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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century by University of Virginia

1,334 ratings
345 reviews

About the Course

This course introduces class participants to the political significance and societal consequences of challenges facing U.S. and international policymakers. It is designed to help participants develop skills to analyze policy proposals and advocate for their preferred options for issues on the public policy agenda ahead. The class assumes basic knowledge about governing institutions and democratic processes, while recommending supplemental materials for further study to complement reading links provided. The course focuses on future policy challenges, while examining the broad historical context in which policies are adopted and implemented. As the course evaluates how issues are advanced by private sector interests, non-governmental organizations, and government policymakers, it examines how groups become effective policy advocates. Particular attention is paid to how winning coalitions are formed and how issue framing shapes the outcome of policy campaigns. The goal is neither to produce partisan talking points, nor to favor one governance philosophy over others. Rather it is to clarify the public policy challenges ahead and to enhance participants’ understanding of how policy options are adopted in the real world arena of contemporary politics. This course will be officially closing on November 5, 2021 and all course work must be completed by May 15, 2022 to be graded....

Top reviews

Sep 26, 2019

To know the "Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century" is more essential for the global people in this era. Thanks for the opportunity. I hope it will give a concise idea to learn on it...

Apr 23, 2020

This course does not focus on any partisan interest but rather inspires you to think deeply, challenges you to reason beyond the status quo, and empowers you with the tools to make an impact!

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251 - 275 of 344 Reviews for Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century


Sep 2, 2020


By Victor T

Sep 29, 2016


By Rosa E J S

Oct 13, 2015


By Adeola O

Jul 27, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. The discourse in all the topics presented and the guests were wonderfully presented. The balanced opinions presented were great, so as to reinforce one of the policy tools of studying your opponent. I was able to hear from the different sides with many points I support. I enjoyed Ms Dee Dee Myers and Senator Tim Kaine presentations. They showed grounding in their field and the openness of all side and issues. Plus it was nice to see the two friends (Senators) from opposing side sit down, showing that it is possible, in the persons of Senator Gerry Connolly and Tim Davis. It was good to see that even among all the speakers, past and current,, they have noticed the extreme bipartisan that currently exists in Congress. How they are not solving anything in the country. Rather they are creating a widen gap of citizenry which is not good. But i will hold on to Prof Warburg's optimism of what we the next generation can and will do. Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn.

By Penelope W

Jun 22, 2017

This was an excellent introduction to and discussion of public policy issues, and I enjoyed every class and guest lecturer. I came away with new insights and a broader understanding of policy issues and shifts. The class was recorded in 2014, and while it was fascinating to see how many of the speakers sensed the dramatic partisan polarization that has led to the election of the current administration, I did wish I had known that the lectures were recored 3 years ago. It would be great if remarks could be added to reflect on the current policy eruptions that have occurred since the class was recorded.

By Paresh R

Apr 19, 2020

a very broad and amazing course. Taught one of the key message of being in Center in the world which is more and more leaning towards extremes. It would have been even better if we had certain case studies on issues like Urban Planning, Public Transportation etc to get more hands on experience in Policy making and its implications.

Another good takeaway for me is that majority of work is done at the state level than at a country level. So the state government and its policies can actually act a a Lab fore nationwide polies.

By Suzanne H

Jan 19, 2021

Discussion of China, partisanship, war powers, were timely and well presented. The quizzes were on point, not trivial. The guests were candid and well informed. Good to see current elected officials show their thoughtfulness. It would be interesting to see how this course might differ after the Trump administration and given our current state of fractiousness. It would have been good to have a newer version of the course, perhaps, but more time will be needed to see what effects "Trumpism" will have on the US.

By Deep T

Mar 21, 2020

The course gives a very good overview of the problems to be faced in the 21st Century for all the policymakers. The speaker sessions were very insightful and helped in the overall understanding of the topic at hand. Also, the discussion forums have been the most beneficial out of everything. I have the following constructive feedbacks which are: 1) To include more international issues from the PoV of other countries 2) Dwell into more topics. 3) Have a hands-on policymaking session. Thanks for the course.:)

By Ng M Q

Feb 12, 2017

This course has been enlightening and enriching for me in terms of how governance works in America. The issues raised can be applicable to many other countries in the world. However, this is not the course for you if you are looking for theoretical and analytical skills as this course is structured around sharings and exchanges with public figures about the current and future agenda of the US. (This is just my personal opinion and others may disagree me with me on certain aspects.)

