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PUBLPOL 106: Law and Economics (ECON 154, PUBLPOL 206)

This course explores the role of law in promoting well-being (happiness). Law, among its other functions, can serve as a mechanism to harmonize private incentives with cooperative gains, to maintain an equitable division of those gains, and to deter "cheating" and dystopia. Law is thus essential to civilization. Economic analysis of law focuses on the welfare-enhancing incentive effects of law and its enforcement and on law's role in reducing the risks of cooperation, achieved by fixing expectations of what courts or the state will do in various futures. Prerequisite: ECON 51 or PUBLPOL 51.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 107: Public Finance and Fiscal Policy (ECON 141)

What role should and does government play in the economy? What are the effects of government spending, borrowing, and taxation on efficiency, equity and economic stability and growth? The course covers economic, historical and statistical analyses and current policy debates in the U.S. and around the world. Policy topics: Fiscal crises, budget deficits, the national debt and intergenerational equity; tax systems and tax reform; social security and healthcare programs and reforms; transfers to the poor; public goods and externalities; fiscal federalism; public investment and cost-benefit analysis; and the political economy of government decision-making. Prerequisites: ECON 51 (Public Policy majors may take PUBLPOL 51 as a substitute for ECON 51), ECON 52 (can be taken concurrently).
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Boskin, M. (PI)

PUBLPOL 121L: Racial-Ethnic Politics in US (CSRE 121L, POLISCI 121L)

This course examines various issues surrounding the role of race and ethnicity in the American political system. Specifically, this course will evaluate the development of racial group solidarity and the influence of race on public opinion, political behavior, the media, and in the criminal justice system. We will also examine the politics surrounding the Multiracial Movement and the development of racial identity and political attitudes in the 21st century. PoliSci 150A, Stats 60 or Econ 1 is strongly recommended.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 122: Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response (BIOE 122, EMED 122, EMED 222, PUBLPOL 222)

Overview of the most pressing biosecurity issues facing the world today. Guest lecturers have included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Special Assistant on BioSecurity to Presidents Clinton and Bush Jr. Dr. Ken Bernard, Chief Medical Officer of the Homeland Security Department Dr. Alex Garza, eminent scientists, innovators and physicians in the field, and leaders of relevant technology companies. How well the US and global healthcare systems are prepared to withstand a pandemic or a bioterrorism attack, how the medical/healthcare field, government, and the technology sectors are involved in biosecurity and pandemic or bioterrorism response and how they interface, the rise of synthetic biology with its promises and threats, global bio-surveillance, making the medical diagnosis, isolation, containment, hospital surge capacity, stockpiling and distribution of countermeasures, food and agriculture biosecurity, new promising technologies for detection of bio-threats and countermeasures. Open to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students. No prior background in biology necessary. 4 units for twice weekly attendance (Mon. and Wed.); additional 1 unit for writing a research paper for 5 units total maximum.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Trounce, M. (PI)

PUBLPOL 124: American Political Institutions in Uncertain Times (POLISCI 120C)

This course examines how the rules that govern elections and the policy process determine political outcomes. It explores the historical forces that have shaped American political institutions, contemporary challenges to governing, and prospects for change. Topics covered include partisan polarization and legislative gridlock, the politicization of the courts, electoral institutions and voting rights, the expansion of presidential power, campaign finance and lobbying, representational biases among elected officials, and the role of political institutions in maintaining the rule of law. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on the strategic interactions between Congress, the presidency, and the courts and the importance of informal norms and political culture.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Bonica, A. (PI)

PUBLPOL 133: Political Power in American Cities (AMSTUD 121Z, POLISCI 121, URBANST 111)

The major actors, institutions, processes, and policies of sub-state government in the U.S., emphasizing city general-purpose governments through a comparative examination of historical and contemporary politics. Issues related to federalism, representation, voting, race, poverty, housing, and finances.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 136: The Sharing Economy (URBANST 136)

The rapid growth of the sharing economy, sometimes also called the peer to peer economy, is made possible by the ubiquity of smart phones, inefficiency of ownership, and measures designed to create and measure trust among participants. The course will explore not only the rapid rise of certain companies but also the shadow side of commercialized relationships. We will examine the economics and development consequences of the sharing economy, primarily with an urban focus, along an emphasis on the design of platforms and markets, ownership, the nature of work, environmental degradation and inequality.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 137: Innovations in Microcredit and Development Finance (URBANST 137)

The role of innovative financial institutions in supporting economic development, the alleviation of rural and urban poverty, and gender equity. Analysis of the strengths and limits of commercial banks, public development banks, credit unions, and microcredit organizations both in the U.S. and internationally. Readings include academic journal articles, formal case studies, evaluations, and annual reports. Priority to students who have taken any portion of the social innovation series: URBANST 131, 132, or 133. Recommended: ECON 1A or 1B.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 154: Politics and Policy in California

State politics and policy making, including the roles of the legislature, legislative leadership, governor, special interests, campaign finance, advocacy groups, ballot initiatives, state and federal laws, media, and research organizations. Case studies involving budgets, education, pensions, health care, political reform, environmental reforms, water, transportation and more. Evaluation of political actions, both inside and outside of government, that can affect California policy and social outcomes. Meetings with elected officials, policymakers, and advocates in class and during a day-long field trip to Sacramento.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 156: Health Care Policy and Reform

Focuses on healthcare policy at the national, state, and local levels. Includes sessions on international models, health insurance, the evolution of healthcare policy in the U.S., key U.S. healthcare topics (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, public employee retiree health care), the role of technology, reform proposals (single payer, national health care, consumer-based systems, regulated markets, state and local reform efforts), efficiency/cost drivers and prospects for future policy. The course includes sessions on effective memo writing and presentation of policy proposals.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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