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Online · Helms School of Government · Government

Domestic Policy

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is a survey of U.S. domestic policy. It will focus on domestic public policy-making at the national level, beginning with the processes, institutions and actors engaged in the creation, advocacy, development, enactment, and implementation of domestic policy, and followed by a discussion of several contemporary public policy issues.





How do major, transformative changes in Domestic policy take place? Why do some big Domestic policy reforms succeed while others fail or languish for decades? Major Domestic policy changes often begin in the orderly world of analysis, however, many end in the messy world of partisan politics. For a new initiative to succeed, it has to coincide with a political climate and a leadership capacity that allows the proponents to overcome the natural resistance to change.

Who contributes to making Domestic policy? The range of influences is broad, from all degrees on the political spectrum. This course will provide a Judeo-Christian perspective on Domestic policy-making and that of different groups, organizations, and coalitions including the influence of Christianity. Domestic policy by definition are those administrative decisions that government makes or fails to make which are directly related to all issues and activity within a nation's borders. Domestic policy covers many areas including business, education, defense, security, energy, healthcare, law enforcement, money and taxes, natural resources, social welfare, and personal rights and freedoms. Domestic policy differs from foreign policy in that it is the way a government advances its interests internally rather than on the world stage.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Define Domestic Policy
  2. Explain institutions and processes of American government
  3. Describe different political belief systems
  4. Explain the concept of legislative and governmental regulation.
  5. Explain the role of politics in efforts to promote sustainability through public policy.
  6. Describe the “Original Intent” of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Bergstrom, John C. and Alan Randall, Resource Economics: An Economic Approach to Natural Resource and Environmental Policy. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN: 978-1784717940.

Kingdon, John W., Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. London: Pearson, 2010. ISBN: 978-0205000869.

Taylor, Steve L., Matthew S. Shugart, Aprend Lijphart, Bernard Grofman., A Different Democracy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. ISBN: 9780300198089.

The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy. London: Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0199548453.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Current ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these(this) resource(s).

Additional Materials for Learning 

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 350–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. The student must reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words.

Essays (2)

The student will be required to submit 2 Essays written in current Turabian format. Both essays must cite appropriate grad-level sources and contain a title page and bibliography. The first Essay will require at least 5 sources and have a minimum 500-word body. The second Research Paper must cite at least 7 sources and have a 750–1,000-word body.

Research Papers (2)

The student will be required to submit 2 research papers written in current Turabian format. Both papers must cite appropriate grad-level sources and contain a title page and bibliography. The first Research Paper will require at least 7 sources and have a minimum 1,000-word body. The second Research Paper must cite at least 10 sources and have a 1,500–1,750-word body.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (5 at x 50 pts ea)


Essay 1


Essay 2


Research Paper 1


Research Paper 2





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


PPOG 530

Textbooks: The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy (2008)

Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (2010)

Bergstrom and Randall, Resource Economics: An Economic Approach to Natural Resource and Environmental Policy (2016)

Taylor et al. A Different Democracy (2014)



Reading & Study




Oxford: Chs: 1, 11

Taylor: Chs: 1, 2, 4

Kingdon: Chs: 1, 2, 3

1 Presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Discussion Board No. 1







Taylor: Chs: 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

1 Presentation

Discussion Board No. 2




Oxford: Chs: 19, 12, 30, 33

Kingdon: Chs: 4, 5, 6

1 Presentation

Essay No. 1



Kingdon: Chs: 7, 8

1 Presentation

Research Paper No. 1



Bergstrom & Randall: Chs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 19, 20, 21

1 Presentation

Discussion Board No. 3

Essay No. 2




Kingdon: Chs: Epilogue

8 Articles

1 Presentation

Discussion Board No. 4



Oxford: Chs: 16, 26, 27, 28

1 Presentation

Discussion Board No. 5



Oxford: Chs: 18, 34, 35, 37, 39, 42

Bergstrom & Randall: Ch: 22

Taylor: Chs: 10

Kingdon: Chs: 9, 10

1 Presentation

Research Paper No. 2




DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.