08641 - Analysis of Public Policies

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Anna Malandrino

  • Credits 10

  • SSD SPS/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 22, 2021 to Dec 02, 2021

SDGs

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

Good health and well-being Quality education Sustainable cities Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

- acquire the theoretical knowledge relating to the structuring of the policy cycle, from the design phase to the implementation and evaluation of a policy
- assimilate the main tools for the analysis of public policies, consisting of the theoretical knowledge that concerns (among others) actors, policy process phases, and policy instruments
- understand the functioning of the main public policies in selected policy sectors (e.g. migration, health, education, etc.)
- strengthen critical and analytical skills for the analysis of public policies

 

 

 

Course contents

Policy processes are made up of the paths of development of public policies over time and of the actors, events and contexts that condition the content and methods of policy evolution. Understanding these processes requires an understanding of the relationships between innumerable factors within a dynamic system of interactions, inputs and outputs. This course breaks down that complexity by providing students with the tools to understand public policies as phenomena with a pervasive impact on the lives of citizens.

In the first part of the course some fundamental concepts and analytical categories will be explored, addressing topics such as policy instruments, models for public policy analysis and the policy cycle. We will focus on policy actors, the tools used in policy implementation and some theories related to policy analysis. The policy process will then be analyzed through the segmentation into stages in which it is usual to divide the policy cycle: agenda setting, formulation, decision-making, implementation, evaluation (Module 1) (reference textbook: Bobbio, Pomatto and Ravazzi, 2017). In the second part, the concepts and analytical tools will be applied to specific policy areas (Module 2) (based on the textbook edited by Capano and Natalini, 2020). The third part of the course will be devoted to conducting and discussing exercises for the analysis of specific public policies (Module 3).

Thus, the course provides students with the tools to identify the wide variety of actors involved in the policy process, to understand the institutional contexts in which they operate and the tools they employ at different stages, to familiarize themselves with a variety of conceptual models for understanding the process, and ultimately to critically examine public policies.

For non-attending students, these contents will be complemented by an in-depth study on the evaluation of public policies, to be carried out independently with the help of specific resources (see "Readings/Bibliography" section).

Readings/Bibliography

Main readings (mandatory)

Luigi Bobbio, Gianfranco Pomatto, Stefania Ravazzi, Le politiche pubbliche. Problemi, soluzioni, incertezze, conflitti, Mondadori, 2017.

Giliberto Capano, Alessandro Natalini, Le Politiche Pubbliche in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020.

Additional reading, mandatory for non-attending students:

Antonio La Spina, Efisio Espa, Analisi e valutazione delle politiche pubbliche, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011 [parte seconda]. NB: Those who want to use the book by Antonio La Spina titled "Politiche pubbliche. Analisi e valutazione" need to study the chapters in both Parte Seconda and Parte Terza. The contents are equivalent to those of the other book. 

Other readings (not mandatory)

Bruno Dente, Le decisioni di policy: Come si prendono, come si studiano, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011.

Antonio La Spina, Efisio Espa, Analisi e valutazione delle politiche pubbliche, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020.

Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh, Come studiare le politiche pubbliche, Analisi e valutazione delle politiche pubbliche, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2003.

Andrea Lippi, La valutazione delle politiche pubbliche, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007.

Lewanski Rodolfo, Governare l’ambiente, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1997.

Antonio La Spina, La politica per il mezzogiorno, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2003.

Teaching methods

Inspired by the heuristic-participatory teaching method, the course will be structured as follows:

  • MODULE A: The module is aimed at acquiring the fundamental public policy analysis concepts and tools and will be carried out through participatory classes, which include moments of reflection on the content learned.
  • MODULE B: The module aims to explore reform processes in some key policy areas, and to develop the students’ analytical skills through targeted practical exercises followed by a discussion with the teacher.

Knowledge of the Italian language is required to attend and follow the classes and study the textbook contents. However, the assessment test(s) can also be taken in English.

As established by the University, lectures will be held both in class and online.

Assessment methods

For attending students: 

  • Intermediate test 1 (MODULE A): written exam (3 open-ended questions; 45 mins) aimed at assessing what has been learned in the first module, in order to evaluate the achievement of the related learning objectives.
  • Intermediate test 2 (MODULE B): written exam (1 analytical exercise; 90 mins) involving the application of the conceptual tools and analytical skills acquired during the course.

For non-attending students: written exam (7 open-ended questions; 50 mins) on the following texts:

- Luigi Bobbio, Gianfranco Pomatto, Stefania Ravazzi, Le politiche pubbliche. Problemi, soluzioni, incertezze, conflitti, Mondadori, 2017.

- Gilberto Capano, Alessandro Natalini, Le Politiche Pubbliche in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020.

- Antonio La Spina, Efisio Espa, Analisi e valutazione delle politiche pubbliche, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020 [parte seconda].

 

Evaluation Grid:

  • 18-22: sufficient preparation and analytical abilities, sufficient knowledge of the topics covered in the course, formulation of answers in formally correct language;
  • 23-26: technically adequate preparation and analytical abilities, good knowledge of the topics covered in the course, adequate knowledge of specific terminology;
  • 27-29: excellent preparation and analytical abilities, thorough knowledge of the topics covered in the course, mastery of specific terminology;
  • 30-30L: excellent preparation and analytical abilities, in-depth knowledge of the topics covered in the course, ability to integrate the answers with own knowledge and elaborations, mastery of specific terminology.

The final grade will result from the average of the grades assigned to each intermediate test. Otherwise, it will correspond to the grade of the single final test for non-attending students (see "For non-attending students").

The assessment test(s) can also be taken in English.

Teaching tools

Any additional materials will be made available online at https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Slides will be used during the course for presenting the course contents. These slides are merely a teaching tool: as such, they are not a substitute for textbooks in view of the assessment test(s).

Office hours

See the website of Anna Malandrino