This course will examine the importance of public policy advocacy for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and the impact of nonprofit advocacy on society and social change. LSP 360 K/ POL 217 K places a special emphasis on the evolution of government out of the state of nature through a social contract, the evolution of civil society, American Exceptionalism, the American Creed and modern political parties. It also examines social movements, civil disobedience and the tumultuous 1960s. It will review the policy-making process and NPOs’ role(s) in the process. It will analyze the diverse range of strategies—such as research, building coalitions, convening, civil discourse, grassroots mobilization, lobbying, working with media, and use of social media—that are available to NPOs to carry out their mission and promote their advocacy goals.

The course will culminate in planning, implementing and evaluating a successful advocacy campaign. The course will meet once a week in a small seminar format. Because of the size of the class, students will be expected to not only participate in class discussions but also lead class discussions through the Harkness® Method. Through dialogue and application, students will learn to think critically; identify action issues related to mission; create legislative agendas; form public policy positions; identify stakeholders; and implement advocacy strategies.