Political Science 361: Public Administration

(3 cr)

Course Description and Objectives:

The course introduces students to the legal and institutional setting of the U.S. public-administration system and to organizational dynamics and processes of public management.  The instructor emphasizes the case-analysis approach as an aid to learning about administrative practice.  Most cases highlight actual challenges of public administration that call for perceptive and skilled management responses.  In addition to enhanced understanding of fundamental concepts and issues of public administration (including the evolution of public administration as a field of study, major organizational theories, private/public administration interfaces and dichotomies, budget preparation, ethical dilemmas, approaches to public service, the role of career officials in the policy process and political context, human-resource issues, challenges to effective management, and the comparative/global perspective), students should develop the ability to apply theoretical insights, personal values, and social-science findings to challenging organizational and ethical situations.

Political Science 463: Development Administration

(3 cr)

Course Description and Objectives:

The course explores key issues of sustainable development and development management as well as the roles of local, national, and transnational public administrators, NGO personnel, and donor professionals. Development Administration focuses on the fundamental challenge of how to enhance living conditions in contexts characterized by scarce material resources. Students should develop awareness of the role of public administrators and NGO staff in sustainable-development processes, how culture affects development management, issues of decentralization and community empowerment, and effective approaches to management training and project evaluation as well as awareness of contemporary issues involving agriculture, natural resources and the environment, health, education, housing/transportation, and the special training needs of displaced persons. In addition to building a conceptual and knowledge base regarding the challenges of social, economic, and political change at national and community levels, P Sc 463 also involves simulated experience and practical exercises aimed at preparing students with valuable skills for field assignments in nonWestern contexts – including needs and capabilities assessment, data collection, gender-framework analysis, project selection, development planning and budgeting, program implementation, action training, and project evaluation. This core course in the International Development Studies minor aims to provide basic preparation for students interested in Peace Corps assignments, NGO work, and/or a career in international development.

PSCI 463 is one of the core courses available to students who minor in International Development Studies and in Global Public Health.

Political Science 431: Politics of Global Migration

(3 cr)

Course Description and Objectives:

The proactive and reactive migration of peoples within countries and across national boundaries constitutes one of the fundamental challenges of international relations and domestic politics in the 21st Century. In preparation for these challenges, this course explores recent and contemporary population movements from a multidisciplinary perspective. Geographical coverage includes Asia, North and Central America, Africa, and Europe. Attention initially is devoted transnationalism and associated economic, social, and political transformations. After exploring key dimensions of transmigration, we will focus on connecting transmigration, transnational competence, and sustainable development.

Students should develop familiarity with approaches to and dimensions of transnationalism as well as its potential transformative effects in the 21st Century; awareness of global migration patterns, pressures, processes, and implications; understanding of how population movements are related to the emergence of a world mobility system that involves an expanding flow of people across national boundaries in ways that challenge the geopolitical framework of nation states and are facilitated by transnational competence; the ability to connect transmigration, transnational competence, and sustainable development; familiarity with the arguments and issues behind current debates and conflicts over policies that impact migration and development; and enhanced individual and group analytic and problem-solving skills.

PSCI 431 is one of the core courses available to students who minor in International Development Studies and in Global Public Health.

Political Science 324: Sustainable Climate Policies: China and the USA


Sustainable Climate Policies: China and the USA explores the contributions of the United States and China to global climatic change, the reasons why both nation-states are the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, the future vulnerabilities of both countries to climatic change, prevailing national and subnational government policies that affect emission levels, the roles of NGOs and individuals, and climatic-stabilization alternatives. The course includes attention to useful and practical sustainable-climate policy approaches in China and the USA, with some attention to India. Issue-bundling and policy-framing strategies are considered in depth. Emerging and prospective partnerships among multilevel governments, NGOs, and communities will be explored.

Working individually and in teams, with feedback and source suggestions from the instructor, students will propose, outline, finalize, and defend creative local, regional, national, or transnational GHG-mitigation policies involving China and the USA. One important outcome of these exercises will be deeper understanding of the constraints and possibilities involved in developing sustainable climate policies in the two countries.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course, students should have achieved the following:

  • gained comparative understanding of government policy-making processes and positions that affect climate-change mitigation in China and the United States

  • be able to discern current and potential interests and roles of domestic and transnational nonstate actors with respect to climate mitigation

  • be able to identify the principal constraints on and opportunities for policy change – particularly at the subnational level – in China and the United States

  • gained insight regarding ways to influence climate-mitigation-policy outcomes in both countries

  • be able to design an emission-mitigation-policy proposal for China and the United States

  • be able to develop a PowerPoint presentation that captures the essence of your policy proposal

PSCI 324 is one of the core “society” courses available to students who minor in Climate Change Studies.

