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 SSC 356 - Public Policy Analysis


Public policy analysis examines ‘anything government chooses to do or not to do’ by looking at the activities of governmental and non-governmental actors in all phases of the policy process: agenda-setting, policy formulation, decision-making, policy implementation and policy evaluation. This 300-level course will study public policy in a problem-oriented fashion, by focusing upon the politics and policies of the production and consumption of food. The aim of this course is to learn to analyze and study public policy by doing a small piece of original research that is guided by a properly formulated research question. Hence this course rests upon three pillars: food, public policy and research.

In the first half of the course we explore and connect food and public policy in tandem on the basis of Deborah Stone’s Policy Paradox . Stone shows how all the parameters in policy-making are not cast in stone, but instead the subject of actions and interpretations by those having an interest in its outcomes. We will explore major issues in food politics and policy by and reflect on them on the basis of reading reflections, discussions and class presentations. This is supplemented by a couple of guest lectures and excursions. 

The second part of the course is devoted to formulating and refining your research question and engaging in a small piece of original research focusing on food politics and policy. Students will present plans and preliminary findings in research sessions and solicit feedback from class, allowing them to further improve their papers. We will collect the papers in an edited volume and provide input for an introductory chapter that will summarize and consolidate the findings of the different chapters. Students will also present the final results of their analysis to class. (Examples of the output of previous courses can be found at here)


Dr. Herman Lelieveldt​ 


Political Science


One of the following courses is required in order to take this course:

  • SSC 251 Foundations of Comparative Politics
  • SSC 255 Theories of International Relations
  • SSC 258 U.S. Government and Politics​