CoursesHow Washington Works
PSCI 4991

How Washington Works

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how decisions and policy are really made in Washington. Weekly travel to Washington D.C. required.

Friday, 10:15 AM – 1:14 PM

Through six case studies, he course will explore post-World War II policy debates, political dealing, institutional dynamics and the personalities, motivations, and ambitions of the people involved in enacting legislation and operating the federal government.  The role of interest groups, think tanks and media will also be examined.  The course will use Socratic-style lectures, class discussions, and weekly class speakers to explore these issues. In the final weeks of the course, students working in groups of politically-like-minded colleagues will be tasked with coming up with comprehensive, politically-realistic policy proposals to lower health care costs, reduce poverty and regulate big tech.  Enrollment is by permission only. Students must have familiarity with, and interest in, modern American history, politics and government.

Weekly travel to Washington D.C. required. Transportation and lunch will be provided for all students. This course will be co-taught by Prof. Emanuel and Steve Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Washington Post and professor at George Mason University. It is offered jointly—in the same class— to students from both the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University.

Enrollment at both schools requires permission of the professor to ensure students will be able to accommodate the unique structure of the course.

Sample Syllabus (subject to change)

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