Public Policy

This module examines comparatively the changing nature of policy-making in advanced industrial democracies, focusing primarily on government and politics in Western Europe and North America.

At the end of the module, students will be able to: demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the academic study of public policy; display an appreciation of the different demands placed upon policy-makers; show an awareness of the different types of theoretical perspectives that have been developed in the political science literature on public policy; identify the role of governmental institutions in the policy making process; distinguish between key policy areas such as economic, social, home and foreign affairs; directly link issues discussed in the curriculum to future employability in public policy.

The module is taught in weekly two-hour seminars. These will commence in Week 1 and will run for ten weeks, covering the topics listed below:

1. Studying the ‘quality of democracy’
2. Theories of power and organisations
3. Policy-making in practice
4. Government and legislation
5. Multi-Level Governance
6. Parties and elections
7. Economic policy
8. Social policy
9. Home affairs and justice policy
10. Foreign policy

Select Bibliography:

Michael Hill, The Public Policy Process, Pearson, 2013
Anneliese Dodds, Comparative Public Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
Christopher Knill and Jale Tosun, Public Policy: A New Introduction, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
Paul Cairney, Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011