Comparative public administration and management

Specific course requirements

The study materials for this course are assembled in this reader. For each part of the course, some state-of-the-art texts are selected that will guide the student through the most important topics of public administration, management and policy in a comparative way. The course is structured along 4 broad themes:

  • Part 1 focuses on the theories and analytical approaches of comparative public administration and management (Kuhlmann & Wollmann chapter 2).
  • Part 2 is mainly descriptive, and focuses on different models and traditions of public administration in Europe (Kuhlmann & Wollmann chapter 3). We will describe the features of the variety of administrative traditions, state systems and administrative systems. The importance of this part is to make the students familiar with the variety of different systems. This should allow them to reflect critically about the state and administrative systems in their own country.
  • Part 3 focuses on administrative reforms. We first discuss the model of public sector reform (Pollitt & Bouckaert chapter 2). We then look at different administrative reforms from a comparative perspective (Kuhlmann & Wollmann chapter 4). Why do governments constantly reflect about changing their systems, administrations and management. Moreover, an important question is: do similar trends and challenges governments all over the world are confronted with lead to similar responses in terms of public sector reform? Or do we observe different responses to similar challenges? We will thus focus on what reforms have governments attempted at.
  • Part 4 introduces the students with 4 selected scientific articles on a particular topic of comparative public administration (these articles may change every academic year). The students read these articles at home, prepare a short assignment about it, and then we discuss these articles in class in an interactive way.

The assignment:

An important part of this course is the assignment on the 4 selected articles. Students will prepare a one-page assignment per article, after which we will discuss this work in class. These assignments will be graded for 5 points (out of 20, the remaining 15 points have to be earned at the written exam). More info on this assignment will be given at the start of the course.

For all matters concerning the assignment, please contact Ms. Daphne Vanleene:

General course specifications

Consult the general specifications of this course in the exchange programme in economics and business admin.