Accueil > International public policy-making


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

Internat. Public Policy-Making


HALPERN, Charlotte (Chargée de recherche au CEE)

Course validation

1 short presentation by a group of students on an approved topic (15 minutes, 40%) ; 1 media report, as a short (2.000 words) analysis of a political, economic, social event (20%) ; 1 final exam, i.e. short true-false questions based on mandatory readings, ppt presentations and case studies (40%).


Personal readings (1 article per session), class participation, regular attendance. Students are expected to be aware of current political and economic events through newspapers, magazines and journals.

Required reading

  • M. HOWLETT, Designing Public Policies: Principles and Instruments, London and New York, Routledge, 2011
  • C. HOOD (1998), The art of the State, Oxford, OUP.
  • D. STONE, Knowledge Actors and Transnational Governance: The Private-Public Policy Nexus in the Global Agora, Palgrave School., Print UK, 2013.
  • Supplementary readings
  • T. BÜTHE et W. MATTLI, The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011

Additional required reading

  • V. RITTSBERGER, B. ZANGL, International organization: polity, politics and policies, 2nd ed, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • SCHMIDT V.A. and THATCHER M., Resilient neoliberalism in Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2013
  • WU X., RAMESH M., HOWLETT, M., FRITZEN S., The Public Policy Primer: Managing the Policy Process, London and New York, Routledge, 2013

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Session 1, Sept. : Introducing international public policy-making

  • Drawing on two case studies (civil aviation and risk management), this session briefly explains why the focus on international policy-making contributes to the understanding of current dynamics at international level.

Session 2, Sept : Political capacity in a context of governance. The bureaucratization of world politics.

  • Assignment: Select a topic for your case study presentation by registering via doodle link.
  • This session explores the shift from government to governance in the context of globalization, and the growing role of international public administrations in shaping Global politics.

Session 3, Sept : Do policies determine politics? A focus on policy resources.  

  • This session introduces the policy process in a context of bounded rationality.

Session 4, Sept. : From problem-setting to agenda-setting: the role of civil society actors.

  • This session explores the issue of fragmentation and heterogeneity in policy-making at international level. It examines the way through which collective action can be fostered, by focusing on problem framing and agenda setting dynamics.
  • Possible case studies:  NGOS from the environmental, women or human rights movements. 

Session 5, Oct.: Contrasted influence-seeking strategies at international level: the role of economic actors.

  • This session examines the large variety of influence-seeking strategies at international level, and more specifically the choice and combination of action repertoires by economic actors.
  • Possible case studies: international negotiations on climate change or from the energy sector. 

Session 6, Oct : Feedback from a practitioner – Guest speaker To be confirmed !

Session 7, Oct. Do institutions matter? Regulating complex global societies.

  • This session explores patterns of policy change at international level by focusing on the structuring role of institutions. It examines why, how and through which mechanisms international public policies emerge, institutionalize and weaken.
  • Possible case studies: Global Health, Trade, Food or Culture

Session 8, Oct.: The cognitive dimension of international policy-making

  • This session examines the role of ideas and values in shaping policy-making at international level.
  • Possible case studies: Neoliberal ideas; climate-skepticism.

Session 9, nov: Policy transfer and diffusion: producing knowledge for policy-making.

  • This session examines the growing role of experts (academics, consultancy firms,) and international organizations (ICLEI, UN Habitat, World Bank) in framing political debates and policy-making at domestic level.
  • Possible case studies: Think tanks in the field of smart technologies, urban services and managerial reforms. 

Session 10, Nov : All tools are informational now: collecting and managing data.

  • This session examines the critical role played by soft law, informational policy tools and new modes of governance.
  • Possible case studies: performance measurement in the anti-poverty, education and resource management sectors.

Session 11: Who is afraid of international policy-making?

  • This session will examine the discrepancy between international policy objectives and policy results by focusing on “the dark side of governance”.
  • Possible case studies: money laundering, criminal networks
  • Assignment: Media report ?

Session 12 : Final exam

  • Assignment for this session (if applicable): see above (course requirements).