DPI-201 A: The Responsibilities of Public Action

Semester: Spring

Credit: 1.0

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Arthur Applbaum


Day Time Location
First Day 1/26
Meet Day M/W 2:40 PM - 4:00 PM L280


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 non-MPP1 students by permission of instructor only.

Please note that this course will be piloting the Harvard University Canvas course page system during the Spring 2015 term.







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