DPI-201 D: The Responsibilities of Public Action

Semester: Fall

Credit: 1.0

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Mathias Risse


Day Time Location
First Day 9/2
Meet Day M/W 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM LAND
Review T 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM 124MA/100
2nd Review: Tues.,10:15-11:30,124MA/100


This course is a philosophical examination of the responsibilities of public policymakers in a democracy. The course asks two questions: (1) What should governments do? (2) What should political actors do? The first question requires consideration of public principles that guide good, just, and legitimate public policy. The second question requires consideration of the many and often competing obligations that should guide political actors inside and outside government, particularly when there is disagreement about what is good, just, and legitimate public policy. Discussions and assignments focus on applications of theoretical concepts from scholarly readings in philosophy and political theory to practical issues of public policy and policymaker responsibility.

Open to MPP1 students only.









John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page