Public Policy (PUB)

PUB 601 Higher Education Policy (3 credits)

What should students gain from college? How should higher education be funded? How is college connected to inequalities along racial, gender, class, and other lines, and what role should individual campuses play in mitigating those inequalities? Policy decisions shape each of these questions and their potential answers. In this course we will examine contemporary higher education policy and connections to inequality. Topics will include financial aid, diversity, access to college, different types of college settings, and funding.

PUB 604 Engaging Communities (3 credits)

How do communities identify and solve problems in partnership with other stakeholders in their local environment? Engaging Communities is an examination of how institutions develop trust and reciprocal partnerships within their neighborhoods and surrounding communities. The class will study the theory and practice of constructing mutually beneficial relationships among and between hospitals, higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, local government, community groups, and residents to improve the quality of life locally in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Students will learn about multiple ways to elicit and increase community participation and civic engagement, utilize the fundamentals of project management, and create models for assessment.

PUB 609 Advising and Advocacy (3 credits)

What makes a president "great?" What is leadership? Why do some presidents succeed and others fail? This course offers an analysis of the contemporary American Presidency with emphasis on the use of power, the role of personality, the nature of decision-making, and the relationship with the media, interest groups, and public opinion. We will investigate how presidents decide their policy priorities; what factors affect presidents' public standing; what conditions shape the president's relationship with Congress; and so on. Having carefully studied the presidency from the above perspectives, we will bring our informed insights to bear on two important questions confronting current and future presidents: race and gender. While the topic of the course is the presidency in general, the secondary goal of the class is to introduce and critically analyze how race and gender shape the ideas we have about our nation's highest office.

PUB 610 Econometrics (3 credits)

Basic principles of econometrics beginning with the classical linear regression model and the method of least squares. Special problems arising from the violation of classical assumptions, and statistical procedures for dealing with them, are covered. Identification and estimation problems are also studied, as well as forecasting with single-equation regression and simultaneous system of equations. Modern time-series models are evaluated, with numerous forecasting illustrations from economics and business.

PUB 613 Public Policy (3 credits)

This course investigates public policymaking within the United States with an emphasis on the social construction of public policy. Students will assess the significance of social, economic, and political factors that influence policymaking and implementation; how problems become a part of the political agenda; and the major political ideological perspectives in the U.S. that impact policy process and content. The course is a study of policy in practice, as students will evaluate current social problems along with empirical social science research to determine the strengths and weaknesses as well as the intended and unintended effects of a particular social policy at the state and/or national level.

PUB 615 Applied Research: Mixed Method (3 credits)

Public policy scholars and practitioners have a wide variety of methodological tools at their disposal. Yet, it can be challenging to determine which techniques are best equipped to answer particular research questions, as well as how to fruitfully combine distinct methods. Gaining a familiarity with the discipline’s vast methodological “toolkit” is essential to building the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in political and social research— for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. In this course, students will explore the principle methodological approaches employed in political inquiry—encompassing experimental, quantitative-statistical, and qualitative techniques—and examine how these tools may be productively “mixed” to make descriptive and causal inferences about political phenomena. In addition to learning to evaluate and critique distinct methodological approaches, students will “learn by doing” and gain experience applying various techniques to answer specific research questions. To provide the necessary technical skills for applied research, the course will introduce students to software programs that are commonly used for quantitative and qualitative research. Students will apply the skills and techniques in the context of a semester-long research project, which will include formulating a research question, developing a research design, and engaging in original empirical research (including data collection and data analysis). The project could form the basis of a graduate-level thesis or article manuscript prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed publication.

PUB 616 State and Local Government (3 credits)

This graduate-level "advanced topics" course focuses on understanding variation across America's federal system. How can we move from thinking about one American government, to 51 governments (all the states plus the national), or to the significantly larger number of local and municipal governments? What role do the states and localities play in shaping American democracy? In what ways are states hindering democracy or helping it flourish? In this course we will focus on three broad themes in the state politics literature: structural power, interest group activism, and individual political behavior. Throughout we will acknowledge that variation at the subnational level matters for engagement, equality, and the presence of a functioning democracy.

PUB 623 Women and American Politics (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with a critical examination of women as political actors in the United States. We will analyze various forms of women's political participation, both in the traditional spheres of what is considered politics -- women as voters and politicians -- and also in more "non-traditional" spheres of political activism. We will examine how women are mobilized to participate in politics, focusing keenly on the differences among women in their political activism in an effort to understand how the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, age, and ability influence women's political activism. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions, and debates in the women and politics scholarship, mainly from a U.S. perspective. Students will become acquainted with many of the critical questions and concepts scholars have developed as tools for thinking about the gendered political experience. In this course you will learn to "read" and analyze gender politically, exploring how it impacts our understanding of the political world.

PUB 630 Economics of Labor (3 credits)

This course concentrates on the analysis of the major contemporary issues concerning labor relations and labor unions; in particular: unemployment, wage-price relations, the settlement of disputes, minimum-wage legislation, wage differentials and discrimination, and competition from imports. Discussion is not confined to the purely economic dimensions of these topics. The course includes descriptive material on the development and present structure of the labor union movement in this country and on the more interesting and significant features of labor-management relations in selected foreign countries. Note: Can count towards quantitative track with the completion of additional coursework and permission of the instructor.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 636 EU and European Politics (3 credits)

This course will provide students with a hands-on opportunity for learning about the politics of the European Union and its member states. As an organization that is both supranational and intergovernmental in nature, the EU's actions are subject to the actions within its institutions and the decisions of its members. Therefore European politics has a great impact on what the Union does. The key and (unique) learning tools in this course are three simulations of EU institutions -the EU Parliament, the Councils of the EU, and the European Council. Students will take on roles of actual EU politicians and engage in policy making. The simulations will require students to perform extensive outside research to prepare to play their roles and will give participants an excellent understanding of these institutions and how they work. Class members will also become expert in the politics of "their" countries (the countries from which their alter egos are from) as well as on the issue under consideration (which will vary depending on pressing European and world events).

PUB 640 Public Finance & Public Policy (3 credits)

This course examines the nature of government spending, the decision-making process, and trends. It describes and evaluates several kinds of taxation and proposals for reform. It utilizes microeconomics to investigate tax incidence and the welfare effects of taxation.

PUB 649 Poverty, Ethics, & Public Poli (3 credits)

This course offers an overview of poverty in the United States, explores the ethical principles surrounding poverty and our response to it, and examines social policies that seek to ameliorate poverty. Students will work on a semester-long academic assignment which will engage them in one aspect of poverty and social policy.

PUB 655 Race, Crime & CJ (3 credits)

This graduate-level course examines the topic of race and ethnicity in relation to crime and criminal justice processing. More specifically, we focus on several issues: 1) the role of privilege and marginalization in the context of race and ethnicity and the criminal justice system: 2) the impact of these factors on intergroup relationships generally and the responses of the criminal justice system to criminal behavior, victimization, and employment within the criminal justice field; 3) how the responses of the criminal justice system affect the lives of offenders, victims, and agents of the criminal justice system for various racial/ethnic groups; 4) the current patterns of crime and victimization in relation to race/ethnicity? In addressing these questions, it is important to note that this is an upper-level sociology/criminal justice course, so do not expect it to be lecture driven, although some lectures will be presented. Much of the course work will revolve around class discussions and written analysis of the readings.

PUB 656 American Foreign Policy (3 credits)

This graduate-level "advanced topics" course explores US foreign policy since the end of World War II. After a conceptual introduction (Part I) which explores the utility of interests, institutions, and ideas for accounting for American policy, the course examines the US-Soviet competition and the ways that that "cold" conflict affected U.S. behavior not only toward the USSR, but also toward other regions (Part II). Part III investigates the early post-Cold War period and the attempts and failures in constructing some kind of "New World Order," and Part IV explores how the US has been responding to the twin challenges of terrorism and globalization.

PUB 667 Ethics in IR (3 credits)

What is morality in international politics? Is ethical reasoning and action possible in international affairs? If possible, when and how? Proponents of Realism often claim that there is virtually no room for morality in international affairs, and states and state actors are rational thinkers interacting in anarchy. For them, ethics are simply luxury and irrelevant. On the other hand, thinkers under the tradition of IR liberalism/idealism emphasize the ethical dimension of state decision making and state behaviors. On what moral ground or ethical reasoning, are the moral behaviors taking place and observed/unobserved? The primary objective of the course is to help students enhance their analytical ability for the study of international ethics. To this end, the course will explore the main traditions and theories of international ethics with a focus on such topical areas as just war and use of force, universal human rights and humanitarian intervention, and national collective memory and post-conflict reconciliation.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 668 Women, Gender, & Global Polit (3 credits)

