Brown University
Public Policy

Electives Fall 2017

To complete a concentration in public policy, all electives must be courses relating to policy areas, but not necessarily in the Policy department. The following list encompasses courses related to public policy, sorted by subject area.


Education Policy


EDUC 1020 - The History of American Education

  • Instructor: Tracy Steffes

  • TTh 10:30-11:50am

  • This course is an introduction to the history of American education with an emphasis on K-12 public schooling. Using primary and secondary sources, the class explores the development of public schools and school systems, debates over aims and curriculum, conflicts over school governance and funding, and struggles for equity and inclusion over time. This class analyzes the relationship between schooling, capitalism, and democracy. Finally, in exploring how different generations have defined and tried to solve educational dilemmas, students consider how this history might help us approach education today.

 

EDUC 1035 - Decolonizing African Education: Student Activism and Social Change, 1960-present [international]

  • Instructor: Rachel Kantrowitz

  • T 4:00-6:30pm

  • After many African countries gained political independence in the 1960s, students and teachers sought to transform education. Although relatively few people were well-educated, those who were used their influence to demand social change. Reading work by anthropologists, historians, and African students’ own writings, this class will examine the elements of the enduring colonial legacy, such as the language of instruction, and how Africans proposed curricular and structural reforms to “decolonize” education. Open to students enrolled in semesters 3-8.

 

EDUC 1045 - Sociology of Higher Education

  • Instructor: David Rangel

  • MWF 11:00-11:50am

  • American higher education has often been characterized as the great equalizer and, thus, as one of the foundational pillars of the American Dream. In this course students will develop a sociological understanding of higher education, primarily in the United States. Using both theory and empirical evidence, we will explore issues relating to the impact of social factors on higher education. Particular attention will be paid to the role that higher education plays in promoting social mobility as well as social reproduction. Throughout we will ponder what policies might best fulfill the promise of higher education in the U.S.

 

EDUC 1430 - Social Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender

  • Instructor: David Rangel

  • MWF 9:00-9:50am

  • Focuses on the social construction of race, class, and gender and how this construction influences an individual's perception of self and other individuals. Topics include identity development, achievement, motivation, and sociopolitical development. Enrollment limited to 30.

 

EDUC 1630 - Strategic Management for School System Excellence

  • Instructor: Andrew Moffit

  • T 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course will focus on management approaches to improving school system performance, enabling students to (a) explore key education reform strategies; (b) adopt a senior management mindset through weekly discussion of case studies; and (c) broaden their perspective through use of domestic and global school system examples. The course is appropriate for juniors, seniors and graduate students, who bring an interest in education and a commitment to active classroom discussion. Enrollment limited to 24 students in their third semester or above.

 

EDUC 1890 - Family Engagement in Education

  • Instructor: Yoko Yamamoto

  • TTh 9:00-10:20am

  • Students in this course will examine theories and empirical studies of family processes and engagement in education drawing from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and educational studies. The course offers an in-depth look at focal topics across diverse groups within the U.S. as well as societies abroad to examine issues such as culture, ethnicity, immigration, and socioeconomic status. Elements and programs that promote partnerships between family and school are also discussed.


Environmental Policy


AFRI 1010C - Race, Gender, Ethics, and Environmental Justice

  • Instructor: Vanessa Fabien

  • F 3:00-5:30pm

  • African Americans, Gender, Ethics and Environmental Justice examines the role of African Americans in the larger environmental history conversation. It utilizes a gendered lens to investigate how African American interpreted their natural surroundings and contributed to the development of 20th century American environmental consciousness.

 

AMST 1904K - Power + Water: Material Culture and its Environmental Impact

  • Instructor: Ron Potvin

  • M 3:00-5:30pm

  • Students explore material culture, its impact upon the environment in the US prior to Industrial Revolution and examine the relationship of this earlier production to current issues of pollution and climate change. In the 18-19th centuries, houses, furniture, whale products were staples of American craft and ingenuity. This material culture tells the story of how gathering raw materials and converting them into usable products came at a severe cost to watersheds, forests, species, humans. These examples show that the seemingly insatiable human urge to control/transform resources into items for consumption leads to serious consequences for the earth’s climate and inhabitants. Open to juniors and seniors.

 

ECON 1340 - Economics of Global Warming

  • Instructor: Matthew Turner

  • MW 8:30-9:50am

  • The problem of global warming can be usefully be described with the following simple economic model. We face a tradeoff between current consumption, future consumption, and future climate, have preferences over consumption and future climate and would like to choose our optimal climate/consumption bundle. This course is organized around filling in the details required to make this model useful, characterizing the optimal climate/consumption path suggested by the model, and finally, investigating policies to achieve the optimal path. Prerequisite ECON 1110/1130.

