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Brookings Public Policy Minor

About the Minor

The Brookings Public Policy Minor (BPPM) is a unique educational experience that offers a multidisciplinary curriculum based upon local, national and global themes. The courses in the minor unite the best teaching and scholarship from UNLV faculty, with national experts and scholars from the Brookings Institution. This unique collaboration draws upon the diverse faculty and programmatic interests of UNLV to link knowledge, academic inquiry, and practice with the outstanding policy programs of the Brookings Institution.

The collaboration recognizes its responsibility to present multiple perspectives and enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills in a broad range of subject areas such as geography, economics, political science, public policy, and others. At a metropolitan university located in the heart of a diverse global city, the BPPM is committed to creating curriculum materials that model effective ways of working with students of all backgrounds. UNLV students are coming of age in a world of global markets where democratic forms of government emerge, struggle, and adapt amid a technological revolution that continues to alter how we think, act, and live on a daily basis. The BPPM addresses the challenge of effective teaching, learning, and communication in this ever-changing global environment. UNLV faculty and students, in collaboration with Brookings colleagues, will meet this challenge, and help build sustainable local, national, and global communities.

Student Guide: Brookings Public Policy Minor

In Brookings Minor courses, students will:

  • Learn about real people in real places
  • Link societies by their connections and commonalities as much as by their differences
  • Integrate general issues of globalization, past and present, into the study of specific people and places in the world
  • Include cross-disciplinary approaches to break down conventional academic barriers
  • Emphasize experiential as well as classroom learning
  • Foster research and information literacy through coordinated lectures, readings, and assignments

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About the Curriculum

Each of the courses is centered around — and guided by scholars from — the five research programs at Brookings: Governance Studies, Economic Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, Global Economy and Development Research, and Metropolitan Studies.

Governance Studies

Dedicated to analyzing policy issues, political institutions and processes, and contemporary governance challenges. Scholarship in this program identifies areas in need of reform and proposes specific solutions with the goals of: improving the performance of the national government; informing debate; and providing policymakers with expert analysis and ideas to ensure better institutional governance.

Economic Studies

Analyzes current and emerging economic issues facing the United States and the world, focusing on ideas to achieve broad-based economic growth, a strong labor market, sound fiscal and monetary policy, and economic opportunity and social mobility. The research aims to increase understanding of how the economy works and what can be done to make it work better.

Foreign Policy

Program at Brookings is a leading center of policy-relevant scholarship exploring the rapidly re-ordering geopolitics of the great and major powers, and the disordering relations among states and transnational actors in the greater Middle East. Scholars provide concrete policy recommendations for how U.S. strategy, the international security architecture, and key allies should adapt to changing threats and opportunities.

Global Economy and Development

Aims to shape the policy debate on how to improve global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. With a long-term vision of strong, sustainable, and balanced growth for a prosperous world, the program undertakes high-quality research, identifies target audiences and policy opportunities, and shares its findings to inform new policy solutions.

Metropolitan Policy

Strives to deliver research and solutions that help metropolitan leaders build an advanced economy that works for all.

Brookings Public Policy Minor - News Center

Brookings Public Policy Minor - In the News

Las Vegas Sun
Dec. 28, 2020

Empty stages. Spotlights collecting dust. The fate of live entertainment in Las Vegas, one of the city’s most prominent industries, is yet again a high wire act.

Nevada Current
Dec. 23, 2020

The complex Nevada economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession can be explained by one letter of the alphabet – the letter K. The “K-shaped recovery” describes how white-collar jobs are able to prosper during the COVID-19 pandemic, while blue-collar workers are forced out of the labor market or subjected to unsafe working conditions for minimal compensation. Those on the upper half of a K distribution recover at a much quicker pace than those on the lower half. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sectors on the upper half of the K include technology, retail, and software services; sectors on the lower half include hospitality, travel, and food services.

Dec. 22, 2020

Typically these summary articles open with a statement something like “it’s been an eventful and challenging year”, or something. We will not, hopefully, have to resort to such hyperbole in future years – because in 2020, it has been true. Here in the Center on Children and Families, we continued to develop our work under the Future of the Middle Class Initiative – and there’s lots more to come over the next few months. (Check out in particular our New Contract with the Middle Class, a synthesis of big ideas to help the middle class and featured below.)

The Nevada Independent
Dec. 4, 2020

The boom or bust nature of the Southern Nevada economy jeopardizes our growing gig economy. “Gig workers” are self-employed individuals who file 1099 forms instead of W2 forms to the IRS, where the employer withholds payroll taxes from their employees’ earnings. Payroll taxes fund government safety-net programs, notably unemployment insurance. However, 1099 workers do not receive many of the benefits that W2 workers do since they do not pay into those safety-net taxes.

Student Opinion Editorials

Brookings Public Policy Minor students are engaged in a variety of policy topics that impact the Las Vegas metropolitan region, the Mountain West, and the nation. Our students are frequently featured as "guest columnists" on critical public policy topics in local newspapers.

Sebastian Cardenas

Faculty and Engagement

Brookings scholars currently engage with UNLV faculty both in the classroom and in related research efforts.

For example, Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies and Co-Director of Center on Children and Families speaks to undergraduate classes during his visits, and partnered with Vicky Albert, UNLV professor of social work, on a Pew Charitable trust-funded examination of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

Adele Morris, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies and Policy Director for Climate and Energy Economics, and UNLV professor of economics, Brad Wimmer, created an economic policy course that serves as a model for courses in the minor.

Similarly, Steven Landis, an assistant professor of political science, offers a foreign policy course that engages with a number of Brookings scholars. As future Brookings scholars collaborate with UNLV faculty across campus, we hope to develop additional courses.

Each Brookings Public Policy Minor course is taught by a UNLV faculty member in collaboration with one or more Brookings colleagues. This partnership includes one or more Brookings scholars’ in-person teaching of selected class lectures for the courses in the program. It also may involve participating in review of assignments and grading, and additional teaching through the use of electronic classrooms.

Interview with student
Carol Graham and Mary Blakenship
Opioids in Nevada: UNLV Office of Undergraduate Research Spring 2020 Symposium