Introduction to Public Affairs
The course introduces students to the key roles, functions, activities, and obligations of executives and professionals in public and non-profit organizations. This course focuses on the role of bureaucracies, including governance and government, both in the contemporary world as well as in its historic context. The course is comparative and international in its approach but includes significant discussion of global case studies. It focuses on issues of importance to students of public management and policy, international affairs and security studies, human security, and international development.
The course considers a number of broad issues. Primary focus is on democracy, governance, and public service. Other themes include ways in which administrators interact with their political environment and influence the policy making process. The course also examines several specific administrative problems that have themselves become contentious policy issues, such as human resource development, affirmative action and representative bureaucracy, government spending, budgetary decision making, government reorganization, corruption, social and economic change, and public sector reform.
Negotiating & Lobbying in Public Affairs
To cover the basic elements of negotiation and lobbying, using a combination of theoretical and practical methods. The module introduces theoretical approaches to negotiation and lobbying, before exploring and illustrating them through active usage in a series of games and exercises.
Political Communication & Campaigning
This module is concerned with understanding the role of political communication in contemporary politics. Arguably parties use the media to influence voters, but the media also has a role in holding (selected) politicians to account. This unit explores the various theoretical perspectives on the role of political communication and the media, before moving on to consider a series of empirical examples.
The unit also covers key topics relevant to political communication including the relationship between political parties and the national media; whether it is the role of political broadcasts, televised debates, or the impact of rolling news coverage on the ability of politicians to control the media. It considers how changes in media have offered new opportunities for citizenship and democracy, including agenda setting. It also explores how parties and political organisations have adapted advertising strategies to use these new media.There is a focus on key issues in contemporary political events and case studies will be situated throughout the module. Students will also gain coding and content analysis skills in order to explore how key topical political themes are framed in political communication.
This course teaches students the rudiments of the scientific research process. Students would advance their understanding of research through critical exploration of research language, ethics, and approaches. The course would introduce the language of research, ethical principles and challenges, and the elements of the research process within quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Participants will use these theoretical underpinnings to begin to critically review literature relevant to their field or interests and determine how research findings are useful in forming their understanding of their work, social, local, and global environment. Students would also be introduced to the use of some software packages in analysing data. Research report writing would also be taught students.
Ethics and Accountability in Public Affairs
This course is designed to enhance the student’s ability to think ethically about the means and end of public policy. The course examines normative concepts and principles that typically enter moral reasoning and use of those tools in analyzing actual cases. The course will review the theory and application of ethics in the public sector, identifying public values and how they apply in the administration of government. It will review sources of values employed in public sector decision-making, and how values in public administration are managed and applied. Systems of professional ethics will also be reviewed in the context of public administration cases.
Public Policy and Analysis
Public policy relates to and impacts various aspects of life of the people. It deals with public issues, problems and needs regarding health, education, employment, poverty, housing, justice, law and order, rule of law, security of life and property, national security, and interstate relations, to name a few. Public policy is considered to be an organized attempt by a government to serve the people or resolve public issues and problems and fulfil public needs and aspirations. Public policies are formulated in conformity with the constitution, laws and regulations of the country.
Once public policy is formulated, it moves into the realm of implementation, monitoring and evaluation because all public policies are geo- and bio-dynamic for changes and adjustments. Policy analysis is a complex process intended to ascertain its strengths and weaknesses or success and failure. It may need changes and adjustment to remove flaws in the policy in order to ensure successful attainment of goals. Public policy analysis falls into two stages or categories: a) the flow of questions; and b) answers and debate.
Policy analysis is carried out with various alternatives in a view that will best achieve a given set of goals in the light of the relations between policies and goals. Policy analysis can be divided into two major types: analytical and descriptive. Analytically, a combination of policy analysis and policy evaluation is regarded as Policy Studies.
