Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century

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About this course: This course introduces class participants to the political significance and societal consequences of challenges facing U.S. and international policymakers. It is designed to help participants develop skills to analyze policy proposals and advocate for their preferred options for issues on the public policy agenda ahead. The class assumes basic knowledge about governing institutions and democratic processes, while recommending supplemental materials for further study to complement reading links provided. The course focuses on future policy challenges, while examining the broad historical context in which policies are adopted and implemented. As the course evaluates how…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course introduces class participants to the political significance and societal consequences of challenges facing U.S. and international policymakers. It is designed to help participants develop skills to analyze policy proposals and advocate for their preferred options for issues on the public policy agenda ahead. The class assumes basic knowledge about governing institutions and democratic processes, while recommending supplemental materials for further study to complement reading links provided. The course focuses on future policy challenges, while examining the broad historical context in which policies are adopted and implemented. As the course evaluates how issues are advanced by private sector interests, non-governmental organizations, and government policymakers, it examines how groups become effective policy advocates. Particular attention is paid to how winning coalitions are formed and how issue framing shapes the outcome of policy campaigns. The goal is neither to produce partisan talking points, nor to favor one governance philosophy over others. Rather it is to clarify the public policy challenges ahead and to enhance participants’ understanding of how policy options are adopted in the real world arena of contemporary politics. Coming soon, you will be able to join Signature Track, a system that verifies your identity when you take an exam. This option will allow you to earn a Verified Certificate, which provides formal recognition of your achievements in the course and includes the University of Virginia logo. Before then, you can complete a “test run” of the exam. You can then re-take the exam after the Verified Certificate becomes available. For information regarding Verified Certificates, see https://courserahelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201212399-Verified-Certificates"

Created by:  University of Virginia
  • Taught by:  Professor Gerry Warburg, Professor of Public Policy, Assistant Dean for External Affairs

    Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Commitment 9 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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University of Virginia A premier institution of higher education, The University of Virginia offers outstanding academics, world-class faculty, and an inspiring, supportive environment. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University is guided by his vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of students from all walks of life. Through these courses, global learners have an opportunity to study with renowned scholars and thought leaders.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Course Roadmap
Professor Warburg and his UVa graduate teaching assistants outline the approach of the course and highlight upcoming topics and speakers.


5 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Public Policy Challenges in the 21st Century Introduction
  2. Video: Student Introduction for the Course Roadmap
  3. Video: Module by Module Overview of Topics in the Course
  4. Video: The Approach of the Course
  5. Video: There are few "right" Answers
  6. Reading: Syllabus
  7. Reading: Suggested Readings


WEEK 2


Public Policy Challenges in the 21st Century
Professor Warburg outlines global public policy challenges the next generation will face, as classroom participants collaborate in defining the future agenda.


5 videos expand


  1. Video: Student Introduction to the First Class Lecture Which Describes the Course
  2. Video: Class Objective and Themes
  3. Video: GT 2030 Planning Exercise
  4. Video: Policy Change from Citizen Involvement
  5. Video: Gerry Warburg Post-lecture Discussion

Graded: Forecasting the Public Policy Challenges of 2030

WEEK 3


The Media and Changing Nature of Politics
Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers explains issue framing, coalition building and how modern media in shapes public policy options.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Student Introduction to Lecture with Dee Dee Myers
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg Lecture Introduction to Dee Dee Myers
  3. Video: Dee Dee Myers Career Path from Mondale to Clinton and Beyond
  4. Video: Dee Dee Myers and the Evolution of Media in Politics
  5. Video: Dee Dee Myers and the Political Environment Today
  6. Video: Dee Dee Myers and Leadership Lessons Learned - Finding Common Ground, Listening and Creating Real Change
  7. Video: Dee Dee Myers Answers UVa Student Questions
  8. Video: Dee Dee Myers Continues to Answer UVa Student Questions
  9. Video: Gerry Warburg and Dee Dee Myers Post Lecture Discussion

Graded: Media and the Changing Nature of Politics

WEEK 4


Healthcare Systems and Insurance Markets
Professor Eric Patashnik examines healthcare reforms, weighing costs, benefits and the efficacy of alternative approaches, including 'Obamacare.'


