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Public Policy Design and Analysis


Course description

The course offers an in-depth analysis of the issues involved in policy development in various fields, based on the international classical and modern relevant literature. As a product of the political system, public policies interact with society, ideas, values and beliefs and need legitimation. Different theoretical perspectives on agenda-setting, decision-making procedures and relations between the political-administrative system and the institutional and social environment, interest groups, etc., are examined in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the scientific inquiry around factors potentially influencing the policy cycle.

The course is designed to:

  • deepen the understanding of the policy process
  • attitudes in the context of state-society relations[s1] 
  • develop awareness of the controversies around policy choices
  • foster a critical perception of decision-making processes, beyond their formal-legal expression
  • build the capacity of students for empirical investigation based on a theoretical inquiry
  • familiarize them with the relevant international literature.


  • Introduction. Public policy: the general frameworks
  • The emergence of public policy. Agenda setting processes
  • Legitimation, Rhetoric and Framing of public policies
  • Decision and Non-decision. Rational model and incrementalism
  • Policy implementation
  • Factors of success and failure
  • Normative, intellectual and cognitive frames
  • Policy instruments
  • Policy change, transfer and diffusion
  • Public policy and interest groups
  • State, networks and governance
  • Policy types and typologies. Policy style
  • New institutionalism and public policy

Learning outcomes

Successful completion of the course provides students with:

  • understanding of the processes and mechanisms of policy formation in the context of state-society relations
  • capacity to analyze the factors affecting implementation, success or failure and policy change
  • capacity to formulate research questions regarding specific policies
  • capacity to handle a wide range of foreign language literature on related topics.