After completing this course, students should:
- understand the issues involved in and the dynamics of implementation processes;
- have an overview of a number of relevant theoretical approaches to studying policy implementation;
- have developed an understanding of the way in which different theoretical approaches relate to each other, as well as their strengths and weaknesses;
- be able to apply theoretical insights to concrete cases of policy implementation resulting in a clear diagnosis of the implementation issues involved, an analysis of the underlying cases and recommendations for improvement;
- be able to present the results of the case analysis in oral and written form.
Policies only become reality when they are put into practice. This process cannot be taken for granted. The way policies are put into practice often diverges quite significantly from the way policies have been conceived on paper. One can therefore only understand how policies work out in practice if one takes into account the process of translating abstract policies into concrete actions. This is what we call ‘policy implementation’.|
In this course, we will study how public policies are implemented within organizations. It focuses on the actual application of rules within organizations, the use that individuals within those organizations make of their discretionary space, and the factors that determine how they act and interact. In so doing, we will gain a better understanding of the logic underlying implementation processes and the ways in which organizations try to control these processes.
Meetings take a seminar form, with intensive discussions of the literature and analyses of concrete cases on the basis of student presentations.
Please note that for non-USG bachelor students the course Introduction public administration and organizational science (USG5520/USG5020) or another introductory course covering the subject of public administration is recommended.