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School of Public Policy Launches Washington, D.C. Summer Seminar


The School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University has announced the launch of a new Washington, D.C. summer seminar, “The Roots of American Order: Thinking Historically About Public Policy.” The four-week, 3-credit seminar is open to incoming college juniors and seniors, graduate students, as well as early and mid-career individuals with a college degree. Held at Pepperdine’s Pennsylvania Avenue campus in Washington, D.C., from June 21 through July 16, 2016, the part-time seminar will provide those who currently serve or desire to serve in the public square, a foundation in America’s Founding Principles and how they have shaped the government/citizen relationship throughout history.

“The Roots of American Order: Thinking Historically About Public Policy” is based on one of Pepperdine's "James Q. Wilson Core" courses in which students engage, through a process of discovery, to develop the skills to think historically not only about past events, but about current public policy debates. The seminar aims to serve as an introduction to the School of Public Policy's distinguished approach to preparing public leaders who consider the full scope of factors that determine the success or failure of a public policy.

The seminar offers fast-moving conversation about a series of crisis points in American history—each of which re-shaped the relationship between citizens and their government as they re-examined America's Founding Principles. Concepts covered include:

  • The unique philosophical factors leading to the American founding
  • Early American history as the "First Great American Conversation"
  • The Industrial Revolution and the challenge to conceptions of self-rule
  • The Great Society and the changing nature of the regulatory state
  • The challenge of bureaucratic expertise to a classical definition of citizenship
  • Contemporary policy problems and their cultural dimensions

“While we’ve hosted events in Washington over the last few years, we’re excited to launch our first for-credit class at Pepperdine’s D.C. Campus in Foggy Bottom this summer,” says Pete Peterson, interim dean of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. “I look forward to introducing our unique liberal arts approach to public policy in the nation’s capital.”

The summer seminar will be co-taught by noted American historians Dr. Steven Hayward, Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine, and Dr. Ted McAllister, the Edward L. Gaylord Chair and associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine.

For more information about on the Washington, D.C. Summer Seminar please visit: publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/summer-seminar.