, to further develop students' ability to critically evaluate research designs and policy-related products, and to aid in developing a research paper, dissertation, or other product.
For graduate students in Public Policy Analysis who are undertaking team projects under faculty supervision. Projects vary from year to year. All will relate to public policy and will involve interaction with real clients. The intent is to provide students with an opportunity to apply theory and techniques of policy analysis in actual problem situations.
Weekly forum for public policy scholars and officials to discuss the relationships between policy research and policy outcomes. Presentations by invited speakers and doctoral students. .
Covers economic and sociological theories on the determinants of learning and the demand for schooling. Topics include stratification, school effects, schooling process and socialization, family, peer and contextual effects, and the education production function.
Explores educational policy problems and the evidence and methods used to assess such problems. Topics include racial social gap, school choice, educational accountability, assessment, standard setting, teacher effects, resource allocation, and early childhood education.
Students will apply models and statistical techniques to original PLCY research; understand major techniques used to estimate causal relationships in quasi-experimental designs, including panel data and simultaneous equations models; and gain intuition and skills about the art of econometrics, including techniques for using complex survey data and handling missing data.
This course introduces PhD students to selected topics in advanced quantitative analysis. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests of the instructor. Topics include limited dependent variables and issues of truncation and censoring, survival and event study methods, estimation of time-series panel data models with low T and large N, and machine learning approaches for prediction problems in public policy.
Topics covered include poverty, welfare, and human resources from an economic perspective. For students wanting to specialize in social and behavioral approaches to the study of population and demographic phenomena.
This course allows graduate students in public policy analysis to receive credit for work on individual projects, designed in conjunction with a faculty supervisor. It is intended for students who are interested in pursuing academic topics not covered in scheduled courses.