PPE in Practice III: Governance for Society

Lecturers: Jeroen Merk en Steven Poelhekke

Aims
After completing the course, students will have gained
 an understanding of:

• Key problems and arguments surrounding issues of global governance

• The way interdisciplinary approaches can help solve these problems

• The working relationship between academic theorists and practical
policy makers

The skills to:

• Identify an argument’s structure, and to criticize and strengthen its
weak points

• Present their original research in verbal and written forms

• Use peer input to modify and improve their arguments

Description
The third PPE in Practice course is a problems-based course that
 encourages students to draw interdisciplinary connections between the
 individual PPE disciplines. PiP III will address emerging 21st century
 problems related to the relationship between citizens, state leaders,
and the rest of the world. The course will be coordinated by VU faculty
 who will work together with guest practitioners and guest academics to 
consider issues surrounding global aid:

• Does aid work? When, why, and how? How do we measure its impact?

• What are our moral and political obligations surrounding aid? Is there
a real difference between humanitarian and development aid?

• What economic incentives does aid create? What political
considerations underpin its provison?

Similar to the other PiP courses, PiP III will combine lectures and
seminars over a period of three weeks. The lectures will provide
students with a strong background in the moral, political and economic
 theories necessary to identify and understand the key issues pertinent 
to each question. Because PiP III is a problem-based course, seminars 
are structured around small group discussions. Lecturers will provide
 question prompts for the seminars and students will be encourage to
 bring their own questions and solution proposals to the seminars. The
 emphasis of the problem-based seminars is on argument formation. 
Students will learn to produce strong arguments for policy positions,
and to identify flaws in weak arguments. The seminars are also intended
 to give students an environment in which they can develop ideas for the
course essay.

TEACHING METHOD
Lectures and seminars (active learning groups)

Type of Assessment
The final grade for the course will be based on the marks for 3
projects. There are two short papers (500 words) due at the end of the
first and second weeks, and one final policy brief (2000 words) due in
final form at the end of the fourth week. Each short paper will be worth
20% of the final grade and the final policy brief will be worth 60% of
the final grade.

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