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Contemporary Issues of Public Policy


Course description

Object of this course is the examination of basic issues that emerge in public policy. Therefore each academic year there are planned, among others, visiting lectures on the part of scholars with knowledge and experience on concrete topics of administrative science that are taught in the course.

In particular, of prime interest is to pinpoint to the problems that appear in the history of administrative reforms in Greece in various stages of the formation of state mechanism since national independence and afterwards, as well as matters of planning and implementation of an appropriate strategy of administrative and organizational reform.

The course aims to the:

  • examination of the dynamic of administrative reform and the systematic explanation of the reasons that reforms fail
  • familiarization of the students with methods for improving reforms.

Contents of the course

  • Facets of the Modern Greek administrative culture
  • Historical sketch of the Greek public administration
  • Prerevolutionary and revolutionary institutions. The Capodistrian period - ‘Capodistrias’ dilemma’: integration vs. differentiation
  • Theorganizational “bigbang” of 1833: centralized state, secretariats and regional authorities
  • The clientelist system and the origins of meritocracy
  • The administrative reforms of Charilaos Trikoupis
  • Tenure of service of civil servants and the return of prerevolutionary communes
  • The post World War II period of “reconstruction”, the first reports by experts on public administration
  • Period of autocracy (dictatorship) and that of re-establishment of democracy
  • Why do often reforms fail?
  • Challenges and prospects in the 21st century
  • A reliable methodology of administrative reform
  • Successful and unsuccessful administrative reforms: case studies

Learning outcomes

Having completed the class successfully students are expected to have:

  • studied thoroughly the proposals for the improvement and modernization of public administration, included in experts’ reports, as well as those by international organizations, so that they understand the persistence of administrative pathologies
  • understood the reasons for constant seek of administrative changes that aim to the meeting of administrative dysfunctions and the improvement of the quality of supply of public services
  • explored the preconditions that are needed for an effective reform, including the choice of appropriate time opportunity and the consensus.