To some scholars and policy makers, the idea that conditions in which women and girls live is important to global politics is almost ridiculous, but others stress that until we understand how "gender makes the world go around" (Cynthia Enloe), we will fail to (1) see accurately the nature of power, (2) achieve just outcomes for all people, and (3) understand how masculinity and femininity affect the political and social world. This course exposes students to the development of feminism (a body of thought that advocates for female, and more recently, gender, equality) and examines the extent to which women have become empowered in politics in their own countries, as well as globally. Moreover, many feminist scholars and activists have become sensitive to the ways that elements of a person's identity (race, class, gender, national origin, ethnicity, etc.) intersect in complex ways to provide her with elements of privilege and/or disadvantage. A central contention of this course is that empowerment is more than simply achieving the vote or becoming an elected official, and traditionally, some people (based on identity) have had an easier time achieving access and opportunities than have others. Empowerment means that all persons, regardless of gender, have influence over decisions that matter to them, security (both at home and in the global arena), economic opportunities, and are treated justly (are believed to possess inalienable human rights that are not somehow forfeited because of their gender).

PUB 670 Special Topics (3 credits)

Topics will vary according to the semester in which the class is offered.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 675 Environmental Economics (3 credits)

Introduces the environmental concerns facing optimal allocation of resources and factors of environmental policy. Topics include environmental policy analysis, externalities, public goods, criteria for evaluating environmental policies, the role of economic analysis in environmental policy decisions, discussion of pollution control planning, economic analysis of environmental policy in The United States, and international environmental issues.

PUB 682 Urban Economics (3 credits)

Urban Economics is broadly defined as the economic study of urban areas. This course will teach you how to examine issues that typically occur in urban areas, such as crime, poverty, inequality, and the distribution of public goods and government resources, from an economic perspective. Throughout this course, we will not only examine urban issues theoretically, but also use real-world data and geographic information systems software (GIS) to apply economic theory to examine these issues in real-time.

PUB 687 Research Methods (3 credits)

This graduate-level course provides students with an introduction into research methods. We will discuss current research in applied microeconomics and apply the methods learned to create original research. Throughout the course we will investigate multiple facets of research including literature review, data analysis, and analytic writing. Students will be given verbal and written feedback about their analysis and writing. Throughout this course, there will be opportunities for reading about, writing about, and discussing current policies, problems, and events that are relevant to writing a comprehensive research paper. In order to gain the most from these discussions, students are required to take on an active role in these discussions.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 688 Capstone Seminar (3 credits)

This graduate-level course provides students with an introduction into research methods. Students will learn the process of developing an original research project, including a literature review, research design, and analysis of findings. Throughout the course, there will be opportunities for reading about, writing about, and discussing current policies, problems, and events that are relevant to writing a comprehensive research paper.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 689 Healthcare Economics (3 credits)

This course examines major policy issues associated with the delivery of health care in the United States from an economic perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on the challenges and trade-offs involved in containing health care costs, maintaining quality, and ensuring access. This course will provide students with a better understanding of the major health policy issues.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 690 Global Smarts Internship (3 credits)

The Global Smarts Internship allows students to intern with the prestigious World Affairs Council of Philadelphia while making a commitment to social justice. Mentors travel to under-resourced middle schools in Philadelphia to prepare 8th graders for a city-wide Model United Nations event in May in which the middle-schoolers compete with students from elite private and well-funded suburban schools. As Global Smarts mentors help their middle-school students with skills and content, they develop their own academic skills (e.g. oral presentation, research, and writing) and their work experience. During this semester, mentors help their students understand two important issues of justice (previous topics have included ending forced labor, women's education, and providing clean and affordable energy). Throughout the semester, students reflect critically and consciously about their service and the systemic injustice in Philadelphia's public education system. This opportunity for community-engaged learning requires an interview in Fall (several weeks before Spring registration).

PUB 691 Philly Area Internship  (3 credits)

The Philadelphia Area Internship Program supports student internships in the public sector, private sector, or in a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Philadelphia area. Students will complete a total of 130 hours of work, write a resume and sample cover letter, keep a journal, and attend and write about an SJU Career Development Center event. Students who complete the requirements will receive 3 credits for one upper-division course in History, Political Science, or International Relations.

PUB 692 Museums, Monuments, and Media (3 credits)

“Public history” is history as it is practiced outside of the classroom for a general audience: at museums, monuments, and historic sites; in film, television, and digital media. In this course, students will examine the history, methods, and impact of public history in the United States. Through case studies, debates, site visits, and hands-on projects, students will learn how to consume, critique, and create public history, and to assess how the past is used (and abused) for present purposes.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 701 Thesis Supervision I (3 credits)

An integrative course in which the student is expected to complete a research paper toward the completion of a Masters thesis, utilizing the research methods and subject matter competence obtained in previous courses. This is the first of two required courses for completing a Masters thesis.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

PUB 702 Thesis Supervision II (3 credits)

Master's Thesis supervision for students in the PUB 4+1 program.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.