- Students can explain what policy, politics and governance entails, and they can describe and analyze policy processes from multiple perspectives
- Students can describe, apply, and contrast various (theoretical) insights related to the stages model of policy making. This includes:
- Agenda setting
- Policy formulation
- Policy decision making
- Policy implementation
- Policy evaluation
- Students can understand public policymaking from –at least- four perspectives: rational, political, cultural and institutional perspective on policymaking
- Students can put what they have learned into practice in an assignment, they can reflect on this experience and can apply this to the literature
Why do some issues turn into ‘a problem’ or even a policy problem’? What is public about policy, and how are policies made? Who decides on policies, and how? How are policies and, once formulated, how are they brought into practice? How can we determine if policies are effective or not? These questions are central to the course ‘public policy.’
Policy processes play a central role in all kinds of governmental organizations. Ideal-typically, a distinction is made in this respect between various phases of policy: agenda setting (how does a societal problem get on the agenda of politicians and other governmental actors), policy formulation (gaining insight into the causes and consequences of problems, as well as determining what effects policy might have), policy decision making (deciding on how a certain problem is going to be dealt with and which measures are actually taken), the implementation of the policy measures decided upon, and the evaluation of the actual effects of the measures taken (have the goals been met).
In this respect we often refer to the stages of policy making, in which the linearity of the various phases or stages leads to a rational understanding of policy making. However, there are a number of reasons why this rational linearity is often not discernable in practice. Often interaction exists between the various phases, and it can be argued that policy is made just as much in the policy implementation phase as the policy formulation phase.
In this course on Public Policy Making, we discuss public policy processes from different angles. Key theories and concepts within Public Administration and policy sciences are presented as means to understand the complexity and dynamics of the process of policy-making. Policy making is more than just setting goals and implementing certain instruments to realize those goals, while the implementation of policy entails more than putting governmental organizations to work.
Type of instruction
Type of exams
Written exams (70%)