 

PHP 1700 - Current Topics in Environmental Health

  • Instructor: Gregory Howard

  • F 1:00-3:30pm

  • This course is designed to introduce students to the field of environmental health, and demonstrate how environmental health is integrated into various aspects of our lives, both directly and indirectly. Topics to be covered include: toxic metals, vector-borne disease, food safety, water quality, radiation, pesticides, air quality, hazardous waste, risk assessment, and the role of the community in environmental health.

 

PHP 1710 - Climate Change and Human Health [international]

  • Instructor: Gregory Wellenius

  • MW 1:30-2:50pm

  • Global climate change is occurring and these changes have the potential to profoundly influence human health. This course provides students with a broad overview of the diverse impacts of projected climate change on human health, including effects of changing temperatures, extreme weather events, infectious and non-infectious waterborne threats, vector-borne disease, air pollution, the physical and built environment and policies to promote mitigation and adaptation. Students will explore multiple sides of controversial issues through lively and informed class discussions, writing exercises, and participation in a series of end-of-term debates.


 Government, Law and Ethics


 

AMST 1600C - The Anti-Trafficking Savior Complex: Saints, Sinners, and Modern-Day Slavery [international]

  • Instructor: Elena Shih

  • MWF 12:00-12:50pm

  • How can we understand the global movement to combat human trafficking within critical frameworks on "industrial complexes"? Drawing from scholarship on the prison industrial, non-profit industrial, and white savior complexes this course examines human trafficking through the lens of race, class, gender, and national forms of power and subjectivity. Readings will problematize the so-called saints and sinners of the movement, investigating various global helping projects that exist to stop "modern day slavery.”

 

HIST 1145 - Outside the Mainstream: A History of Minorities in Japan [international]

  • Instructor: James McClain

  • TTh 9:00-10:20am

  • When Japan ratified the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, its representative reported, “The right of any person to enjoy his own culture…practice his religion or to use his own language is ensured under Japanese law. Minorities … do not exist in Japan.” However, many minority communities are present in Japan today. This course examines how several came into existence in the modern era, struggled to maintain distinctive lifestyles in a society that often defines itself as one of the world’s most homogenous, and influenced the flow of Japanese history.

 

HIST 1240A - Politics of Violence in 20th C. Europe [international]

  • Instructor: Holly Case

  • TTh 10:30-11:50am

  • Europe's 20th century saw the emergence of forms of violence unthinkable in a world without mass politics. To better understand the changes in European states and societies that gave rise to total war and the violence associated with totalizing ideologies such as fascism and communism, students will read Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Fanon and others who sought to interpret violence as an extension of ideology. Students will also read selections from more recent works by state leaders, historians and cultural figures from Ukraine to France, from Turkey to Great Britain who have reinterpreted past violence for present political ends.

 

HIST 1235A - Making a “Second Sex:” Women and Gender in Modern European History [international]

  • Instructor: Kelly Colvin

  • MWF 12:00-12:50pm

  • This course deals with the history of European women and gender from the Enlightenment to the present. It will focus on large historical themes and questions, especially shifting constructions of femininity and masculinity. It will begin with an analysis of eighteenth-century philosophies regarding women and gender, and it will move to examinations of specific topics such as industrialization, Victorian femininity, the suffrage movements, gender and the Great War, interwar sexuality, fascism, gender and the Second World War, and the sexual revolution.

 

HIST 1551 - American Urban History, 1870-1965

  • Instructor: Howard Chudacoff

  • MW 8:30-9:50am

  • A survey course with a specialized focus exploring American history from an urban frame of reference. Topics include the social consequences of the modern city, politics, reform, and federal-city relations.

HIST 1553 - Empires in America to 1890

  • Instructor: Sandra Haley

  • MWF 11:00-11:50am

  • In this class, we’ll consider some of the forms of empire-building by various groups of indigenous and colonizing peoples in what is now the United States in order to understand the development of imperial U.S. power in both domestic and international contexts. Rather than resting upon a foregone conclusion of European settler colonial “success,” the course explores the contingent and incomplete nature of empire-building even within unbalanced power relationships.

 

HIST 1961I - North Korea: Past, Present, and Future [international]

  • Instructor: James McClain

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • This course moves beyond stereotypes to examine the interconnected political, economic, and cultural transformations of the DPRK from 1945 to the present. Also included are the lived experiences of the Korean people, the plight of refugees, and the question of unification with South Korea.

