Lecture Notes

SES # TOPICS
1

Introduction

Overview of the course — the faculty, objectives, format, and requirements. First lectures: Knowledge use in theory and practice, perspectives from inside and outside academia. (PDF)

2

Models of knowledge production and decision-making

The rational policy/planning model, muddling through, deliberation and social learning.

3

Agendas and the policy process

The importance of agenda-setting and other “pre-decision” processes in policymaking. The Kingdon model and its critics; the role of narrative.

4

Frames and persuasion

Storytelling, metaphor, and frames. Alignment among frames, institutional context, and policy and political streams. (PDF)

Guest: Jal Mehta, Harvard Graduate School of Education

5

Paradigms and fads

Design and urban form, urban utopias, popular culture and the Good City. (PDF)

Guest: Lawrence Vale, MIT

6

Diffusion of innovation

Creating and diffusing innovation, “structured” diffusion, replication and mimicking. (PDF)

7

Case of anti-poverty policy and research

The Moving to Opportunity experiment as a social policy case, political and fiscal context, images of ghetto poverty, the Hurricane Katrina media effect. (PDF)

Guest: Jeffrey Liebman, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

8

Science in environmental policy disputes

Science-intensive disputes, “experts for hire”, joint fact finding.

Guest: Lawrence Susskind, MIT and the Consensus Building Institute

9

Action learning and practice

Action learning, embedded or “social” learning, theories of practice, communities of practice (knowledge networks). (PDF)

10

The politics and use of evaluation research

Truth tests and utility tests, demonstration theory of social change, media and public consumption. (PDF)

11

Research writing for non-academic readers

Research briefs, communication channels, writing support, editing styles. (PDF)

12 Student briefs and knowledge-in-use cases.
13 Course review.
Course Info
Learning Resource Types
notes Lecture Notes
assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples