PPE 2002 - Foundations of Public Policy
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020
General Course Information
Course Code PPE 2002 Course Foundations of Public Policy Coordinating Unit School of Humanities Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Prerequisites PHIL 1103 and ECON 1012 Restrictions Available to Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics students only Course Description Good public policy is fair, effective, and reasonable in its approach to public problems. In this core course for the program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, we will take an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of a number of foundational topics in the formulation and evaluation of evidence-based policy, including the nature of rational choice (both for individuals and collectives), and the role of cost-benefit analysis in policy development, including ways in which considerations of justice and fairness might influence the analysis. The course focuses on the philosophical foundations of rational choice theory, political economy, and welfare economics. The emphasis is on conceptual issues accessible to all PPE students, and is a key opportunity for members of the PPE cohort to engage with their peers.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Antony Eagle
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Individually, and in collaboration with peers, investigate and present the main controversies around rational choice theory and evidence-based policy;
- Demonstrate understanding of major theoretical approaches from philosophy, politics, and economics to public policy through oral and written argument;
- Identify relevant contemporary policy challenges and demonstrate the ability to apply the major foundational approaches covered to a particular policy proposal.;
- Explain and evaluate, through extended written argument, selected proposed foundations for successful policy development.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1,2,3,4 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
1,2,3,4 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
1,2,4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
1,4 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
There is a required textbook that we will structure much of the course around:
Hausman, D., McPherson, M., and Satz, D. (2016). Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy, and Public Policy, 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316663011.
We will read a number of books chapters and articles as supplements to the Hausman, McPherson and Satz textbook. These will be available through a course reading list in MyUni. An a preliminary indication, we will be looking at the following:
- Arneson, Richard (2013) ‘Egalitarianism’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2013/entries/egalitarianism/
- Bykvist, Krister (2010) Utilitarianism. A Guide for the Perplexed, Continuum.
- Brennan, Geoffrey (2010) ‘PPE; An Institutional View’, Politics Philosophy and Economics
- Cartwright, Nancy (2012) Evidence Based Policy: A Practical Guide to Doing it Better, Oxford University Press.
- Cartwright, Nancy (2009) ‘Evidence–Based Policy: what’s to be done about relevance’ Philosophical Studies 143: 127–136.
- Dowding, K. (2009) ‘What is Welfare and How Can We Measure It?’, ch. 19 in The Oxford Handbook in Philosophy and Economics, D. Ross and H. Kincaid (eds.), Oxford University Press.
- Feldman, F. (2010) ‘Measuring Happiness’, in his What is This Thing Called Happiness? OUP.
- Frankfurt, Harry (1987) ‘Equality as a Moral Ideal’ Ethics 98: 21–42.
- Heathwood, Christopher, 2010, ’Welfare’, Routledge Companion to Ethics, Skorupski, J. (ed.): 645–654.
- Peterson, Martin (2009) An Introduction to Decision Theory, Cambridge University Press.
- Roush, Sherrilyn (2009) ‘Randomized controlled trials and the flow of information: comment on Cartwright’ Philosophical Studies 143: 137–145.
- Slovic, P. and Lichtenstein, S. (1983) ‘Preference Reversals: A Broader Perspective’, The American Economic Review 73: 596–605.
- Tversky, A. and Kahnemann, D. (1981) ‘The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice’, Science 211 (4481): 453–458.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
No information currently available.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
WORKLOAD TOTAL HOURS STRUCTURED LEARNING 1 x 1-hour lecture per week 12 hours per semester 1 x 2-hour workshop per week 24 hours per semester Sub-total 36 hours SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING 5 hours reading per week 60 hours per semester 1 hour discussion preparation per week 12 hours per semester 4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours per semester Sub-total 120 hours TOTAL 156 hours
Learning Activities Summary
UNIT WEEK(S) LECTURE TOPICS TEXTBOOK READING 1 1 Introduction: What is PPE? Hausman, et al., chs. 1–2 2 2–4 Rationality, Morality, and Markets Hausman, et al., chs. 4–6 3 5–8 Welfare and Consequences Hausman, et al., chs. 7–9, 11 4 9–10 Moral Mathematics Hausman, et al., chs. 13–14 5 11 Evidence Based Policy 6 12 Conclusion and Summary Hausman, et al., chs. 15–16
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
ASSESSMENT TASK TASK TYPE WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S) Major Essay Summative 40% 1,2,3,4 Shorter Essay Formative and Summative 25% 1,2,3,4 Group Presentation Summative 25% 1,2,3 Discussion preparation activities Formative and Summative 10% 1,2
Assessment Description % weighting Major essay An extended essay of 2000 words on the foundational issues discussed in the course. 40 Shorter essay A brief essay of 1000 words on the conceptual aspects of the first half of the course 25 Group presentation This group activity, completed by groups of students, will take the form of a policy paper, identifying, analysing, and proposing a resolution to a specific policy challenge, with reference to the course material. Work will be assessed on a group presentation and a report, which should involve equal contributions from each group member. The contributions of each individual to the presentation and report will amount to the equivalent of 1000 words. 25 Discussion preparation activities Each week students should prepare brief remarks on the week’s reading in advance of the workshop. 10
No information currently available.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
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