Academics

Course Catalog

GRAD > PAF G

Public Affairs

  • PAF G 601  The New England Political Environment

    Description:
    An introduction to the key contemporary systems that now constitute the environment in which legislative and executive policy-making and implementing processes work. This course is designed to provide a thorough understanding (in theory and practice) of: where, how, and by whom policy is made and implemented; how the process is/can be influenced; who pays and who benefits; and how to evaluate results (intended and actual).   More Info

    Offered in:
  • PAF G 602  The New England Economic Environment

    Description:
    This course introduces the student to the theory and tools of regional economies as a framework for analyzing policy issues. The economic and fiscal structure of Massachusetts is studied to identify the inner and outer workings of the Massachusetts economy vis-a-vis New England and the nation. The latter part of the course focuses on the economics of major issues facing policy makers. Such issues include public and private housing, health care costs, public pensions, fiscal and economic competitiveness, and the economics of the capital city, Boston.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 606  Nonprofit Organizations and Public Policy

    Description:
    The goals of this course are to (1) familiarize students to the nonprofit sector in the United States, (2) discuss the various roles that nonprofit organizations play as policy actors, and (3) to introduce students to a range of empirical and theoretical work on nonprofit organizations. Using theoretical and empirical readings, this course considers a variety of issues related to the role of nonprofit organizations in public policy including: tax exemption, the increasing commercialization of the nonprofit sector, charitable choice provisions guiding the distribution of federal funds, and the role of nonprofit organizations in political advocacy.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 610  Public Management: Theories and Principles

    Description:
    This course explores the complex environment in which today's public managers must effectively function. It introduces students to the various theories of complex organizations, with a particular emphasis on those developments most relevant to public organizations. As part of the effort to relate theory to practice, students' own work experiences become a legitimate and important aspect of the subject matter.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 611  E-Government: The Internet and Public Policy

    Description:
    This is a graduate-level seminar course that examines how new information and Communication Technologies (ICT's) influence the way government functions and shapes public policy. The course consists of three sections. In the first section, important characteristics of the Information Society are examined in a broader context of social transformation from the Agricultural and Industrial Ages to the Information Age. The role of establishing trust in the Information Age and the functions of the public sector are examined. The second section introduces the notion of e-government. Critical factors of successful e-government operation are explored and innovative cases of e-government practices in the USA and around the world are introduced. The concept of e-democracy and online citizen participation and their implications in our democratic system of governance are discussed. The third section focuses on public policy areas where the domain of the public sector in the Information Age is re-examine and some emerging public policy issues are discussed.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 612  Organizational Behavior

    Description:
    This course examines the nature of human behavior in public sector organizations as a function of the individual, the groups within which he or she interacts, and the organizational setting. Topics include motivation, leadership, adaptation, socialization, conflict, and communication.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 614  Human Resources Management

    Description:
    This course is designed to familiarize students with the major elements of human resources management in the public sector: personnel management practices and the practice of labor-management relations. The first half of the course examines the basic concepts of human resources management and the principles of planning and forecasting human resources needs. This part of the course examines career planning and management, job design, pay systems, selection, training, and equal opportunity. The second half of the course explores the nature and history of labor-management relations, focusing on the tactics and strategies of management and union representatives and the legal constraints on their behavior in: (1) the organization of public employee unions; (2) contract negotiation; and (3) contract administration and interpretation.   More Info

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  • PAF G 620  Analytic Skills I: Skills for Policy Analysis

    Description:
    This course will introduce a variety of policy analysis tools for policymakers and public managers/administrators; provide an overview of how public policy is shaped by research and numerical data; encourage students to generate research questions and match research methods to the questions; teach how to interpret numerical data in tables, charts, research reports, and articles; introduce basic statistical analysis tools and the interpretation of statistical results as they inform public policy decision making.   More Info

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  • PAF G 621  Analytic Skills II: Research Methods

    Description:
    This course will provide a more in-depth focus on the Case Study Method and its related skills, including interviewing, analysis of documents/archives, analysis of prior research findings, qualitative research skills and analysis, and determination of policy implication. Students will cover both theoretical aspects of these topics and apply them as they prepare their capstone proposal.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 623  WPPP: Women in American Politics and Policy Making

    Description:
    Spring seminar in Program for Women in Politics and Public Policy. This course explores how politics and government affect American women's lives today and examines the ways that women participate in the political process in order to influence the course of public policy. Readings bridge the disciplinary perspectives of sociology and political science; newer feminist theoretical perspectives on public policy issues are included.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 624  WPPP: Spring Internship

    Description:
    The internship placement begun in the fall is completed and evaluated. Students in the WPPP Certificate Program prepare and present a paper integrating the theoretical knowledge and practical skills based on their internship.   More Info

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  • PAF G 625  Public Budgeting and Financial Management

