Year
2020
Units
4.5
Contact
2 x 1-hour lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Assessment
Assignments, Examination, Tutorial participation
Topic description
How do governments decide which activities to pursue, and which to avoid? How are priorities set? What is the relationship between governments, bureaucracies, and the public? This topic will introduce the student to basic issues in public sector decision making, using a guided survey of theories and practice. The focus will be on current understandings of policy making, including the policy cycle, public choice theory, and the politics-policy interface.
Educational aims
  • To provide an introduction to public sector decision making – that is, what governments do, and how they choose between the various options available to them

  • To expose students to a variety of different approaches and perspectives on the challenges and responsibilities of government decision making

  • To stimulate students to think critically about popular understandings of what governments can and ‘should’ do

  • To develop essential research, analysis, and writing skills

  • To develop skills in critical reasoning and argumentation.
    Expected learning outcomes
    On completion of this topic, students will be expected to be able to:

    1. Apply some of the basic theories of public policy making

    2. Critique popular views on government decision making as reported in the media and propagated on social media

    3. Use essential research, analysis, and writing skills

    4. Apply critical reasoning and argumentation skills.