31148 - Comparative Public Policy

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student at the end of the programme has an in-depth knowledge of the main methodological and analytical tools for public policy analysis. Such tools related to the comparative approach are used for the analysis of specific policy fields (between them, active social policy, education policy, health policy, migration policy). For some of these areas the student collects information on both policy output and policymaking processes. On such a base, the student is able to design research projects and policy reports for assessing policies and policy change.

Course contents

The programme consists of two main parts. The first one is focused on key analytical and methodological tools, in line with three major questions to address: What is public policy; How do policies work? Which policy actors, dynamics and outcomes? Why do we compare? What do we compare? How do we compare? The first part of the course is based on traditional lecturing. The second part all conceptual and methodological tools introduced in the first part are applied to specific policy areas: this is the case of social, education, health and migration policies. This second part develops with a more active involvement of students who will present some papers and book chapters in class.


Theoretical readings:

  • G. Capano, S. Piattoni, F. Raniolo, L. Verzichelli (2017), Manuale di scienza politica, Il Mulino, only the chapter 10, "Processi decisionali e politiche pubbliche", pp. 331-364.
  • Lanzalaco, L. e Prontera, A., Politiche Pubbliche Comparate, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2012

    Readings Empirical :

  • Besharov D., and Lopez, M. (eds) Adjusting to a World in Motion. Trends in Global Migration and Migration Policy. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Bonoli, G., The origin of active social policy, Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Demeuse, M., Frandji, D., Greger, D. e Rochex, J. Y., Educational Policies and Inequalities in Europe, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.
  • Ka-Ho-Mok, Education Reform and Education Policy in East Asia, 2005, London, Routledge. Capitoli 3, 4, 9, 10.
  • Toth., F. Le politiche Sanitarie, Laterza, 2009.

Teaching methods

The programme consists of two parts: the first part is based on lecturing, while second is based on active involvement of the students who will present some of the texts in the syllabus while debating both analytical and substantive issues.

Assessment methods

Students’ learning will be assessed in the following way: two written exams (40%); quality of involvement in the class activities (20%); final oral examination (40%)

  • The first written exam (at the end of the first part of the course) consists of 5 open questions on the theoretical topics
  • The second written exam (at the end of the second part of the course) consists of three open questions on one of the four analyzed policies;
  • The oral exam consists of the discussion of a policy report that each student should prepare after having agreed the topic with the teacher.

Teaching tools

Web resources

Office hours

See the website of Giliberto Capano