Public Management: Theories and Innovations
Course Code: PUBLG001
Course Tutor: Dr Colin Provost (Department of Political Science)
Assessment: One 3,000 word essay
Credit Value: 15
About this course
In this course, we will examine the role of public bureaucracies in the policy making process, with a strong focus on reforms within and across public agencies, reforms collectively known as the “New Public Management”. We will begin with a look at some of the basic questions of public administration, such as, why do public bureaucracies exist, how have they evolved over time and why does their organizational structure matter for making public policy. From there, we will examine how bureaucratic agencies are constructed by politicians, as well as how politicians interact with bureaucrats, and how these interactions matter for public policy outcomes. Finally, we will analyze numerous reforms that have been implemented in public agencies across the world-reforms, such as privatization, contracting, and performance measurement. We will also examine the state of public management in the post-Financial Crisis world. Readings will cover a broad range of policy areas, including but not limited to disaster management, law enforcement, health care administration, foreign policy and social and economic regulation.
Questions we will address in this class include:
· How does public sector organization affect public policy outcomes?
· Why are some agencies highly independent and autonomous while others are more tightly controlled?
· Does performance-related pay work for public sector employees?
· Under what circumstances do governments contract out public services to the private sector? Is contracting cost-effective?
· How reliable are indicators that measure public sector performance?
· Under what circumstances do agencies successfully work together to implement policy?
The module aims to help students understand how and why government organizations are designed as they are, and why their organization affects public policy. In addition, students also learn why public sector organizational reforms are undertaken and why they often fail. Finally, students acquire skills that enable them to critically examine the implementation of policies and management of public sector agencies.