00888 - Administration Science

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student: will know the basic theoretical and analytical tools to understand and interpret public administrations, intended both as complex organizations and as relevant actors in public decision-making processes; will be able to examine the main structural and functioning characteristics of the bureaucracies belonging to different sectors and at different territorial levels within the Italian administrative system, together with the most recent reform measures.

Course contents

The course will provide theoretical concepts and evolutionary perspectives for the general study of public administration in contemporary democracies. The approach favors the empirical instrumentation of the 'political science of administration', but does not neglect the contribution of other disciplines that have significantly contributed to the knowledge of the administrative phenomenon (in particular, the theory of organization, law studies, and public management). Through a rigorous, but necessarily selective path, the spectrum of topics investigated during the course allows the student to have a broad understanding of the characteristics of public administrations, as well as on their trajectories of change in Italy.

The course is organized in two parts. The first provides analytical tools for the general study of public administrations, presenting different models and interpretative perspectives with some applications to the Italian case. The second is entirely focused on the Italian administrative system, analyzing the most important reform policies and transformations in progress.


Bolgherini S. (2014), Can Austerity Lead to Recentralisation? Italian Local Government during the Economic Crisis, in “South European Society & Politics”, Vol. 19. No. 1, pp: 193-214.

Lippi A (2011), Evaluating the ‘Quasi Federalist’ Programme of Decentralization in Italy since the 1990s: A Side-effect Approach, in “Local Government Studies”, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp: 495-516.

Peters B. Guy and Jon Pierre (2007), Handbook of Public Administration, Los Angeles, Sage: Introduction and Chapters 1, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 38, 47.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons. Presentation of case studies, also with the participation of external experts. Class attendance is recommended.

Assessment methods

Two intermediate written tests. For non-attending students, an oral examination of the readings.

Teaching tools

- Power point presentations.

- Case-studies discussion.

Office hours

See the website of Brunetta Baldi


Good health and well-being Quality education Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.