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The University of Southampton

PAIR6010 Governance and Policy

Module Overview

This module seeks to explore the theory and practice of governance through conceptualisations, approaches, and case studies, and to consider how these ideas affect our understanding of public policy making. It seeks to examine governance as an academic concept and also how it applies to contemporary policy-making and processes at different levels. Looking at collective decision making in societal systems or organisations, the module explores how power is distributed, who is involved in decision making, and how policy is implemented. The module encourages reflective thinking about the complexities of governance and the challenges to institutional forms of governance, and to the difficulties inherent in the public policy process. In particular, it seeks to explore and analyse governance processes and approaches in a range of settings through specific case studies

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of approaches to understanding governance.
  • Demonstrate ability to critically analyse the debates surrounding governance, how it is conceptualised, and how we understand its operation in contemporary societies.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the impact of modern governance practices on public policy making.


The syllabus content will encompass three distinct sections: conceptualisations of governance; approaches to governance across various sub-disciplinary areas; and case studies of the challenge of governance across a range of policy fields

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Independent Study150
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Kooiman, J. (2003). Governing as Governance. 

It is likely that some additional books will be required for the library in order to support this module.. 

Chhotray,V. and G. Stoker (2009). Governance Theory and Practice. 

Rhodes, R.A.W. (1997). Understanding Governance. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 40%
Policy brief 40%
Presentation 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Policy briefing  (2500 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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