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KAFP 3495 - Decision making in a public sector

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Students must have a personal culture in humanities, philosophy, history and social sciences. They are expected to be curious about politics and public decision in the present time.

Course Description

What makes a good decision in the public sector ? Who really decides, and how ? What skills and tools shape efficient public decision making ? Why leaders fail or succeed ? Looking into history, mythology, literature, science and practical experiences of the past and recent years, is a key to understand the decision making process in public sector and politics. The course intends to give to the students a common shape of culture and curiosity about these issues.


  • BOSSER, Florian (Auditeur)
  • BUFFET, Laetitia O. (Magistrat)
  • FILIPPINI, Jérôme (Secrétaire général à la Cour des Comptes)

Pedagogical format

Lessons. Case studies.

Course validation

Synthesis Paper 45% ;    Oral Presentation 45% ; Participation 10%.


Students are expected to choose on a list one book or chapter, and to produce a short personal synthesis of this document. Every student shall also participate in one collective case study.

Required reading

  • William Shakespeare, Richard III
  • Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Oxford World's Classics
  • Richard S Thaler, Cass R Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Penguin Books
  • Michael Sandel, Justice, What's the right thing to do ?, Penguin Books

Additional required reading

  • Plato, Gorgias
  • Jean Racine, Britannicus
  • Charles de Gaulle, Mémoires de guerre
  • Winston and Clementine Churchill, Personal letters
  • Pierre Rosanvallon, Le bon gouvernement, Editions du Seuil
  • David Graeber, The utopia of rules, On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joy of Bureaucracy, Melville House
  • Nicolas Colin, Henri Verdier, L'âge de la multitude, Gouverner et entreprendre après la révolution numérique, Armand Colin
  • Jean-Michel Eymeri-Douzans et alii, Le règne des entourages, Cabinets et conseillers de l'exécutif, Presses de Sciences Po
  • Cass R Sunstein, The world according Star Wars, Harper Collins Publishers
  • TV Series : The West Wing, House of cards (UK, 1990), Borgen, Game of Thrones