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Cursus: 202200081
Public Governance Across Countries
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)15
Contactpersoondr. V. Junjan
VorigeVolgende 2
A. Akbari Kharazi
S. Couwenberg
dr. V. Junjan
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. V. Junjan
dr. M.R.R. Ossewaarde
AanmeldingsprocedureZelf aanmelden via OSIRIS Student
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
After completion of the module, you are able to:
  1. Understand the importance of utilizing a comparative lens while examining public administration.
  2. Compare different approaches to digital governance.
  3. Apply critical reflections to real world case studies using learning material.
  4. Describe the core characteristics of common methods of conducting comparative research in the field of public administration [understand].
  5. Outline the characteristics of case selection strategy in a comparative design [apply].
  6. Examine the strengths and weaknesses of a specified comparative research design and formulate recommendations on how to address them [analyze].
  7. Use ATLAS.TI software to conduct a thematic content analysis. 
  8. Draw conclusions based on qualitative comparative analysis techniques.
  9. Perform, under supervision, all aspects of a social scientific study in the field of public administration: (e) reflect on the results of a study –including their own- in terms of the research design, hypotheses, theory, and the research problem
  10. Interpret and evaluate, under supervision, the results of social science research, and form a well-reasoned opinion in the case of missing or incomplete data.
This module on Public Governance Across Countries is intended as the 6th core module for 2nd year undergraduate students, double degree (WWU Münster) Public Governance across Borders students, and minor students. It is intended to address learning lines 1-4. It follows modules 1-5 and acts as an important foundation for modules 7-12. It takes place during Semester 1, Q2.

The focus of this module is on comparative public governance in a globalizing, dynamic, complex, and transforming world context. Many of the contemporary challenges facing governments today are similar in nature, transcending borders and regime types. However, the contexts in which governments seek to solve such problems vary across the globe. It is thus critical for us to adopt a comparative lens in thinking about public governance. Students are encouraged to think beyond their national contexts, to a globalizing world in which transboundary policy issues are becoming increasingly prevalent. We place particular emphasis on the national government as the key political-administrative actor of interest in this module. We give special attention to the plurality of contexts and varying perspectives, especially in the global South and we attempt to move away from having a Western perspective as the dominant framework. This module builds on the basics of globalization as a societal process of transformation, which students were introduced to in Module 2.

Digital governance in a globalizing world is a specific sub-topic of interest, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This module seeks to develop students’ knowledge of public governance in comparative perspective, enhance their critical thinking abilities, and equip them with an array of skills important to future public managers, policymakers, policy advisers, and others.

We now live in a globalizing world of increasing interconnectedness, rapid technological developments, increasing citizen participation, and unprecedented global challenges including ecological changes, increased incidence of forced migration, threats to global and national security, pandemics, and others. Such features make the act of governing a complex feat for national governments. In this module you will learn about how different systems, power structures and constellations, cultures and contexts influence how policy problems are addressed.

To understand differences in national contexts, and how to analyze and study them, this module builds on theoretical and methodological core foundations. Digital governance, and the governance of digital technologies, are key considerations for 21st century governments across the globe and will be a key element of this module. The design of comparative research based on sound and rigorous methods is important for examining different national contexts. Students enrolled in this module will be equipped with the key methods for conducting comparative research.

This module will have four built-in perspectives: (a) global exposure; (b) critical analytical perspective; (c) socio-technological consciousness; and (d) problem-oriented focus.

Some of the central questions this course will expose students to are:

               How can we analytically compare between different national contexts?
               How can variations in national contexts influence policy output and outcomes?
               How are digital transformations influencing governments around the world? and how do governments try to govern technology?

Finally, by way of applying the theories and methods learned, students enrolled in this module will comparatively reflect on the performance of nations around the world, with their varying political systems, path-dependent histories, power structures, administrative traditions, and socio-economic profiles, in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs are of particular interest in this module, as they represent some of the world’s key development challenges. Examining how different countries are performing, and why their performance differs, will be a good exercise in putting in action the theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired.

The module will be taught by a team of academics with worldwide experience in public administration and policy, digital transformation, and research methods.

The module has four components: Comparative Public Administration (component A), Digital Governance in a Globalised World (component B), Comparative Research (component C), and the project, named: Project: SDGs in Comparative Perspective (component D).

Component A will offer a comprehensive introduction to comparative public administration. It aims to equip students with the ability to understand the complex issues surrounding public administration, not just in their own country contexts, but also around the world. This Component will provide an overview of key theories and methods for studying comparative public administration in both developing and developed economies. We will be discussing key mutual trends and challenges facing governments across the world in recent times, as well as differences in structures, behaviors, and processes. How globalization processes came to reshape the structure and purpose of governments, and how these result in differences in policy, will also be addressed.

This Component will discuss how contextual variations can (and do) influence governance and policy outcomes. It will also place emphasis on examining the influence of wider socio-political and economic frameworks on administrative systems. We will not go in depth into a single region or national context, but will adopt a global comparative perspective with a focus on the national level. It will rely on one of the most well-established teaching texts in the field of comparative government. Case studies and examples will also be provided for discussion whenever relevant. 

Component B will introduce students to the principles of digital governance and take a comparative approach to examining different policy sectors such as health, education, citizen participations and others across different various countries. You will also learn about emerging stakeholders, such as big tech. companies, and hybrid governance constellations. This Component will have a special focus on countries of the global South, and on how digital governance is shaped by decolonial relations, geopolitical tensions, and global crises.

Component C aims to introduce students to the specifics of comparative research methods. We will discuss how comparative methods are applied in public administration research. The topics covered will include issues regarding case selection, and the advantages and disadvantages of using comparative research designs. We will also reflect on the different strategies employed to develop a comparative design.

The project Component aims to develop general academic skills (ex. finding information, referencing, academic writing, presentation and oral communication, reviewing) and specific research skills (ex. formulating research questions, deriving themes/codes based on a theoretical framework, qualitative data collection and analysis).

The project Component builds on the other module Components, by applying the theoretical input from Components A and B, with the methodological input from Component C. For this project, students will be asked to conduct a comparative assessment (descriptive and explanatory) of cross-national performance related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using qualitative analysis. You are expected to start by identifying the SDGs that you would like to conduct the comparative analysis on, followed by selection of countries whose performance will be compared. After that, you will start by identifying a research question and formulating your theoretical framework. You will utilize the theoretical framework to conduct a qualitative analysis of policy and/or government publications and documents using the Atlas.ti Software.
Participating study
Bachelor Management, Society and Technology
Module 6
Verplicht materiaal
Kathy Turner, Lynette Ireland, Brenda Krenus and Leigh Pointon, Essential Academic Skills, Second edition, Oxford University press, ISNB 978-0-19-557605-4, ISBN-13:978019-5576054
Hague, R., M. Harrop, & J. McCormick (2019). Comparative Government and Politics. 11th Edition. London: Red Globe Press. Paperback ISBN 9781352005059. E-book ISBN 9783152005097
Aanbevolen materiaal
Course material
Papers and articles on Canvas




Project begeleid

Project onbegeleid


Zelfstudie geen begeleiding

Comparative Public Administration

Written exam (100%)

Digital Governance in a Globalised World

Comparative Research Methods

written assignment (100%)

Project: SDG's in a comparative perspective

Research Paper (100%)
Presentation and Review (pass/fail)

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