20511 - POLITICS AND POLICY MAKING
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 14
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
The course is an essential step for the understanding of how public policies are formulated, adopted and implemented in national and international settings and is therefore strongly linked to the overall master program.
The course provides the main analytical tools needed to understand the functioning of national and international policy making. The course is structured as follows.
- Brief introduction on the relations and main differences between political science and public policy analysis.
- Policy analysis theory and analysis of the various policy process phases.
- Case study analysis and discussion. The tools provided in the first part of the course are used in order to understand specific policy evolutions and changes over the past decades.
- Understand patterns of decision-making in various national and international contexts.
- Unpack the policy content into various dimensions in order to better grasp the different drivers of policy-oriented political behaviour and public decisions.
- Detect similarities and differences among various policy preferences of policy actors in various decision-making contexts.
- Identify policy preferences and map the positioning of various actors with reference to a specific international or national policy.
- Provide policy feedbacks under the form of comparative assessments and comparative policy background analyses.
- Draft and communicate policy recommendations and write policy briefs and/or memos aimed at influencing preference formation and negotiation of policy actors.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Group assignments
Guest speakers are invited and group assignments regarding policy analysis are requested.
The assessment methods have been designed in order to stimulate your active involvement in the course and to develop a mix of knowledge and know how. Detailed instructions on the group assignment will be provided in class. The grade breakdown is as follows:
- Group assignment: 40%
- Final exam: 60%
The Group's assignment consists of developing a project on the topics addressed in the course, through the preparation of a Policy Brief. This will consist of a short document through which is presented a concise summary of information about findings and recommendations obtained in a relevant research related to a policy problem. This assessment method is intended to provide students the opportunity to raise a policy problem and its possible solutions, based on the knowledge and analytical tools given in the lectures. The Policy Brief should simulate a situation very close to what is experienced in the real world. In this document, students should identify policy preferences and map the positioning of various actors with reference to a specific international or national policy; provide policy recommendations under the form of comparative assessments and comparative policy background analyses; and communicate policy recommendations in order to influence preference formation and negotiation of policy actors.
The Final exam will be held in written form (60% of the final grade), and will be composed of exercises and open questions aimed to assess students’ ability to apply the analytical tools and concepts illustrated during the course, related to the patterns of decision-making in various national and international contexts. The exam will also include short statements to discuss, aimed to unpack the policy content into various dimensions and thereby assessing understanding of the different drivers of policy-oriented political behaviour and public decisions, as well as to detect similarities and differences among various policy preferences of policy actors in various decision-making contexts.
- Textbook: M. HOWLETT, M. RAMESH, A. PERL, Studying Public Policy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Coursepack: Collection of scientific articles (available online).