PUBLIC AFFAIRS 850
Professor Jonathan Zeitlin
Microbial Sciences Building 1510
This a core foundation course for the Masters in International Public Affairs (MIPA).
course is intended to provide students with a
understanding international public affairs in an age of globalization.
It does not seek to impart
specific technical skills, but rather to stimulate critical thinking and to introduce students to key
issues and sources in international governance research.
The course is divided in two main parts.
The first looks comparatively at recent international
transformations in governance at the
level, focusing primarily though not exclusively on
the developed democracies.
In this section, we will examine topics such as the widespread
movement away from Weberian bureaucracy and command-and-control regulation, the
emergence of new forms of governance and public management, the sources and sustainability of
institutional diversity, and the possibilities and limitations of policy transfer and cross-national
The second part of the course looks at recent transformations of governance at the
level, focusing on the challenge of globalization.
In this section, we will examine
the processes, practices, and prospects of global governance, analyzing the role of various types
of public and private actors (such as states, international organizations, regional blocs, NGOs,
multinational corporations, business associations, transgovernmental networks) across different
international issue areas (such as finance, trade, development, environmental protection, and
human rights), and assessing the effectiveness, accountability, and legitimacy of the ensuing
Requirements and Grading
The course will be taught through a combination of lectures and discussion.
You are expected to
come to class having done the assigned reading and be ready to discuss it.
In addition, you are
expected to complete the following assignments:
(no more than 1 single-spaced page)
on the week’s
These memos are intended to prepare the ground for good class discussions by
requiring participants to set out their initial reactions to the readings in written form.
summarize the readings, but should comment on specific arguments, compare the
positions of different authors, raise questions of evidence or method, draw attention to particular
strengths and weaknesses in the texts, and/or explore their policy implications.
(Given the short
length of these response memos, it will not be necessary – or possible – for students to discuss