Public Policy

The goal of this module is to introduce you to some of the key concepts of public policy both in theory and practice. The module is designed to give you a rich understanding of the actors, mechanisms and processes that underpin public policymaking, as well as a comprehensive overview of different public policies. The module aims to enable you to identify how and why public policy is made, the actors and factors that explain policy outputs and policy failures, and to be able to assess the explanatory power of different theories that seek to explain differences in policy outputs. In addition, you will also assess policy outcomes associated with different policies and policymaking regimes. In this module, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of a range of public policies as well a comprehensive understanding of a specific public policy arena, including the debates surrounding such policy, through their policy briefing assessment. In this module we will touch on a number of questions and themes related to public policy, including why does policy change? Who makes public policy? How can we explain differences in policy outputs? What explains the gap between policy outputs and outcomes (or policy failure)? How do ideas shape policy? Are differences in public policies a consequence of different cultures, economic conditions, political institutions or interest group pressures? How are policy problems defined?