Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201900128
Policy and Sustainability
Course info
Course module201900128
Credits (ECTS)3
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. F.A. Metz
prof.dr. J.T.A. Bressers
dr. F.H.J.M. Coenen
dr. F.A. Metz
Contactperson for the course
dr. F.A. Metz
Academic year2022
Starting block
RemarksLocation: Leeuwarden
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
The purpose of this course is to learn about the characteristics of sustainable development as a policy challenge. Students learn about public policy theories by focusing on the practical lessons. At the end of the course, students know how to classify various policy instruments for sustainability issues.Furthermore, student understand the factors that influence complex processes from which policy decisions emerge. These factors include actors and their interests, policy entrepreneurs and advocacy coalitions. Finally, students learn to analyze the governance contexts and its implications for the implementation, including monitoring and evaluation.

Analysis of the challenges of sustainability policy problems; Analysing the context for formulating, implementing and evaluating policies that promote sustainable development.
Public policies are crucial to promote sustainability transitions. But which policies exist to promote sustainability? Why do governments (fail to) adopt or implement policies that bring societies closer to sustainable development? And how to evaluate policies’ effects on sustainability transitions? To answer these questions, the course introduces to public policy theories by focusing on practical lessons and empirical examples related to sustainable development. The course covers diverse stages of the policy process, including agenda-setting, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. In order to understand what happens in those diverse stages, public policy theories are introduced which help identify the most important factors.

The topics dealt with in this course are:
  • Sustainable development as a special challenge to policy processes;
  • Types of public policies to promote sustainability transitions and controversies;
  • Analysis of policy formulation  implementation processes, including monitoring and evaluation
  • Analysis of governance structures as a context for policy implementation and design

Course learning objectives:
Upon the completion of this course, the students will be able to:
  • Define and distinguish the relevant key concepts and theories of public policy
  • Describe and categorise relevant policy instruments
  • Identify the factors that promote or hamper policy formulation and adoption
  • Assess and compare the feasibility and effectiveness of policy instruments and actions in various environmental and governance contexts.
Participating study
Master Environmental and Energy Management
Required materials
Various research articles
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes


Kies de Nederlandse taal