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Student Introduction to Healthcare Lecture with Eric Patashnik
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg introduction to Eric Patashnik and the Importance of Healthcare Policy
  3. Video: Eric Patashnik Discussing Imperfect Information and the Three Dilemmas of Medical Finance
  4. Video: Eric Patashnik Discusses Different Types of Healthcare Markets
  5. Video: Eric Patashnik Compares International Healthcare Responses to the United States
  6. Video: Eric Patashnik Provides an Overview of the Affordable Care Act
  7. Video: Eric Patashnik Answers UVa Student Questions
  8. Video: Eric Patashnik Continues to Answer UVa Student Questions
  9. Video: Gerry Warburg and Eric Patashnik Post Lecture Discussion

Graded: Healthcare Policy Challenges

WEEK 5


Federalism and the Power of State Governors
Professor Ray Scheppach examines the powerful role state governors play, examining how states serve as ‘laboratories’ for federal policy options in Washington.


6 videos expand


  1. Video: Student Introduction to Ray Scheppach Lecture on the Role of Govenors and States on Federalism
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg Introduction to Ray Scheppach: Policy Making Institutions and the Power of Governors
  3. Video: Ray Scheppach Discusses Govenors as Leaders
  4. Video: Ray Scheppach Discusses Federal and State Relations
  5. Video: Ray Scheppach Answers UVa Student Questions
  6. Video: Gerry Warburg and Ray Scheppach Post Lecture Discussion

Graded: Federalism and the Power of State Governors

WEEK 6


US-China Relations
Professor Harry Harding details the complex, all-important relationship between the U.S. and China, outlining different scenarios for future competition and cooperation.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Student introduction to Harry Harding lecture on US-China Relations
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg introduction to Harry Harding: Managing the US-China Relationship
  3. Video: Harry Harding and the Importance of US-China Relations
  4. Video: Harry Harding discusses the Cooperative Aspects of US-China Relations
  5. Video: Harry Harding discusses the Competitive Aspects of US-China Relations
  6. Video: Harry Harding discusses the Conflict Aspects of the US-China Relations
  7. Video: Harry Harding summarizing the Competitive and Antagonistic Aspects of US-China Relations
  8. Video: Harry Harding answers UVa Student Questions
  9. Video: Gerry Warburg and Harry Harding Post Lecture Discussions

Graded: US-China Relations

WEEK 7


Congress and Politics
Congressman Gerry Connolly and former House Republican leader Tom Davis offer insights into how Congress meets public policy challenges.


8 videos expand


  1. Video: Student introduction to Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg introduction to Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly: US Factions
  3. Video: Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly discuss Foreseeable Policy Issues in 21st Century
  4. Video: Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly discuss Changing Face of War and Executive Power
  5. Video: Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly on Agreement and Compromise
  6. Video: Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly discuss Incentives in Congress
  7. Video: Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly answer UVa student questions
  8. Video: Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly contine to answer UVa student questions

Graded: Congress and Politics

WEEK 8


War Powers
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine discusses how American citizens, in an age of drone strikes and asymmetrical warfare, decide to commit the nation to war.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Student introduction to Tim Kaine and War Powers
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg introduction to Senator Tim Kaine and lecture on War Powers
  3. Video: Tim Kaine on History and Problems of War Powers in the United States
  4. Video: Tim Kaine discusses Repairing the War Powers Resolution
  5. Video: Senator Tim Kaine answers UVa student questions
  6. Video: Senator Tim Kaine continues to answer UVa student questions, part 2
  7. Video: Senator Tim Kaine continues to answer UVa student questions, part 3
  8. Video: Tim Kaine discusses Public Policy Challenges Ahead
  9. Video: Gerry Warburg and Tim Kaine post lecture discussion

Graded: War Powers

WEEK 9


Wrapping Up - Positive Change and Closing
Professor Warburg reviews key course themes, analytical skills and the importance of civic engagement with the public policy agenda ahead.


8 videos expand


  1. Video: Student introduction to Gerry Warburg and Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century
  2. Video: Gerry Warburg : Reflection on Future Policy Issues
  3. Video: Gerry Warburg on the Benefits of Dysfunction
  4. Video: Gerry Warburg on Looking To Tomorrow
  5. Video: Gerry Warburg on Vision and Duty
  6. Video: Gerry Warburg summarizes the Seven Tools for Crafting Policy
  7. Video: Gerry Warburg final wrap up on how the course went and what resonated with his students at UVa
  8. Video: Afterword with Dean Allan Stam

Graded: Positive Change and Closing
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