Rachel G. Kleit
PB AF 599
Study and analysis of special topics in public affairs. Topics vary each quarter depending on curricular needs and interests of students and faculty.
TOPIC: VALUES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN PUBLIC POLICY - This class delves into the values of social justice that motivate action (or reaction or protest) in the public arena. Together, we will think through what we mean by social justice and how values around social justice motivate concerns about problems and solutions in the public arena. Specifically we are concerned about issues of equity and liberty, of balancing the rights of the individual, the common good, and redistribution.
We will begin by reading foundational thinkers about social justice and action, and move to considering cases where ideas about social justices are fundamental bases for action. Each class session focuses on a specific historic or current policy situation, using both domestic and international examples across a breadth of policy areas. This class meets the Evans Schools values restricted elective requirement.
Student learning goals
Discuss the major values at stake in varied policy areas, especially when there are conflicts about courses of action;
Assess how the major theories of social justice lend insight into contemporary policy problems;
Trace the commonalities and conflicts between political philosophy and social movement perspectives on social justice;
Analyze diverse policy domains to unearth the varied social justice problems and values that arise;
Evaluate our own perspectives and values with regard to social justice, with the goal of integrating moral issues into our own policy and management decision making.
General method of instruction
This class will be run as seminar or case discussion class, depending on the material at hand. Participation is 25% of your grade. The quality of each class session will depend upon studentsí preparation; read the material and come to class willing to discuss it with your colleagues, either as a whole or in small groups. You may be asked to do role plays in class as part of the discussion.
Evans MPA student.
Class assignments and grading
2 papers, one at about the course midpoint and a final paper.