Comparative Politics and Policy Analysis
In the course of their daily lives people are affected, directly or indirectly, by an extensive array of public policies. These policies may have important consequences for society. Some actors will benefit, while others face disadvantages; some policies will effectively contribute to resolving political problems (such as environmental pollution or unemployment) while others fail to achieve their intended objectives. At the same time, we observe a broad variety of different forms of governance which are applied in order to address political problems. Both the instruments used and the patterns of interaction between public and private actors during the process of policy formulation and implementation vary across countries and policy sectors. To understand these patterns, however, it is not sufficient to exclusively focus on the national level. Instead, national governance, to an increasing extent, is interacting with the development of public policies and governance approaches within supranational and international organizations.
The programme "Comparative Politics and Policy Analysis" focuses on the comparative analysis of both the patterns of governance and their conditions for success. What political, institutional, organizational and socio-economic conditions affect the problem-solving capacity of political-administrative systems at the national, supranational and international level? Special focus is placed not only to the analysis of policy formulation and decision-making, but also the implementation and evaluation of these decisions and the subsequent evaluation of their outcomes. The programme provides a systematic, scientifically well-grounded study of the origins, development, implementation and evaluation of public policies and governance patterns. Why did a government cease to be concerned with a certain problem? Why do the implementation and effectiveness of European Union policies vary across countries? What is the impact of different institutional structures on policy formulation and implementation?
Particular emphasis is placed on the following fields:
- the comparative analysis of the imopact of globalization and European integration on domestic policy-making
- phenomena of international policy convergence and policy diffusion
- the implementation and evaluation of subnational, national and supranational policies
- public sector reforms and their consequences for the problem-solving capacity of political systems
Semniars might, for instance, include the following courses
- policy implementation
- theories and methods of evaluation research
- public sector reforms in international comparison
- comparative environmental politics
- policy-making in the European Union
- theories and methods of comparative policy analysis
The programme provides the intellectual and pragmatic capabilities to pursue high-level tasks in the field of political planning and political management in the public and private sector at the national, supranational and international level.