By Edvaldo E S J

Jun 14, 2019

It was very important to me having the opportunity to expand my visions about the needed changes of the Political Science area, in an international perspective. I think it would be also more incredible if we have talked in a less United States perspective and started to focus, furthermore, in some other different countries and realities. However, I'm really happy because I had the chance to listen and learn about some (new) issues of the 21st century!


Sep 14, 2020

While this course is focuses heavily on the American polity, countries no longer exist as isolated entities. The plethora of challenges faced by young Americans are also faced by young decision makers around the world. Though the course does not offer policy solutions to multiple challenges, it does successfully problematise these challenges only to make us use our critical thinking faculties and emerge with creative and better solutions.

By mathias b

Aug 19, 2016

The content is well modularized, introduces a range of topic, but is much more of a discourse than an introduction to to process of evaluating a policy challenge. Not many tactical ideas, mostly a survey of the policy challenges that a new generation of policy-makers and new stakeholders will face. So the focus is not on "how" but it introduces Public Policy as a concept in a nice discursive way worthy of your time.

By Amelia B

Sep 30, 2019

This course was a respectable introduction to basic public policy challenges facing democracies today, and the language and government structures stakeholders need to understand to tackle those challenges. However, as of 2019 much has changed in American and global politics that render some of these lessons either irrelevant or incomplete. So it is very much overdue for an update in the material.

By Sherna J A B

May 17, 2018

This course was informative and allowed the participant to look at many areas in public policy. And made for great discussion with peers to broaden ones knowledge base and ways of thinking when it comes to looking at issues for the 21st Century. How would those issues be addressed? Who will address them? And how to avoid Slacktivisim. This is a well put together course.


Jun 19, 2020

The course was a marvellous, insightful journey that helps one shape thought process in devising public policy suggestions. The policy field luminaries whose talks were practical and relatable enriched the authenticity of the teachings.

A small suggestion would be that concise reading materials if provided could add to the understanding of the topics discussed.

By Michael M

Sep 24, 2015

I thought it was a great course. It really prompted me to consider the different aspects of the political landscape and how it will look drastically different in the coming years as my generation enters into the field. I recommend this course as a good starting ground for those wanting to gain more perspective for those considering the public service route.

By May D

May 31, 2017

Really inspiring, and a great collections of speakers. All of the challenges covered in class are relevant and will be remain relevant for a long time (that's the point of the class), but the lectures are from 2013 or maybe 2014, so I would love to take an updated version of this class with current perspectives. I really enjoyed this class!

By Lucas F

Apr 13, 2021

Even though some topics are now outdated due to the extreme changes that occured after the recording of this course, it still, nevertheless, is an intesting and challenging course to follow. It will help you gain a different perspective in key topics as well as have another approach when thinking about important issues and policy.

By Lucas d A F C

Aug 4, 2020

While i feel the course is very U.S. oriented, I believe it has a lot to teach policymakers and students from around the world, specially in respect to what challenges future leaders will face and how to tackle those issues by understanding their causes and consequences, and learning to reach compromises with opposite parties.

By Hannah S J

Jun 1, 2020

I believe the course could have looked into more transitional topics and brought in similar policy skills for other forms of government as well. The breakdown of the Affordable Care Act and the proposal for the war powers Act were both illuminating. The Media perspective, although slightly uncommon, was very much appreciated.

By David S

Dec 19, 2020

The content, materials, and lectures captured here are incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It is, however, shockingly outdated at this point in time considering our political situation in America. It's hard to listen to some of this material and not question the lack of relevance to our current situation.

By Ankita W

May 20, 2020

It's a good course for beginners and those who want to understand Public policy. However, it would be great if the current course is updated to the latest sessions, because the lectures are at least 5 years old and the world has changed quite a bit since then. Updated policy challenges would be really helpful.

By José A G G

Aug 30, 2020

Very good course. And it makes me think that part of the expectations of the invited speakers, and those from prof. Warburg, hasn't happened yet. Much to the contrary, it seems that many problems pointed were exacerbated. I would gladly attend an updated version of the course. Thanks!

By Ankur G

May 10, 2017

A very good introduction to Public Policy Challenges and related debates. Also a great way to get a snapshot of what plagues America, why America reacts the way it does and how the America of the future might react and shape the rest of the world.

By Smriti S

Jul 15, 2020

Updating the content of some of the modules with additional reading material would be beneficial given how much the governance structures have altered since 2014 (when the course content was first created). Thank you for this enriching course!