How do ideas shape public policy? How do they interact with interests and institutions to produce policy change? How much can – and should – theoretical abstractions guide the practical and concrete work of politics?

In this online course, led by political scientist Daniel DiSalvo, fellows will examine the influence of ideas in some of our key policy debates – from social class and race to welfare, education, crime and policing, and immigration. Reading will include seminal texts in political science as well as contemporary accounts. In studying major domestic policy issues, fellows will gain insight into our expectations of and dissatisfactions with American government. They will learn how ideas can transform politics, while also appreciating the limits and pitfalls of policy reform. 

Image: Patrick Moynihan and Richard Nixon Touring the Redevelopment Area of Pennsylvania Avenue, 1970

Dan DiSalvo on Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and its Consequences


Daniel DiSalvo

Daniel DiSalvo is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at The City College of New York-CUNY.  His scholarship focuses on American political parties, elections, labor unions, state government, and public policy.

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