Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 16Sp PPOL 5340-100 (LEAD)
In the UVaCollab course site:   16Sp PPOL 5340-100 (LEAD)

Course Description (for SIS)

PPOL 5340: Race, Policy, and the Past

This seminar will focus on the challenge that historical racial injustice poses to political leaders designing public policy today.  Race has offered a set of demonstrable injustices in American history through the present day.  The list of topics is inexhaustible, but includes slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, segregation, class discrimination, and current criminal justice policies.  While these and other instances of injustice vary widely, the question for political leaders has always been the same: what to do, vis-à-vis that history.  That challenge of justice through policy has shaped past policies, such as Reconstruction and federal civil rights and voting laws, and continues to influence contemporary proposals such as removing the Confederate flag and Civil War memorials and offering reparations for slavery.

This discussion seminar will provide a forum for constructive group discussion of these challenges.  The syllabus will acquaint students with the history of racial injustice in America, conceptual grounding in different paradigms of justice, case studies of U.S. presidents working through these challenges, and applied leadership exercises on addressing history through policy today.  The seminar will culminate in an applied group exercise on a contemporary policy issue.  Students will also have the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers.