This course introduces students to the fundamentals of contemporary public policy making. Students will explore core debates in policy studies and consider concepts, models and tools for making, implementing and evaluating public policy. To provide a deeper understanding of the policy process, students will be introduced to analytical perspectives on various stages of the policy process with the aim of provoking critical inquiry into policy practices and outcomes. Students will consider the variety of policy actors and networks in the policy process, and reflect on how competing values and interests influence what issues get policy attention, how they shape decisions, outcomes and evaluation procedures. Students will also debate the different approaches to policy decision making (incrementalism or rational approaches),the implications of governance arrangements between state and non-state actors, and the internationalisation and globalisation of public policy.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
1. demonstrate a working knowledge of key terms, concepts and ideas in the study of public policy;
2. analyze, debate and critically evaluate how public policy issues come onto the agenda, how they are framed, defined and managed;
3. debate and apply knowledge of policy instruments, including their behavioral assumptions and the necessary institutional and political conditions for effective implementation;
4. understand and critically engage in core debates in the field of policy studies including on policy decision-making, implementation, evaluation and policy transfer;
5. demonstrate the ability to think independently, reflectively and persuasively on the politics and practices of implementing and evaluating public policy.
Indicative AssessmentOnline Discussion Pieces 30% (Learning outcomes 1,4,5)
Policy instrument design exercise (25%): (the assessment task is designed as a professional writing exercise, using analytical concepts from the course) (learning outcomes 1, 3 and 5).
Policy Project (45%) (learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).
This assessment has two components:
1. Problem statement for policy project (5%)
2. Policy project report (40%)
In response to COVID-19, ANU has changed the mode of delivery for all classes in Semester 1 2020 to remote delivery.
Semester 1 Class Summary information (available under the Classes tab) on this publication is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available via Wattle and students should have been advised by the offering College. Find out more information on the University's response to COVID-19 here.
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* Althaus, C. Bridgeman P. and Davis G. (2012) The Australian Policy Handbook. Fifth Edition. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
* Dolowitz, D.P. & Marsh, D. 2000, ‘Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making’, Governance, 13 (1): 5-24.
* Fawcett, P. and D. Marsh (2012), ‘Policy transfer and policy success: the case of the Gateway Review process (2001–10)’, Government and Opposition, 47(2): 162–185.
* Hill, M. 2005. The Public Policy Process. (4th edn) Harlow, Essex: Pearson Longman.
* Howlett, M., M. Ramesh and A. Perl (2009) Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems. (3rd edition). Toronto: Oxford University Press.
* Meyers, M. K. and S. Vorsanger (2003) ‘Street-level bureaucrats and the implementation of public policy’, in B.G. Peters and J. Pierre (eds.) Handbook of Public Administration. London: Sage pp. 245–255.
* Peters, G. B. (2015), Advanced Introduction to Public Policy. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.
* Schneider A. and H. Ingram (1990) ‘Behavioural Assumptions of Policy Tools’. Journal of Politics. 52(2): 510-530.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.