The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR6043 Comparative Public Administration

Module Overview

This course provides an introduction to comparative public administration by looking at shared theoretical approaches and common problems. It does not provide descriptions of the system of public administration in any single country. The course addresses two key aims of the degree: a knowledge and critical understanding of the core theoretical perspectives in the field; and a critical understanding of the main issues and events that have shaped the development of Public Administration in different national and sub-national settings. The course will give you an understanding of the diverse contexts in which decision makers confront shared problems and the variety of solutions adopted.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to demonstrate: Describe and analyse the core approaches to understanding public administration from a comparative perspective Describe and analyse the main issues and events that have shaped the development of Public Administration in different national and sub-national settings Describe and analyse the challenges and dilemmas faced by decision-makers in the public and non-profit sector

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe and analyse the core approaches to understanding public administration from a comparative perspective
  • Describe and analyse the main issues and events that have shaped the development of Public Administration in different national and sub-national settings
  • Describe and analyse the challenges and dilemmas faced by decision-makers in the public and non-profit sector

Syllabus

1. Introduction - what government does and how it does it 2. Present-day theories of public administration?(i) New public management?(ii) Evidence-based policy making?(iii) Narrative policy analysis 3. Problems in public administration?(i) The executive and declining policy capacity?(ii) Reforming the civil service, again?(iii) Regulation – hands off vs. hands on ?(iv) The implementation gap?(v) Privatisation – the franchise state?(vi) Network and collaborative governance?(vii) Accountability – the problem of many hands 4. Dilemmas of public administration in developing countries 5. Field trip to Cabinet Office (date will vary from year to year)

Special Features

The field trip to the Cabinet Office will accommodate students with special needs. Transportation and on-site activities will be accessible to students with decreased mobility.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of a series of seminars, where students will discuss relevant readings, give presentations, and engage in structured debate, discussion and reflection. Students will also take part in a field trip to the Cabinet Office.

TypeHours
Wider reading or practice14
Seminar20
Completion of assessment task80
External visits6
Preparation for scheduled sessions80
Follow-up work14
Total study time214

Resources & Reading list

Kettl, D (2015). Politics of the Administrative Process. 

.. The Library already subscribes to the core journals in Public Administration, so we do not foresee additional resource needs.

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Case Study Analysis  (3000 words) 45%
Essay  (3000 words) 45%
Seminar Participation 10%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Case Study Analysis  (3000 words) 50%
Essay  (3000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Case Study Analysis  (3000 words) 45%
Essay  (3000 words) 45%
Seminar Participation 10%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

New module created for 2017/18

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Accommodation and Travel

Students will be expected to pay the cost of public transportation to London for the field trip to the Cabinet Office.

Textbooks

Students will be expected to pay for core module texts if they do not wish to rely on the Library.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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