School of Politics and International Relations

Theories of the Policy Making Process

The module introduces you to theories and concepts associated with the analysis of the contemporary policy-making process. It will explore the main approaches to policy-making by firstly focussing on the rational school of public policy. After exploring the limitations of this approach, we will then analyse some alternative perspectives. The remainder of the course is dedicated to exploring the different theoretical perspectives on key themes within the analysis of public policy including: agenda setting; networks; and institutions. By the end of the course successful students will have an understanding of their own position within the field. The course will also provide you with the opportunity to develop skills in applying theoretical concepts to empirical work and vice versa.