    Description:
    The public budgeting process in theory and practice. Students are introduced to contemporary approaches to public budgeting as well as to the difficulty of planning in the public sector, the dilemmas of choice and of priority setting, the results of incrementalism, and the nature of budgetary "rationality." In addition, the course examines the nature and scope of public financial management at the state and local level. It familiarizes students with state and local government financial reporting and accounting, current operating expenditures, techniques for evaluating capital expenditures and products. It explores borrowing and debt management, evaluation of municipal credit quality, managing cash assets and liquid securities, simulations and financial forecasting, and evaluating and controlling financial management practices.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 627  WPPP: Case Study Seminar

    Description:
    The case study provides an opportunity for students in the WPPP Certificate Program to design and complete a substantial research paper, analyzing in detail one example of public sector decision-making, and integrating theoretical perspectives from the seminars. In close consultation with the instructor, student teams choose a controversial policy decision/area in which they wish to develop expertise-often these topics are related to the student's internship placement. Students will make oral presentations from the case studies.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 628  Research Methods for Policy Analysis

    Description:
    The purpose of this class is to provide a survey of research methods and the use of evidence to build persuasive arguments. The course is divided into three sections; (1) quantitative methods; (2) qualitative methods; and (3) community-based participatory action research, providing an overview of each group of research methods. Throughout all three sections, the course will include feminist research methods and scholarly work. Each section of the course culminates int he submission of a policy brief on a topic of the student's choosing. Each policy brief will highlight the research methods from that portion of the course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 629  Leadership and Organizations: Gender, Power and Authority

    Description:
    This course offers students the opportunity to develop an in depth understanding of authority, leadership, and organizational dynamics, and to learn about their own behavior in groups. We will also be looking at organizations from both feminist and systems psychodynamics perspectives. We will unpack terms such as authority, power, leadership, boundaries, role and task to deepen students' understanding of their own experiences in groups, organizations and communities. The impact of social identity (gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, etc.) on how roles are taken up or allowed to be taken up, in groups and organizations will also be explored.   More Info

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  • PAF G 631  Theories and Concepts of International Relations

    Description:
    This course provides students with a critical assessment of the major theories and concepts which define international relations as a field of study. It has two primary goals: (1) in-depth analysis of explanatory theories (e.g., realism, idealism, structuralism, neo-liberalism, interdependence, functionalism) and of core concepts (e.g., sovereignty, national interest, collective security, balance of power); and (2) examination of the historical evolution of international systems, with focus on the modern state system and the Cold War period. Special attention is given to the processes and institutions (e.g., international law, United Nations, NGOs, international civil society) that contribute to conflict resolution and international cooperation. Ultimately, this course provides the foundations (conceptual, historical, theoretical) that graduate students in International Relations need as a preparation for the curriculum's more specialized and advanced courses.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 632  Contemporary Issues in World Politics

    Description:
    This seminar focuses on current, major issues with an international dimension and/or global impact and with salience for the emerging patterns of world politics. While engaging in critical analysis of current issues, it examines the broader conceptual context and analytic framework which explain interactions among nations. Weekly reports based on assigned readings as well as a major research paper pursue distinct goals: the critical utilization of concepts; the refinement of analytic tools; the examination of different perspectives (national, international, global community); policy analysis.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 633  Research Methods and Analysis in International Relations

    Description:
    This course introduces students to basic concepts and skills for research, both academic and practice-based, in international relations areas. It discusses the stages of research, from identifying appropriate questions and assessing existing literature, through framing questions in researchable fashion, identifying the best research approaches for those questions, identifying existing data resources, creating research agenda for gathering new quantitative and qualitative data, analyzing and weighing different forms of data, and drawing defensible conclusions while identifying further areas for research. Specific international relations concepts and major geographic regions are used as foci for readings and major international data sets.   More Info

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  • PAF G 634  International Political Economy

    Description:
    The course engages students in a study of the relationship between economics and politics in the public affairs of humankind as influenced by global institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization; non-governmental organizations such as multinational corporations, local business partnerships, workers unions; and political entities such as national, regional, and global governance systems. The course also includes an interdisciplinary focus on the role of theory; the structures of knowledge, technology, and security; the behavior of consumers; and the mobilization of values as well as opinions expressive of those values.   More Info

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  • PAF G 635  Globalization and International Development

    Description:
    This course provides a comprehensive study of the major concepts and theories necessary for a critical understanding of the socio-political-economic problems and possibilities facing Third World countries in their quest for development. While examining the domestic determinants of development, the course focuses on the role of international institutions and the dominant countries (United States, European Union, Japan) in shaping the policy options in developing countries, with particular attention to the process of globalization as a recent contributor to the problem of underdevelopment.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 636  Political Economy of Regional Systems