Political Science 524: Seminar in Management Skills

(3 cr)

Course Description & Objectives:

The seminar focuses on skills that research has shown to be important contributors to managerial effectiveness in public and not-for-profit organizations. Students assess their current strengths and weaknesses in each behavioral area, increase their cognitive understanding of these personal and organizational skills, and begin the process of expanding and enhancing their competency by applying the behavioral principles they learn to a variety of case studies and exercises. The course is organized around an integrated, comprehensive, and experiential learning model designed to improve participants’ management behavior through skill assessment, learning, analysis, and practice. Specifically, we concentrate on developing practical management skills in self-assessment, oral and written presentations, managing stress, conducting meetings, communicating supportively, gaining power and influence, motivating others, managing conflict, empowering and delegating, managing diversity, negotiating agreements in transnational organizational contexts, and participating in performance-appraisal and employee-selection interviews.

Public Health 580: Rural Health Issues in Global Perspective

(3 cr)

Course Description:

The mission of the University of Montana’s Masters of Public Health program is to prepare professionals to improve the health of the people of Montana and other rural areas around the world by providing interdisciplinary education that fosters critical thinking, research-based practice, and community collaboration. The program aims to graduate practitioners who are competent to address the unique challenges resulting from the intersection of rural and global health issues through approaches that examine the interaction of biological, environmental, historical, political, socio-cultural, economic, and behavioral factors and their relationship to public-health policy, management, and intervention.

PUBH 580 Learning Objectives (Professional Competencies)

Program Public Health Competency 10: Uses Global Insight in Responding to Local Public Health Issues

  • Demonstrate ability to discern complex interconnections among local and transnational forces that facilitate and constrain global health
  • Ability to connect contemporary rural-health challenges to transnational socio-cultural, political, economic, environmental, biological, and behavioral determinants
  • Ability to analyze the impact of transnational interdependencies on rural public health problems and systems
  • Ability to explain how transnational connections are important in the design of interventions within rural public-health delivery systems
  • Ability to analyze contributions of social, behavioral, environmental, and biological factors to transnational community health outcomes
  • Demonstrate appreciation for the tradeoffs between individual freedom and public welfare, and between voluntary compliance and mandates, involved in addressing transnational challenges to global health
  • Ability to relate sentinel public health events to practice of public health transnationally

Program Public Health Competency 9: Respond to Public Health Issues in Rural Settings

  • Understanding rural characteristics and implications for public health
  • Ability to identify and distinguish structural, environmental,  community, biological, and individual factors affecting rural health by utilizing, in part, epidemiological data
  • Ability to analyze the effects on rural public-health systems of politics and social/ economic policies at the local, state/provincial, national, and international levels
  • Ability to analyze the impact of global trends and interdependencies on rural-health systems, challenges, and opportunities
  • Ability to describe the role and functions of indigenous and transnational nongovernmental organizations in rural health care
  • Understanding challenges to health care delivery in rural developing areas and contributing factors

Program Public Health Competency 4: Practice Public Health with People from Diverse Populations

  • Demonstrate ability to apply the transnational-competence (TC) framework in addressing specific rural and global health challenges
  • Increased empathy regarding the health concerns and needs of vulnerable rural populations, especially women, children, and displaced persons
  • Ability to cite several transnational situations where cultural and social sensitivity resulted in improved health interventions
  • Ability to identify and assess the utility of traditional and nontraditional sources of health information and approaches
  • Ability to formulate and adapt participatory approaches to rural public-health challenges that take into account cultural, socio-economic, and ecological diversity
  • Ability to explore and critically assess approaches aimed at reducing health disparities now and for generations to follow
  • Ability to use TC skills when engaged with and empowering diverse and disadvantaged rural communities

Program Public Health Competency 8: Exercise Public Health Leadership and Systems Thinking

  • Increased appreciation for the contributions of various disciplines to health
  • Ability to identify factors affecting the application of IT for public-health purposes in diverse national contexts
  • Ability to collaborate with classmates in prioritizing objectives and resource needs for public health program transnationally
  • Demonstrate team building, empathy, and negotiation on class projects (groups)
  • Ability to articulate a feasible and creative plan of action
  • Ability to formulate effective an strategy for transnational collaboration and partnerships
  • Demonstrated capacity for needs assessment, policy formulation, and evaluation through final project
  • Final project identifies and takes into consideration critical stakeholders from another country context
  • Strong oral and written skills demonstrated in required projects and presentations
  • Demonstrate ability to analyze critically considerations of human rights, equity, and social justice in relationship to rural and global health challenges, including:
    • demonstrate awareness of factors that contribute to wide disparities in health among certain populations
    • ability to analyze contribution of history, power, privilege, inequality trans-nationally
    • ability to differentiate among availability, acceptability, and accessibility of health care across diverse populations in various country contexts
    • identify the role of various health professionals in reducing/eliminating disparities
    • identify local and transnational resources that can be mobilized for diminishing health disparities
    • ability to apply human-rights and social-justice principles in health advocacy plans
    • formulate strategies for mobilizing community participation in health- and sustainable-development-related activities and for forging effective alliances and partnerships

PUBH 524 is a required core seminar in the Masters Degree in Public Health program.

