Department of Politics

225. Ethics & Public Policy

February "Austin Edition" 2010

Dr. Robert W. Sutherland, Instructor

INSTRUCTOR: Robert Sutherland, 305 South, Ext. 4226. E-mail is the best way to reach me outside of class hours, since I do not regularly check my voice mail.

CLASS MEETINGS: Week I: 1:00 pm on M-Th & Friday @ 9:30am. Week II on Monday & Tuesday @ 1pm. Class meetings for the rest of the term are by arrangement.

EXPENSES: Besides housing and van rental, which are already covered, there are no course-related expenses, except perhaps for $5-10 in copying. Personal expenses for local transportation, meals, entertainment, gifts, etc. will vary.

GRADES: A midterm and final exam (30% each), a journal w/ pictures (20%) for daily activities, comments, and reflections plus two oral presentations (20%). The grading scale for the course is A = 1750-2000, A- = 1650-1749, B+ = 1550-1649, B = 1450-1549, B- = 1350-1449, C+ = 1250-1349, C = 1150-1249, C- = 1050-1149, D+ = 950-1049, D = 850-949, D- = 750-849, F = 000-749. The number of points possible on any given exam or paper is the product of 20 points times the importance measured in percent of the final course grade. For letter grade equivalents, multiply the percentage times: 18 = A, 17 = A-, 16 = B+, 15 = B, 14 = B-, 13 = C+, 12 = C, 11 = C-, 10 = D+, 9 = D, 8 = D-.

FORM: Must be completed and returned to me by Friday, Feb. 5th.


  • Ethics, Power, and Policy--Power Corrupts?
    • Review of selected research in Psychology
    • Review of selected research in Political Science
  • Ethical Theories and Cases in Political Leadership
    • Investigation and Impeachment of President Clinton
    • Lyndon Johnson, Master Manipulator
    • The Texas Redistricting Caper
  • Public Policy and Public Administration Compared
    • Bush School & LbJ School
    • Univesity of Kansas
  • ASSIGNMENTS: (to be done before class on the day indicated below)

    WEEK I

    • Monday, 1pm:
      • Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D, & Anderson, C. (2003) Power, Approach, and Inhibition. Psychol. Rev. 110:-265-284 FLEMING
      • Anderson , C. & Galinsky, A. (2006) Power, Optimism, and Risk-taking. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 36:511-636 ATCHISON
      • Lammers, J., Galinsky, A., Gordijn, E., & Otten, S. (2008) Illegitimacy Moderates the Effects of Power on Approach. Psychol. Sci. 19:558-564. ELLERBACH
    • Tuesday, 1pm:
      • Wilson, James Q. (1993) The Moral Sense. Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 87:1-11 MCNUTT
      • Thompson, D. (1987) The Moral Responsibility of Many Hands. in Political Ethics and Public Office. Harvard University Press, pp. 40-65 PARTRIDGE
    • Wednesday, 1 pm: Public Policy Careers I & Professional Associations
      1. What general advice does the "Public Service Careers" site offer for those who might be interested in building such a career? What three kinds of work are recognized there? What would be the 2006 compensation for a federal civil service position in the case of someone who has a BA only, for a person who has a BA. & MPA/MPP? What three associations are featured and what distinguishes them from one another? What is the College Cost Reduction and Access Act and why is it important?
      2. Go to the Featured Profile Pages and pick the profile of the person(s) whose name is closest to yours in the alphabet and be prepared to tell the rest of the class about them, their background and position and the organization for which they work. (Atchison does featured people whose names begin with "B"; Ellerback--"D," Fleming--"N" & "O," McNutt--"M," Partridge--"P"
      3. Go to Cole Library and browse the following periodicals to which the College subscribes. From one of these journals, pick two articles that interest you most.
      • Criminology and Public Policy,
      • Environment,
      • Health Affairs,
      • Politics & Policy,
      • Social Issues & Policy Review
      • Urban Affairs Review.
    • Thursday, 1pm: Public Policy Careers II & Public Policy Research
      1. What degrees are included in the MPA/MPP reference and what are some of their unique features? What is the range of issues, sites, skills, and settings served by these degrees? What initially distinguished the MPA from the MPP and how have they converged? What three careers are given as standards for comparing degree programs and how do the emphasis on each shape the core curriculum requirements? What additional careers are noted?
      2. How are MPA/MPP programs usually structured? What admissions requirements are emphasized?
      3. By NOON, put a copy of the two articles you have selected in the Commons folder along with questions that will highlight the main points of each.
    • Friday, 9:30am: Public Policy Education & Degrees, LBJ School I & Bush School
      • Using the standards of comparison from Wednesday & Thursday, how would you characterize and compare the LBJ & Bush Schools?
      • Introduce the class to "your" journal and why you selected the articles you did in it. Be prepared to discuss what you expect the class to learn from these articles
      WEEK II
  • Monday, 1pm: Pre-departure Meeting with Amanda Ross
  • Tuesday, 1pm Midterm Exam
  • Wednesday--No Class
  • Thursday--7am Departure from the front of the Commons
    • Thompson. (1987) The Private Lives of Public Officials, pp. 123-147,
    • Nagel, Thomas. (2002) Concealment & Exposure pp. 1-30
    • Gutmann, A. & Thompson, D. (2006) The Investigation & Impeachment of President Clinton. in Ethics & Politics: Cases & Comments. Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 113-114, 139-157.
  • Friday--8:30am briefing by ATCHISON on the Clinton School and its Programs plus the Investigation and Impeachment of President Clinton in Ethics & Politics, pp. 139-157


  • Sunday-tbaPM briefing by FLEMING on the Bush School and its Programs plus the Confirmation of Justice Thomas in Ethics & Politics, pp. 115-139
  • Monday/Tuesday--tba
    • briefing by ELLERBACH on the LBJ School and its Programs plus
    • Goodin, R. 1980. Manipulatory Politics Yale Univ. Press, pp. 2-64
    • Lyndon Johnson, Master Manipulatory in Ethics & Politics, pp. 159-161 & 169-189
  • Thursday/Friday-- tba
    • briefing by PARTRIDGE on the Texas Legislature
    • tba The Texas Redistricting Caper in Ethics & Politics, pp. 177-183
  • Saturday/Sunday--briefing by MCNUTT on Kansas University and its Programs, including Chs 1, 5, & 15 of John Rohr's Public Service, Ethics & Constitutional Practice. 1998, Univ. Press of Kansas


    Criteria for Evaluation -- Contents
    Main points covered: Be selective! Be selective!! Be selective!!! Distinguish carefully between main points and minor ones, develop only a few main points in a short presentation (2-3 in 6-7 minutes), and be sure to alert the audience to what the main points are as you begin and end.

    Development: Carefully develop main points with clear, specific references to details or examples. When completing the development of a main point, be sure to provide a strong, logical transition to the next main point.

    Alternatives Explanations, where appropriate:

    Criteria for Evaluation -- Style

    Effective use of notes: Do not read from a prepared text. Outlines are O.K., as are short quotations

    Eye contact: Present your material to the whole audience

    Time limit: Guard especially against excessive length. Ten minutes is the limit.

    Expression & Emphasis: Watch for rate of speech and clear enunciation. Consider a variety of devices to emphasize the main points, incl. pauses, pitch, pace, posture, etc.



      • Oral Presentation I: Articles from Policy Journals
      • Oral Presentation II: Topics to be Determined.


Last Update: 01 March 2001
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