    Description:
    The general goal of this course is to examine the distinct patterns of regional groupings (Western Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, North Africa and Mediterranean, Sub-Sahara Africa): the inter-state relations which define the region, with primary focus on political-economic issues; the interplay between regional issues and the broader context of international relations; and the impact of globalization on the political, economic, and cultural aspects of each region. For any one semester, however, within the broader analysis of regional systems, the focus will be on one single region-e.g., the European Union.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 637L  International Institutions and Development

    Description:
    Through theoretical readings and case studies, this course considers a variety of practical policy issues related to the role of international organizations in the formulation and practice of development aid. It will also examine the role of these organizations in supporting activities such as international peacekeeping, trade policy, environmental policy and human rights issues. Most citizens are aware of organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Criminal Court, the World Trade Organization, etc. but how many of us truly understand the history of these organizations affect the daily lives of millions of people around the world? How many Americans understand the scope of the U.S. Agency for International Development and how aid policy and practice really works in a world where the US military is now one of the largest development agencies in the world? This course will look at the historical development of the aid complex and address policy and theoretical implications for the future. CONRES 637L and PAF G 637L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 638L  Global Governance

    Description:
    "Gobal governance" refers both to something empirical -- "what (limited) world govenment we have" -- and to an approach to the study of global problems, one that highlights the economic and cultural contexts of political globalization and foregrounds the questions of whether and how current processes can be made more effective. Students will become familiar witht he variety of theoretical approaches to global governmance and knowledgeable about its context, including the globalization of industrial capitalism in which global governance emerged, and about its empirics, what it is today. Students' final papers and in-class presentatiopns will investigate the prospects for reform of global governance in an issue area of their choice. CONRES 638L and PAF G 638L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 639L  Global Environmental Governance

    Description:
    This course examines the development and functioning of global environmental governance as the system for design and execution of environmental policy at the global level. The course will employ key theories and analytical frameworks from international relations as well as empirical studies across several environmental issue areas. The goal is to present a broad overview of key concerns in global environment problems. The questions that guide the work throughout the semester include: Why is global environmental governance necessary? How has it performed and why? What new approaches have emerged? What would an optimal institutional structure for global environmental governance look like and how could it be created? CONRES 639L and PAF G 639L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 640L  International Organizations and the Environment

    Description:
    This course examines the role and performance of international organizations with environmental portfolios. The focus will be on the United Nations Environment Programme, and the secretariats of environmental conventions in the areas of biological diversity and conservation, climate change, and chemicals. The goal is to develop an understanding of the history and operations of international environmental organizations in order to measure and explain performance and propose analytically grounded policy interventions. CONRES 640L and PAF G 640L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • PAF G 642  Public Policy Analysis of Women's Issues: A Global Perspective

    Description:
    This course is designed to develop an understanding of the importance of research in policy development. Women will learn fundamental research concepts and principles and will become acquainted with significant case studies about policies affecting women. The course introduces women to the general methods used in formulating and analyzing policy and then gives them the opportunity to design and conduct independent research on a policy issues relevant to their home country. Topics in this course cover the history of policy analysis, theories of the policy process, the role of social construction, institutions, interests and values in policy, organizational theory and leadership, the determination of policy goals and objectives, and various analytical and empirical frameworks for analyzing policy and its implementation worldwide. We will use international case studies extensively in order to give student exposure the real-world policy issues. Case studies produce in-depth knowledge of a policy within a narrowly defined framework.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 643  Gender & Dispute Resolution around the World

    Description:
    This course engages women in a systematic examination of conflict resolution theories, drawing from a broad range of academic disciplines, including economics, law social psychology, and anthropology, as well as dispute resolution. Throughout the course, the students will be challenged to apply the material to real-world situations. The students will also practice how to use the information to deal with conflict between men and women in political arenas. The course will consider conflict in a variety of organizational settings including formal, voluntary, and community organizations and focuses on the emergence, manifestation, and resolution of disputes.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 645  Program Evaluation

    Description:
    This course explores the issues involved in and techniques applicable to evaluation of programs in the public sector. The course focuses on how to define programmatic objectives and output measures and how to develop evaluation methods and instruments. It further addresses how to implement such studies and demonstrate their worth.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 647  Women Gaining Appointed/Elected Office: A Global Perspective

    Description:
    This course prepares women from a variety of countries to gain an appointed or elected office by providing the tools necessary given their political system and context. Part 1 presents an introduction to running for office; including questions about whether to seek an appointed or elected position and how to develop a plan. Part 2 provides the practical skills necessary to run a successful campaign. Part 3 addresses the challenges female candidates may face in their run for office; including ethical dilemma and coping with crisis including campaign management, fundraising, and communication. Students will be given the opportunity to tailor the information to suit their political situations and realities.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 650  Organizations, Social Change, and Public Policy