Foreign Policy Analysis
This course examines the ways in which foreign policy is conducted in a variety of countries. It will examine a number of theoretical and historical perspectives, examine the variety of goals, actors, institutions, and cultural contexts that contribute to foreign policymaking, and analyse themes across a number of case studies. The course is organized in a basic “levels of analysis” framework that roughly corresponds to the historical development of the study of foreign policy analysis from outside, external approaches associated with general international relations theories, to societal sources of culture and public opinion, to government organization and elite decision-making. Particular attention will be paid to decision-making, especially psychological, approaches to foreign policy. The emphasis in the course is on theories of foreign policy, although students will also be exposed to the substance/content of the foreign policies of various countries.
This course deals with the economics of the public sector. The role of government in the economy is analyzed in terms of the sources of market failure—the factors that prevent the private sector from generating an efficient and fair allocation of resources within the society. The major areas of public expenditures are examined within this framework. Tax policies that promote a fair distribution of the tax burden and an efficient allocation of resources are reviewed. The policy issues concerning the major sources of tax revenues are discussed and the fiscal issues that arise with multi-level governments are examined.
Regionalism and Integration in Africa
This course provides an historical overview of attempts at regionalism as a contemporary manifestation of this historical urge to a unity of Africans as well as analysis of contemporary realities of these schemes on the African continent. The course attempts to address emerging themes on regionalism, including the link between regionalism, peace and security, the political economy of regionalism and regional integration, as well as regionalism and issues of governance. This is supposed to be an exciting exploratory conversation about issues in Africa’s search for greater unity, be it economic, social, cultural, and political.
Conflict & Conflict Resolution
The module is dedicated to the analysis of violent conflict and its management or resolution. Its interests range from the interaction of high-level international, domestic, and local politics to the ideological, cultural, and political economy factors in violent conflict.
The module explains the causes, dynamics and outcomes of conflict and developing new perspectives on the institutional and non-institutional means by which conflicts can be better managed. The module has at its core some fundamental questions about what causes violent conflict. Why does it happen when it does and where it does? How and why do conflicts change over time? What can be done to manage or resolve a conflict? What is the role of international politics, or civil society? The aim of the module is to address these major questions that are pivotal to the comparative study of politics. The involvement of leading experts in the field will provide students with insights and critical thinking on the latest theoretical developments, research, and best policy practices.
Democracy is almost universally regarded as a uniquely valuable form of government. At the same time, there are very different views about the basis (if any) of its special value. Proposed answers trace it to the value of liberty, autonomy, equality, fairness, or something else. The course will discuss some of the most important answers. Democracy is also sometimes seen as conflicting with other values, such as individual liberty. Is this conflict real? Further relevant questions related to the value of democracy include the following: Is there a duty to vote in elections? What is wrong with selling and buying votes? Why should we value democracy if many of our fellow citizens are ignorant about the issues they are asked to decide?
Foreign Direct Investment
This module is intended to introduce students to the law of international investment protection, with an intensive focus on the study and analysis of arbitral awards and the text of international instruments such as the ICSID Convention, the Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) and Free Trade Agreements like the NAFTA.
The analysis of the investment international regime will be systematically integrated with reference to the issues of globalization, sovereignty and regulatory autonomy, protection of non-economic values and human rights.
This course will introduce students to key concepts of intergovernmental relations and prepare students to critically explore and promote positive relations between levels of government ranging from local to international. Students will also be introduced to the concept and practice of intergovernmental relations (both formal and informal) as it pertains to different levels and types of governmental organizations (federal, state, regional, municipal) and quasi-public, non-profit, and private organizations that carry out governance and welfare. The course will examine the evolution and current state of governmental organizations (federal, state, regional, municipal) how intergovernmental work is advanced. This course is intended to inform students on the constraints and opportunities presented within intergovernmental relationships, with a focus on practical approaches to working within these constraints and opportunities. Various problem areas and mechanisms will be reviewed in building an understanding of the context and content of intergovernmental relations.