Professor Mead's Teaching

V53.0306: Public Policy (undergraduate). Policymaking in the federal government. Covers approaches to agenda-setting, the national policymaking process, and the basics of budgeting and policy analysis. Emphasizes the role of experts and policy argument. Students, organized in teams, do special projects on prominent issues in national policymaking and make presentations to the class, mostly recently on Social Security reform and immigration. Prerequisite: V53.0300 Power and Politics in America.

G53.2371: Public Policy (graduate). Advanced course on policymaking in the American federal government. Teaches a policymaking approach to doctoral research. Theories of policy and policymaking offer a powerful and researchable way to explain what happens in government and connect it to outcomes. The course will review the basics of economic policy analysis and theories of the national policy process. We will consider several examples of research that connects government's ability or inability to achieve desired outcomes to features of the regime. Some authors we read also visit the class. Students write and present papers on topics of their choosing. Intended for Masters and Ph.D. Students. 


V53.0382: The Politics of Poverty and Welfare (undergraduate). Poverty and welfare problems in the United States and the controversies about them. Concentrates on the causes of poverty and dependency among the working-age poor, the history of programs and policies meant to help them, and the enormous impact these issues have had on national politics. Covers welfare reform and recent innovations in antipoverty policy. Students develop their own understanding of poverty and what to do about it. Prerequisite: V53.0300 Power and Politics in America.


V53.0715: American Primacy (undergraduate): Surveys some 15 different approaches to explaining how the United States became the world’s dominant nation. These theories delve deep into the history of Europe and Britain, the founders of America. They derive from geography, economics, and sociology, as well as political science. The course also considers whether the US can remain dominant given the rise of rivals in Asia, particularly China. I am currently writing a book on American primacy that draws on this course, with some of the thinking contributed by students. Prerequisite: V53.0700 International Politics.