 

HIST 1962D - The Social Lives of Dead Bodies in China and Beyond [international]

  • Instructor: Rebecca Nedostup

  • Th 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course aims to uncover corpses as signifiers and actors during times of community upheaval. We will take modern China as our focal point, but also look elsewhere in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia since the 19th century, when the broadening scale and nature of warfare; state expansion; rapid urban and rural development; global circulations of technology; and the interplay of international philanthropies with older forms of charity and ritual pacification significantly affected the treatment, conceptions, and actions of the dead.

 

HIST 1968A - Approaches to the Middle East [international]

  • Instructor: Beshara Doumani

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • This seminar introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Middle East Studies in the broader context of the history of area studies in the humanities and social sciences. Why and when did the Middle East become an area of study? What are the approaches and topics that have shaped the development of this field? And what are the political implications of contending visions for its future?

 

INTL 1802D - Religion, Politics and Society: Israel in a Comparative Perspective [international]

  • Instructor: TBA

  • Th 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course explores contemporary dilemmas of religion and politics in Israel, drawing from different theoretical sources and using other case studies it allows a study of Israel in a comparative perspective and hopes to engage in debates relevant to all. During the course we discuss general theories of secularization, religious revival, politics and religion and different models of church and state. We explore the history and institutionalization of religion in Israeli public life, and engage with contemporary dilemmas of religion and/in politics salient in Israel and elsewhere. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Priority given to IR seniors.

 

INTL 1802V - Diplomacy, Economics, and Influence [international]

  • Instructor:

  • Th 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course examines a dozen diplomatic situations and identifies the players, their interests, and their tools -- and how those produced outcomes. Particular attention is paid to economic factors – pressures, incentives, and influences – that contribute to the outcome. By examining these elements students will understand the economic tools of diplomacy and power, and how to wield them. The course concludes with a close look at China's growing role in the world economy and considers how that will change China's role in world affairs. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors & seniors. Priority given to IR seniors.

 

INTL 1803Q - Spheres of Influence: A Comparative Analysis [international]

  • Instructor: Stephen Kinzer

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • This seminar exposes students to a concept that has played an important role in the history of international relations, was supposed to fade away when the Cold War ended, and has unexpectedly returned to play a central role in global politics. We study the origin of sphere-of-influence geopolitics and review episodes when it promoted stability or instability. This allows us to compare the ways that great powers have used this concept, and to predict how they may do so in the future. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Priority given to IR seniors.

 

MES 1985 - Understanding Modern Iran [international]

  • Instructor: Amir Moosavi

  • M 3:00-5:30pm

  • This course examines the history of modern Iran through primary historical documents, secondary studies and cultural production, beginning with an historical overview and attempts at historical narrative in the modern era, from the latter half of the Qajar dynasty (~1850) until today. Topics include modernist reform in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Iranian identity, attempts at political reform, women’s movement and foreign affairs.

 

POLS 1020 - Politics of the Illicit Global Economy [international]

  • Instructor: Peter Andreas

  • MWF 10:00-10:50am

  • This course is about the "underside" of globalization. It introduces key sectors of the illicit global economy, including the clandestine flow of drugs, arms, people, body parts, arts and antiquities, endangered species, and toxic waste. The course compares these illicit sectors across time and place, and evaluates the practice and politics of state regulatory efforts. Particular attention is given to the role of the U.S. in the illicit global economy.

 

POLS 1150 - Prosperity: The Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation

  • Instructor: John Tomasi

  • MWF 1:00-1:50pm

  • What is prosperity? Whom does prosperity benefit? Which institutions and attitudes produce prosperity? What is the relation of prosperity to other values such as efficiency, happiness, equality, fairness, religious faith or personal freedom? This course explores the problem of prosperity from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: philosophical, economic, historical, religious, and literary.

 

POLS 1730 - Politics of Globalization [international]

  • Instructor: Jeffrey Colgan

  • MWF 10:00-10:50am

  • This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the field of international political economy. The course examines the fundamentals of international trade, finance, development, and investment policies. Must have basic understanding of statistics, macroeconomics, and international politics.

 

POLS 1820X - Democratic Erosion

  • Instructor: Robert Blair

  • Th 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course explores the causes and consequences of democratic erosion in comparative and historical perspective. The course will provide an opportunity for students to engage, critically and carefully, with the claims they have doubtlessly already heard about the state of democracy in the US and Europe; to evaluate whether those claims are valid; and, if they are, to consider strategies for combating democratic erosion here and abroad. The course will be taught simultaneously at roughly two dozen universities, with a number of cross-campus collaborative assignments.


