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Policy Implementation

Course Code: PUBLG040

Course Tutor: Dr Marc Esteve (Department of Political Science)

3,000 word essay

Credit Value:

About this Course

This course provides students with perspective on how policies are put into practice after being passed by legislative or executive bodies. Students begin by learning about broad, basic theories of top-down and bottom-up government, as well as the role of organizational design on the implementation of public policies.  Additionally, we look at policy implementation from a comparative perspective and analyze how it is influenced by different types of presidential and parliamentary systems.  From there, we examine a number of case studies in key policy areas and investigate how policy implementation is influenced by a number of factors, such as overlapping and conflicting pieces of legislation, goal coherence in agencies, agency collaboration, the presence of performance targets, the ability to observe agency outputs and outcomes, relationships with private contractors, changes in agency managers and changes in agency organization. 

Course Aims

  • To understand broadly the issues facing actors responsible for policy implementation
  • To illustrate the differences between top-down and bottom-up implementation perspectives and the context for their use.
  • To understand how politicians interact with bureaucrats and why it matters for policy implementation
  • To understand how policy implementation varies across comparative institutional systems
  • To understand the role of the private sector in policy implementation
  • To understand the causes and consequences of bureaucratic reforms
  • To understand how multiple agencies work together to implement policy

This module is intended for students that have at least three years of relevant working experience in any public policy domain. Please contact the course tutor Dr Marc Esteve ( before 7th October 2014 to discuss your suitability.

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4978,

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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Page last modified on 20 aug 14 10:01

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