The aim of the course is to teach students to link theoretical concepts and discussions to real policy issues. We show that concepts as power and reason are linked to forms of policy analysis and the framing of problems. For example, cost-benefit analysis is not just a neutral tool of action, but an instrument that belongs to a specific school of thought: rationalist policy analysis. This school assumes how people make decisions, what role the policy advisors could play, or what role of a democratic government plays. Some problems are such that a cost-benefit analysis is useful, while CBA could actually be detrimental to other problems.|
After successful completion of the course, students will have improved their understanding of the bigger issues at stake in public policy, and better insight in the range of approaches in policy analyses. Moreover, they will have learned how to use this when analysing policy problems, which is useful for their master thesis and further policy work in their careers.
During class sessions students will make several hands-on experiences in discussions and little group exercises. During and at the end of this course, students have to hand in assignments (2-pagers) in which they are able to
These goals are informed by the position of this course in the very beginning of the master’s programmes where it is to function as a shared building block for all students. The course should provide you with an overview of approaches, feeding directly into a personal positioning with an eye on the development of a theoretical basis for the thesis. with an eye on the development of a theoretical basis for the thesis.
- distinguish between approaches and theories in policy studies regarding Dutch and European policymaking
- name and demonstrate examples of policymaking from technological domains including health care technology policy
- distinguish between the main arguments of key approaches in policy studies and their concrete consequences for Dutch, European, and technology-related policymaking.
- distinguish the assumptions underlying common theoretical approaches sad theories in public policy analysis.
- distinguish the debates between different schools of thought and can weigh their arguments.
- position themselves in these debates and develop a reasoned preference for specific approaches and theories.
This course is part of the ‚Governance of Knowledge and Innovation‘ trajectory, which extends over courses in BSc EPA, MST, in HTHT Minors, and double diplomas in PA with PSTS and BA.
The course is structured around a schematised representation of major approaches in the field, based on two critical issues in policy analysis.|
The first issue is whether the government has to been seen as the principle actor in policy, or whether policy making has to seen as distributed, with limited capacities of governments. The second issue is the distinction between policy making as a rational, goal-oriented process, versus policy as a result of non-rational accounts and power operating in policy making.
To show how such issues matter for policy analysis and therefor for policy making, we a consider policy making to be closely connected to the problems they address. Policy making is about the governance of problems, and we need to understand the problems in order to see what policy analysis and major approaches make sense.
Practical work is organised around real policy issues, related to the research and experience of the lecturers, and own cases the students can propose for their assignments.