Health Policy


 

AFRI 1060Z - Race, Sexuality, and Mental Disability History

  • Instructor: Nic Ramos

  • M 3:00-5:30pm

  • This seminar investigates the fraught entanglement of mental disability with race and homosexuality beginning with late 19th Century ideas of scientific racism and the invention of the homosexual body in African American communities. By tracking changes in Psychiatry and Psychology through the 1960s and 1970s, the course examines the impact of the Civil Rights and Gay Rights movements on sustaining contemporary mental health diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" associated with Trans people. The course will further examine several approaches to queer, trans, and gay history from the fields of color critique, black feminism, and disability studies.

 

ANTH 1300 - Anthropology of Addictions and Recovery

  • Instructor: Irene Glasser

  • M 3:00-5:30pm

  • The purpose of this course is to consider the uses and misuses alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and approaches to recovery from addictions. We will read some of the major cross cultural, ethnographic, linguistic, and sociopolitical works on addictions. Students will have the opportunity to conduct their own anthropological interviews regarding substance misuse and recovery as well as observe a local 12 step recovery meeting.

 

HIST 1960Q - Medicine and Public Health in Africa [international]

  • Instructor: Jennifer Johnson

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • This course explores the major debates in the history of medicine in Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and highlights the coexistence of a variety of healing traditions and medical understandings across the continent.

 

LACA 1503H - Sexuality, Human Rights, and Health: Latin American Perspectives and Brazilian Experiences [international]

  • Instructor: TBA

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • This course provides an overview on how sexuality and health, both defined by biological paradigms, met social constructionism and human rights perspectives which flourished in Latin America; provides an overview of the human rights based health approach and provide Brazilian cases; provides an overview to the multicultural human rights based approach to sexuality education; and expands the dialogical approach of this course by discussing sexuality research and human rights health based interventions in relation with students brought cases.

 

PHP 1070 - The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries [international]

  • Instructor: Stephen McGarvey

  • MW 8:30-9:50am

  • Defines and critically examines environmental, epidemiologic, demographic, biomedical, and anthropological perspectives on health and disease in developing countries. Required major term paper worth 50% of final grade is scholarly centerpiece of course. Weekly discussion sections and small group research projects supplement the two exams and term paper. Guest lecturers cover different diseases and public health perspectives. Enrollment limited to 65 sophomores and above.

 

PHP 1100 - Comparative Health Care Systems

  • Instructor: Omar Galarraga

  • MW 10:00-11:20am

  • Focuses on principles of national health system organization and cross-national comparative analysis. Emphasizes application of comparative models to the analysis of health and health-related systems among nations at varying levels of economic development and health care reform. Addresses research questions related to population health and systems' performance. Questionnaire completion required for Freshman and Sophomore students.

 

PHP 1680I - Pathology to Power: Disability, Health, and Community

  • Instructor: Sarah Skeels, Bruce Becker

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • This course offers a comprehensive view of health and community concerns experienced by people with disabilities. Guest speakers, and hands on field research involving interactions with people with disabilities will facilitate the students gaining a multi-layered understanding of the issues faced by people with disabilities and their families.

 

PHP 1700 - Current Topics in Environmental Health

  • Instructor: Gregory Howard

  • F 1:00-3:30pm

  • This course is designed to introduce students to the field of environmental health, and demonstrate how environmental health is integrated into various aspects of our lives, both directly and indirectly. Topics to be covered include: toxic metals, vector-borne disease, food safety, water quality, radiation, pesticides, air quality, hazardous waste, risk assessment, and the role of the community in environmental health.

 

PHP 1710 - Climate Change and Human Health

  • Instructor: Gregory Wellenius

  • MW 1:30-2:50pm

  • Global climate change is occurring and these changes have the potential to profoundly influence human health. This course provides students with a broad overview of the diverse impacts of projected climate change on human health, including effects of changing temperatures, extreme weather events, infectious and non-infectious waterborne threats, vector-borne disease, air pollution, the physical and built environment and policies to promote mitigation and adaptation. Students will explore multiple sides of controversial issues through lively and informed class discussions, writing exercises, and participation in a series of end-of-term debates.


 

Social Policy

 

AFRI 1210 - Afro-Brazilians and the Brazilian Polity [international]

  • Instructor: Anani Dzidzienyo

  • W 3:00-5:30pm

  • Explores the history and present-day conditions of Afro-Brazilians, looking specifically at the uses of Africana in contemporary Brazil, political and cultural movements among Afro-Brazilians, domestic politics and its external dimensions, and Brazilian race relations within a global comparative framework.

 

ANTH 1300 - Anthropology of Addictions and Recovery

  • Instructor: Irene Glasser

  • M 3:00-5:30pm

  • The purpose of this course is to consider the uses and misuses alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and approaches to recovery from addictions. We will read some of the major cross cultural, ethnographic, linguistic, and sociopolitical works on addictions. Students will have the opportunity to conduct their own anthropological interviews regarding substance misuse and recovery as well as observe a local 12 step recovery meeting. Enrollment limited to 20.

 

ECON 1370 - Race and Inequality in the United States

  • Instructor: Glenn Loury

  • TTh 10:30-11:50am

  • We examine racial inequality in the United States, focusing on economic, political, social and historical aspects. Topics include urban poverty, employment discrimination, crime and the criminal justice system, affirmative action, immigration, and low wage labor markets. Black/white relations in the US are the principle but not exclusive concern. Prerequisite is ECON 1110/1130. Enrollment limited to 25.

 

EDUC 1430 - Social Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender

  • Instructor: David Rangel

  • MWF 9:00-9:50am

  • Focuses on the social construction of race, class, and gender and how this construction influences an individual's perception of self and other individuals. Topics include identity development, achievement, motivation, and sociopolitical development. Enrollment limited to 30.

 

EDUC 1890 - Family Engagement in Education

  • Instructor: Yoko Yamamoto

  • TTh 9:00-10:20am

  • Students in this course will examine theories and empirical studies of family processes and engagement in education drawing from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and educational studies. The course offers an in-depth look at focal topics across diverse groups within the U.S. as well as societies abroad to examine issues such as culture, ethnicity, immigration, and socioeconomic status. Elements and programs that promote partnerships between family and school are also discussed.

 

HIST 1962D - The Social Lives of Dead Bodies in China and Beyond [international]

  • Instructor: Rebecca Nedostup

  • Th 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course aims to uncover corpses as signifiers and actors during times of community upheaval. We will take modern China as our focal point, but also look elsewhere in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia since the 19th century, when the broadening scale and nature of warfare; state expansion; rapid urban and rural development; global circulations of technology; and the interplay of international philanthropies with older forms of charity and ritual pacification significantly affected the treatment, conceptions, and actions of the dead.

 

INTL 1802D - Religion, Politics and Society: Israel in a Comparative Perspective [international]

  • Instructor: TBA

  • Th 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course explores contemporary dilemmas of religion and politics in Israel, drawing from different theoretical sources and using other case studies it allows a study of Israel in a comparative perspective and hopes to engage in debates relevant to all. During the course we discuss general theories of secularization, religious revival, politics and religion and different models of church and state. We explore the history and institutionalization of religion in Israeli public life, and engage with contemporary dilemmas of religion and/in politics salient in Israel and elsewhere. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Priority given to IR seniors.

 

INTL 1803M - Reassessing Contentious Politics and Social Movements [international]

  • Instructor: Mohammad Ali Kadivar

  • T 4:00-6:30pm

  • This course introduces the major theories of social movements that explain the origins, dynamics, and consequences of contentious politics. We concentrate on the Middle East, the First and Second Palestinian Intifadas, and Arab Spring uprisings. We investigate social movement attributes such as movement emergence, member recruitment, leadership, organization, tactics, targets, and goals. Enrollment limited to 20. Priority to IR seniors and juniors.

 

SOC 1270 - Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the Modern World

  • Instructor: Jose Itzigsohn

  • MWF 12:00-12:50pm

  • Applies sociological analysis to understand present and historical cases of ethnic and race relations and conflicts. Topics addressed are the social construction of race and ethnicity; historical processes of racialization; ethnic conflict and the nation state; and the linkages between race, class, and social mobility. Focuses on racial and ethnic relations in the U.S., but also has a strong international comparative component.

 

SOC 1620 - Globalization and Social Conflict [international]

  • Instructor: Patrick Heller

  • TTh 2:30-3:50pm

  • Examines the effect globalization is having on the economies and societies of the developed and developing world. Focuses in particular on how new forms of global production and networking are transforming the traditional role of the nation-state, creating new dynamics of wealth distribution, and generating new sources of social conflict and political contestation, including transnational social movements


Urban Policy


 

HIST 1551 - American Urban History, 1870-1965

  • Instructor: Howard Chudacoff

  • MW 8:30-9:50am

  • A survey course with a specialized focus exploring American history from an urban frame of reference. Topics include the social consequences of the modern city, politics, reform, and federal-city relations.