Political Science 227: Issues in Global Public Health

To function as informed and active citizens in a world suffused by proximate, distant, and transnational health challenges, students are advantaged by developing awareness and sensitivities regarding public-health issues of global concern. PSCI 227 is designed to engage as well as inform. The overarching question we will engage this semester is: “What transnational, national, and local policies and skills will help us address current and future challenges to global health?” In 2003, the Institute of Medicine’s reported that public-health literacy is an “'essential part of the training of citizens’” and that it “prepares students to contribute to the health of the public through positive decision-making and constructive action in personal, professional, and civic arenas.” The instructor’s scholarly work on the value of transnational competence for health-care professionals will provide the basis for building skills intended to enable you to participate creatively and effectively when global health challenges arise in the future both as a professional and as a concerned citizen.

Course Description:

While exploring big and enduring issues of global public health, we initially will focus on “finding the right questions.” In the process, you will be introduced to diverse perspectives and approaches, constraints and capacities, ethical dilemmas, policy options, and challenges involved in making decisions under conditions of uncertainty.  You are encouraged to make and explore interdisciplinary as well as transnational connections.

PSCI 227 treats current public-health challenges in industrialized and low-income countries, including chronic and infectious illnesses. Issues covered include the impact of social and political inequities on the global burden of illness, health impacts of climate change, undernourishment and malnutrition, sanitation and access to clean water, the obesity epidemic, funding disparities, the “fatal flow of expertise” from low-income to wealthy countries, transnational and indigenous health care, medical tourism, health as a human right and development resource, health implications of displacement, migration, travel, and migrant health care, remote (rural) and reservation health challenges, armed conflict and health, public-disaster and health-emergency preparedness and response, quarantines and isolation, and academic preparation for emerging transnational challenges. In comparative perspective, the course explores the individual, environmental, resource, and governance (national, international, and non-governmental) context of public-health policy, interventions, and outcomes and addresses questions of health equity and justice, regional problematics and contributors, and the concerns of vulnerable populations along with possibilities for health advocacy. Through individual and group research projects, you will prepare to work collaboratively with future partners.

Learning Outcomes:

The course focuses on skill learning consistent with the transnational-competence framework. You are expected to distinguish and develop analytic, emotional, creative, communicative, and functional competencies. You will learn to frame questions about global public-health challenges, analyze underlying contributing factors, resolve ethical dilemmas, construct transdisciplinary approaches working in teams, and critically assess implementation strategies and policy alternatives. Specific learning outcomes include:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the history, principles, and burdens of public health in a global context
  • Demonstrate ability to discern interconnections among local and transnational, upstream and midstream, forces that facilitate and constrain global health
  • Demonstrate ability to identify and distinguish the multiple and transnationally interconnected social, political, economic, environmental, cultural, biological, and behavioral determinants of individual and population health
  • Demonstrate ability to compare health conditions in the Global South with health conditions in the Global North (including remote rural areas and Native American reservations) and awareness of factors that contribute to health vulnerabilities and wide disparities in health opportunity
  • Demonstrate ability to analyze the effects on public-health systems of politics and social/economic policies at the local, tribal, state/provincial, national, and international levels
  • Demonstrate appreciation for the role of individual capabilities and resilience, contextual resources, community collaboration, and transnational partnership in promoting public health
  • Demonstrate ability to identify and critically assess cost-effective approaches aimed at reducing health disparities now and for generations to follow
  • Demonstrate ability to identify health-promoting individual lifestyle behaviors and socially responsible local and transnational participation in promoting public health

PSCI 227 is a required course for students who minor in Global Public Health.

Political Science 326: Politics of Africa

(3 cr)

Course Description & Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with political systems in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, including their development from the interaction of African, Western, and indigenous social, political, and economic forces.  We also consider the efforts of leaders and citizens to bring about change.  Students should gain deeper awareness of the impact of political/cultural heritage, contemporary socio-political conditions, and internal/external political and economic influences on the challenges currently confronting African states and societies.    We focus on Sub-Saharan African states (e.g., Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa) that are particularly important, exemplify major challenges, and reflect the diversity of approaches to political change and economic development found on the continent.  Course participants develop in-depth understanding of one contemporary African political system and critical skills in assessing appropriate approaches to donor assistance in contemporary Africa.  Special attention is devoted to developing critical skills in addressing appropriate approaches to foreign assistance in contemporary Africa and to understanding health conditions and contributing factors in Africa –especially with regard to the HIV/AIDS crisis.