Public Policy

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to illustrate how the study of public policies leads to overcoming a naive vision of social processes, emphasizing that public policies present specific obstacles, particular intervention techniques and peculiar resources, completely independent by political perspectives. The tools to analyze and improve public policies will be presented.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to understand and identify the specific obstacles, the particular intervention techniques and the peculiar resources that are proper to public policies. The student will know the theories and the tools to analyze, evaluate and improve public policies.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second trimester
More specific information on the delivery modes of teaching activities for the second trimester of the ay 2021-22 will be provided in the incoming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Module 1
The first part of the course is aimed at:
- allowing the students to detect the policy problem in the media, in the public debate and in day-by-day experience.
- offering a conceptual map of the different approaches in the discipline.

Module 2
The second part focuses on the methods of analysis based on economic rationality and on the application of the problem solving as an approach to study public policies. This approach structures the analysis upon several questions:
- what is the problem?
- what are the consequences if the problem is not faced?
- what are the possible solutions?
- what solution may bring to the better results?
- what may be the shortcomings during the implementation phase?
- how to monitor and to evaluate the results?
A final topic will be the discussion of complementarities between the rational approach with other approaches oriented to social interactions and social problem-solving.

Module 3
The third part of the course is dedicated to the study of inductive approaches to the study of policies, with particular attention to social interactions. Through the study of the policy inquiry approach, students will learn to recognize and manage the critical issues related to:
- policies as knowledge in use and reflective analysis
- policies as mutual adjustment
- policies as disconnected incrementalism
- policies as casuality and complexity
Prerequisites for admission
It is mandatory for students to have successfully passed the course of Political and Administrative Systems/Political Science (1st year).
Teaching methods
Frontal lesson with discussion of the text book, application of concepts to case studies.
During the course there are moments of formative assessment where students will be able to test their preparation and understanding in a simulated exam (without grades) whose correction will be carried out in class.
Educational materials and course program available on the Ariel course website. Further materials will be available on the dedicated website http://www.politichepubbliche.org
Teaching Resources
First Module
Chapters 1 and 2, G. Regonini, Capire le politiche pubbliche, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2001 (http://www.politichepubbliche.org/base/capirelepolitiche.html)
In addition, we strongly recommend to complete the preparation with the content of the slides - available on the website of the course - which also contains an overview of the main critique to the different approaches.
Alternatively, students can study the following chapters of Fischer, Frank and Miller, Gerald J. and Sidney, Mara S., (eds.) (2007) Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA:
Chapter 11 Public Policy Analysis and Think Tanks, Diane Stone
Chapter 23 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis, Kaifeng Yang
Chapter 28 Qualitative Research and Public Policy, Alan R. Sadovnik

Second module
Chapter 3, G. Regonini, Capire le politiche pubbliche, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2001 (www.politichepubbliche.org/polpubbl/capirelepolitiche.html)
In addition, we strongly recommend to complete the preparation with the content of the slides - available on the website of the course - which also contains an overview of the main critique to the different approaches.
Alternatively, students can study the following chapters of Fischer, Frank and Miller, Gerald J. and Sidney, Mara S., (eds.) (2007) Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA:
Chapter 4 Theories of the Policy Cycle, Werner Jann and Kai Wegrich
Chapter 6 Policy Formulation: Design and Tools, Mara S. Sidney
Chapter 26 Policy Evaluation and Evaluation Research, Hellmut Wollmann
Chapter 25 Social Experiments and Public Policy, Caroline Danielson

Third module
Chapter 4, G. Regonini, Capire le politiche pubbliche, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2001 (http://www.politichepubbliche.org/base/capirelepolitiche.html)
In addition, we strongly recommend to complete the preparation with the content of the slides - available on the website of the course - which also contains an overview of the main critique to the different approaches.
Alternatively, students can study the following chapters of Fischer, Frank and Miller, Gerald J. and Sidney, Mara S., (eds.) (2007) Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA:
Chapter 5 Agenda Setting in Public Policy, Thomas A. Birkland
Chapter 7 Implementing Public Policy, Helga Pülzl and Oliver Treib
Chapter 29 Interpretation and Intention in Policy Analysis, Henk Wagenaar
Chapter 30 Context-Sensitive Policy Methods, Susan E. Clarke
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam for attending students is scheduled at the end of the teaching quarter, with a first written part and a subsequent oral exam aimed at verifying the understanding of the concepts, the ability to apply them critically, and the acquisition of an adequate scientific vocabulary. .

The exam for non-attending students is oral, with at least three questions from the program. The exam is aimed at verifying the understanding of concepts, the ability to apply them critically, and the acquisition of an adequate scientific lexicon.
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)