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European Public Policy (Introduction)

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 611 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €800.00 per programme


Public policy is the language through which governments across the world communicate with their administrations and society’s. This course will focus on public policy practices, specifically within a European context. Throughout the course, students will learn about the various ways in which government operates to provide solutions in the public sector (e.g. decision-making at central and regional level, implementation and evaluation of policy) and the critical aspects to pay attention to when assessing how policies perform. At the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of key public policy terminology and the ‘classical’ phases through which a policy comes to fruition. The course will conclude by exploring current challenges faced by government in the light of new technologies, like blockchain.

1. Introduction to Public Policy: key concepts.
2. Public Policy process (1): policy formulation.
3. Public Policy process (2): policy implementation.
4. Public Policy process (3): policy evaluation & iteration.
5. Understanding European policy making (1): legal and policy framework
6. Understanding European policy making (2): fiscal and financial framework
(+ field trip to Brussels)
7. European Public Finance (1): budget & implementation (+simulation exercise)
8. The challenges of public policy in the technological era (block chain and artificial intelligence discussion).

• To introduce students to fundamental principles in public policy and how it works in the European Union;
• To familiarize students with the main concepts and cycles of public policy;
• To identify different practices and concepts across the EU (and the US), by exemplifying cases from their own countries;
• To bring awareness towards different public policy practices and how these affect their community/country.

• Brussels, European Parliament and/or European Commission

Instruction language

No special prerequisites needed. The course is not aimed towards a specific major, but it is relevant to a major in sociology, social work or social policy.

Recommend literature
- Zahariadis N. and Buonanno L. (2017) “The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy”, Routledge International Handbooks.

- Dunn W. (2011). “Public Policy Analysis”, Routledge.

- Eugene Bardach (2017), “A practical guide for Policy Analysis: the Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving”, CQ Press College.

Teaching methods
▪ Assignments
▪ Case studies

Assessment methods
▪ Attendance
▪ Participation
▪ Final paper

Public policy
Policy cycle
Policy evaluation
Policy reform
Political discretion
Public funding
Public finance
Public cuts

Apply now! Block 1.2 2018/19
Application deadline
Jun 1, 2019 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 1, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States