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New Course Announcement: Foundations of Social Policy (PUBPOL 570)

Posted: 1/7/2019 (Local Events)

PUBPOL 570: Foundations of Social Policy

Winter 2019

Professor Bill Zumeta

Mon-Wed. 4-5:20 PM in Condon 110B

This new course is an introduction and overview of the broad field of social policy (within the U.S. primarily but with some comparative framing). It is designed for Evans MPA students in the new Social Policy Program Option but other interested students, including PhD students and students from other departments, are welcome to enroll. The seminar-style course will provide an overview of structural factors affecting the nature and evolution of social policies in the U.S. as well as some coverage of recent developments in demography, the economy, inequality and politics that are affecting social policy issues and policymaking today.

We will consider the role of specific policy analysis tools and instruments in the social policy sphere and offer an integrated overview of American approaches in the various specific policy areas that fall under the broad umbrella of social policy including: income transfer and antipoverty policies including the current emphasis on “workfare”; policies relating to families and social services; health policies including the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid; housing policies; and education policies and systems from early childhood through postsecondary education. The course will draw upon other Evans and UW faculty expertise in addition to the instructor and will thereby provide a taste of what other Evans courses in the social policy program option have to offer.


Most of the course readings will be available on the course Canvas site. The only book to purchase is: John Iceland’s, A Portrait of America: The Demographic Perspective (University of California Press, 2014). This paperback book is available from the University Bookstore or on Amazon for about $25 (less for a used copy).


A research-based policy paper and presentation due at the end of the term; a 4-5 page reflection piece on one of the course topic areas and readings; some Canvas postings on week-to-week readings.

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