Checking date: 15/05/2021

Course: 2021/2022

Public policy and governance I
Study: Dual Bachelor in International Studies and Political Science (320)

Coordinating teacher: NATERA PERAL, ANTONIO

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Social Sciences

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


To handle accurately the concepts relating to the structures and administrative actors. To appreciate the close link that exists between the field of politics and public administration, as well as between the analysis and the professional practice. To understand the basic elements that make up the design of public organizations from the point of view of its structure. To understand the transformation of public organizations based on guarantees and legal rules in organisations linked to the management and delivery of public services, which sees the citizen as user and "client", and highlights the orientation of the administrative structures towards the achievement of results. To perceive the role of organizational culture -and the world of values in general- about the behaviour of the political and administrative actors. To understand the dynamics of power, conflict and political management in the administrative settings. To note the transit of the bureaucratic model of management towards a managerial model and this towards the (emerging) model of governance in the context of the recent transformations of the State and public administration. To note the importance of the relationships between different levels of Government and organizational areas of Spanish public administrations, namely, intergovernmental and inter-administrative relations. To deepen the political and administrative problems that arise in the process of formation and consolidation of the autonomous communities. To use the comparative method to learn about the Spanish political and administrative system through its contrast with other systems. In this way, the student can identify peculiarities which characterize the Spanish administrative system and detect the similarities that bring it to other neighbouring countries.
Description of contents: programme
1. Government and Public Administration. Government and the multiplicity of governmental functions.- Political power and public administration.- Politics and the market.- Public management and private management.- Public administration: a system and a venue for public policy management.- The role of public organizations in the political system. Levels of government and administrative structures in contemporary public administrations 2. Key factors in designing public administration structures Horizontal differentiation and vertical differentiation in public administrative structures.- Administrative units: types and criteria to create administrative units groups. Public job duties.- Mechanisms to coordinate and control administrative processes and behaviour. Administrative decentralization: key factors. Weber¿s bureaucratic model: determinants, principles, features and critique. Alternative models. 3. Public organizations as venues of political power, conflict and management Bureaucratic power and political management.- Relationships between political elites and bureaucratic elites. Sources of power, political capital and influencing strategies of political and administrative actors.- Conflict, interests and power networks in public administrations.- Public managers as political managers. 4. Public organizations as creators of public values Administrative culture: concept, functions and approaches.- Elements and types of administrative culture.- Administrative culture and organizational change.- Social perceptions of public administrations. 5. From public management to public governance Gerencialism and the post-bureaucratic model.- Strategies and instruments for the improvement of public management.- Outsourcing and privatization in public services.- Excellence and quality management models in public services.- Governance as an emerging model.- Governance, networks management and the relational public administration. 6. Public administrations in Spain. Levels of government and administrative structures.- Public employees and civil servants. Models of public sector and comparative administrative systems.- Analysis of several administrative systems with special reference to France, Germany, United Kingdom and USA.
Learning activities and methodology
Continuous assessment: text analysis, case studies, individual or in-group research papers and/or oral presentations, short essays, in-class debates, etc. Tutorial sessions: individual on the established schedule
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 0
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 100
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • BOVAIRD, T.; LOEFFLER, E. (eds.). Public Management and Governance. Routledge, 3th. edition. 2015.
  • KUHLMANN, S.; WOLLMANN, H.. Introduction to Comparative Public Administration. Administrative Systems and Reforms in Europe. Edward Elgar. 2014.
Additional Bibliography
  • HEIFETZ, R. . Leadership Without Easy Answers. Harvard University Press. 1997.
  • MOORE, M.. Recognizing Public Value. Harvard University Press. 2013.
  • PETERS, B.G. . Handbook of Public Administration. Sage. 2003.
  • POLLIT, C.. Advanced Introduction to Public Management and Administration. Edward Elgar. 2016.

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.