The International Politics of Public Policy

Module code: 833M9
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module aims to understand how public policy-making at the national level is influenced by the international context. The relationship between the state, the private sector and civil society is in flux, in both developed and developing countries. At the same time, national policies are increasingly shaped by international norms and actors, whether international organisations, international donors and lenders, transnational NGO networks, or multinational businesses. The module will explore these emerging new horizontal and vertical forms of governance in international politics, focusing on three overall themes:

  • interactions between the domestic and international levels of politics
  • the relationship between politics and business
  • comparisons of governance models among developed and developing countries.

The module will have three parts:

  1. Theoretical debates – here we will analyse relevant theoretical debates relating to conditionality, norm diffusion, voluntary private regulation and new public management.
  2. Actors – here we will focus on different institutional actors, including international organisations, transnational civil society networks, international donors and lenders, and multinational businesses.
  3. Policy – here we will focus on how these new forms of governance are applied in different areas of public policy, including environmental standards, labour markets, human rights and anti-corruption. Students will be encouraged to evaluate these emerging forms of governance in terms of effectiveness, representation, social impact and accountability.

Module learning outcomes

  • understand the factors affecting the emergence of new forms of collaborative governance among the state, the private sector and civil society.
  • critically apply contending theoretical approaches to the study of the vertical and horizontal dimensions of governance in an international context.
  • employ a range of analytical perspectives to critically appreciate the interactions between different institutional actors in international politics.
  • critically analyse the relationship between governance and socioeconomic development.
  • understand and critically assess the main public policy challenges in international politics.