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POLITICS

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PI 4063 / PI 4563
UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC POLICY: THEORIES AND ISSUES
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Professor P Cairney

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Note(s): This course will be available in the second half semester of 2012/13 as PI 4563.

The course is designed to investigate the dynamics of public policy. In seminars we consider the main ways to explain how and why policymakers make decisions. We discuss the nature of policy, power and the role of ideas. We explore theories on institutions, rational choice, policy networks, agenda setting and governance and compare them with descriptions of policy cycles and the ‘rational actor’. For the course assessment, each student selects a policy issue that they are particularly interested in, outlines the main events and seeks to explain those events by drawing on public policy theories.

1 two-hour seminar per week on theory and 1 two-hour seminar per week on case studies.

1st attempt: 1 three-hour written exam (60%); continuous assessment (40%).