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
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Describe and analyse the challenges and dilemmas faced by decision-makers in the public and non-profit sector
- 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 core approaches to understanding public administration from a comparative perspective
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)
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.
|Wider reading or practice||14|
|Completion of assessment task||80|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||80|
|Total study time||214|
Resources & Reading list
.. The Library already subscribes to the core journals in Public Administration, so we do not foresee additional resource needs.
Kettl, D (2015). Politics of the Administrative Process. London: Sage.
Summative assessment description
|Case Study Analysis||45%|
Referral assessment description
|Case Study Analysis||45%|
Repeat assessment description
|Case Study Analysis||50%|
Repeat type: Internal & External