Problem Solving and Decision Making for Public Policy and Social Change
This course introduces skills and bodies of knowledge useful for careers in law, public policy, and achieving social change at scale. These include framing problems; designing, implementing, and evaluating strategies; system design; cost-benefit analysis; decision making under uncertainty; heuristics and biases that affect empirical judgments and decision making; methods for influencing people's behavior ranging from incentives and penalties to "nudges;" and human-centered design. The course will be taught through problems, cases, and a field project to solve real-world problems on or near the Stanford campus, with the goal of integrating strategic thinking and behavioral insights with human-centered design and systems design. The course may be of interest to students in Law and Policy Lab practicums who wish to broaden their policy analysis skills. Enrollment: Limited to 32 students, with priority given to students in Law School, the MPP program, and the IPS program in that order. Students other than law students must seek the consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Class participation, midterm assignment, and final assignment. Cross-listed with International Policy Studies (IPS 207A) & Public Policy (PUBLPOL 305A).
Instructors for this course (Past and Present)Paul Brest