PAP-20306 Studying Public Governance: Key Concepts and Leading Authors


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (one day)9
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. A Siwale
Lecturer(s)dr. A Siwale
Y Buitenhuis
JR Starke
dr. G Bazzan
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. CJAM Termeer

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

PAP-21806 European Union institutions and policies;
PAP-30306 Designing innovative governance arrangements;
PAP-30806 Governance and policy change.


This course introduces communication students to the discipline of public administration. Public administration scholars analyze how the world of public governance functions and develop suggestions to strengthen governance in the network society. Knowledge about public governance is essential to communication students, because: (i) governance is about how societies deal with perceived problems and as such shapes everyday actions and institutions, (ii) ideas and (political) communication play a big role in how public and private actors frame societal problems and possible solutions within governance networks, and (iii) governments and other governance actors are both important sources and objects of communication. During the course, students will learn how public administration thinking about public governance, and particularly the role of ideas and communication herein, evolved over time. They do so by reading a classic book from the field of public administration and by discussing this work in small reading groups. During the lectures, these classic works are contextualized and linked to ongoing political events and processes, particularly those that are relevant to the life sciences domains. The course ends with an excursion to The Hague, where students will experience the role of communication in real-life politics and policymaking.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify and reproduce the main themes and theoretical concepts of public administration and policy;
- explain the relevance of public administration theories to communication professionals;
- explain the linkages between theoretical concepts and historical societal developments;
- compare theoretical insights with current political developments, particularly in the life sciences domains;
- interpret and appraise academic texts from leading authors in public administration by reading a classic monograph.


- lectures;
- reading groups;
- excursion;
- self-study;


- written test with closed and open questions (50%);
- literature assignments (50%);
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Classic book from public administration and selection of articles and book chapters.

Compulsory for: BCLCommunication and Life SciencesBSc1AF