    Description:
    Organizations are at the heart of societal governance; they develop, contest, implement, and evaluate public policy. Organizations are also frequent targets of public policy, as sites that generate, reproduce, or sustain social and economic inequality. Some organizations, such as government agencies, are where public policies are enacted. Other organizations, such as community-based nonprofit organizations or advocacy groups, can act as agents of resistance and social change in the policy process. An understanding of organizations, their sources of power, role in governance, and structures and processes, is fundamental for public policy scholars. A wide ranging inter-disciplinary literature has applied organizational theory to the study of a variety of policy arenas. In this course we will read classic statements of organizational theory along with examples from contemporary empirical research that apply the theories. These examples are drawn from an array of disciplines including sociology, political science, and public administration, and cover a variety of policy arenas including education, health, housing, drugs, and the environment.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 651  Policy Workshop

    Description:
    A workshop in a series of weekend workshops that address public policy issues of concern to the Commonwealth.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • PAF G 652  Policy Workshop

    Description:
    A workshop in a series of weekend workshops that address public policy issues of concern to the Commonwealth.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 653  Policy Workshop

    Description:
    A workshop in a series of weekend workshops that address public policy issues of concern to the Commonwealth.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • PAF G 654  Policy Workshop

    Description:
    A workshop in a series of weekend workshops that address public policy issues of concern to the Commonwealth.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 655  Policy Workshop

    Description:
    A workshop in a series of weekend workshops that address public policy issues of concern to the Commonwealth.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 681  Advanced Studies in International Relations

    Description:
    This course provides students with a critical, in-depth assessment of a distinct and specialized area of international affairs-for example, the impact of multinational corporations, or approaches to international conflict resolution. It is designed for students in the International Relations track who have already completed the required six core courses in the track, and it builds on the body of knowledge so acquired. Structured as an intensive seminar, the course includes: study of the relevant literature on the topic, including a critical review of journals; review of the theoretical debates; participation in coordinated, team-research projects designed to analyze all the major aspects of the topic and share the results through systematic presentations.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 682  US Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

    Description:
    This course focuses on the context and process of US foreign policy, with primary attention to the rapidly changing international system in the 21st century. While engaging in critical analysis of current topics, the course also examines the broader conceptual context and analytic framework that explain interactions among nations and the unique role of US foreign policy.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 683  Emerging Patterns in International Relations

    Description:
    Representative case studies will be utilized to analyze new patterns and to revisit established concepts of International Relations int he light of the rapidly changing context of the emerging multipolar world. Major topics include: the rise of China as the dominant political-economic power; the changing role of post-Soviet Russia; transformative changes in the Middle East; economic-political changes in Latin America, Africa, Asia; changes in the Islamic world; the rise of Turkey; crises and possibilities in the European Union; the impact of global communications, social media, and trade.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 691  Capstone /Case Study Seminar

    Description:
    Students in the MS in Public Affairs Program have the opportunity to complete a final project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The project may be a case study of a public policy or significant piece of legislation which involved tracing its history, analyzing the political, economic, and social context in which it developed, identifying and examining roles played by those who were instrumental in its development, and assessing its intended and actual impact. It may also be a critical examination of a policy issue confronting a student at his or her place of employment. While completing their case study project, students participate in a weekly seminar that focuses both on the substantive issues under examination and on case study methodology.   More Info

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  • PAF G 692  Capstone in International Relations

    Description:
    Under the supervision of an appointed capston advisor, students complete a policy-related capstone paper.   More Info

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  • PAF G 694  Independent Study in International Relations

    Description:
    An advanced course of independent readings under the guidance and subject to the examination of the instructor. Areas and topics are chosen according to student needs, as determined by review of the student's completed coursework and academic goals. The director of the International Relations Track will determine the suitability of the independent study proposal and will guide the student to the appropriate faculty supervisor. The proposed project should provide the student with a critical, in-depth assessment of a distinct area of study within international relations that is not covered by available courses.   More Info

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  • PAF G 696  Independent Study

    Description:
    These are advanced courses of independent readings under the guidance and subject to the examination of the instructor. Areas and topics are chosen according to student need.   More Info

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  • PAF G 697  Special Topics in Public Affairs

    Description:
    This is an advanced course offering intensive study of selected topics in public affairs. Course content varies according to the topic and will be announced prior to the advance registration period.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • PAF G 699  Master's Thesis in International Relations

    Description:
    Under the supervision of the appointed thesis advisor, students complete a major research project that makes a substantive contribution to critical understanding about a salient issue in contemporary international affairs. Students are also expected to explore in depth the broader context of the thesis topic. The final product is a substantial paper of approximately 60 pages indicating mastery of pertinent concepts and critical analysis. The thesis is defended before a faculty committee, and also provides the basis for a comprehensive discussion of the broader context.   More Info

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