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Public Policy Analysis and Management

Code: 42271 ECTS Credits: 10
Degree Type Year Semester
4313335 Political Science OB 0 1


Francesc Xavier Ballart i Hernàndez

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Raquel Gallego Calderon
Ixchel Perez Duran
Leire Maria Rincon Garcia
Roger Soler Marti


As a minimum level, students should hold a Bachellor's Degree or equivalent, in any knwoledge area within social sciences.


Objectives and Contextualisation

To understand the main theoretical debates in públic management and public policy analysis.
To provide with an overview of the main issues currently alive in debates on social policy, public administration and public management
To learn how to apply methodological models in order to carry out research in this field.
To understand how to apply that knowledge to the analysis of and intervention in complex social and political problems.
To comprehend how similar issues and public policy dilemmas are expressed differently in different national contexts
To acquire the knowledge and the necessary skills to apply it within organizational environments in the field of politics and public management.
To be able to have an informed opinion of the current tensions between fiscal and social policies that in the current context of austerity many countries are faced with.


  • Analyse public policies in different sectors.
  • Applied theoretical knowledge acquired from the analysis of real situation and using political analysis generate useful orientations for decision-making.
  • Demonstration reading comprehension for specialist texts in English.
  • Possess and understand knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in the development and/or application of ideas, often in a research context.
  • Recognise the complexity of politics today, its diversity and the tensions to which it is exposed, with special emphasis on the Spanish and European contexts.
  • Student should possess the learning skills that enable them to continue studying in a way that is largely student led or independent.
  • Work in international and interdisciplinary teams whose members have different origins and backgrounds.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse public policies independently of their sectorial specialisation.
  2. Anticipate the consequences of designing a specific public policy.
  3. Apply the main theories for the analysis of processes for drawing up, implementing and evaluating public policies.
  4. Demonstration reading comprehension for specialist texts in English.
  5. Design instruments to evaluate a specific public policy.
  6. Identify the different agents involved in the definition of a policy, its scope for action, interests and resources.
  7. Identify the different factors and variables that may be involved in the definition and results of public policy.
  8. Identify the importance of specific political contexts when designing policies.
  9. Identify the main agents involved in the generation and design of policies, with special emphasis not only on their particular complexity but also that of the interrelated network environments.
  10. Possess and understand knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in the development and/or application of ideas, often in a research context.
  11. Student should possess the learning skills that enable them to continue studying in a way that is largely student led or independent.
  12. Work in international and interdisciplinary teams whose members have different origins and backgrounds.



Today’s context for Public and Third Sector Management 

What leaders do: power and negotiation

Comparative Performance 

Work and Public Sector Motivation 

Accountability and transparency in public administration

Regulation, representation and trust 

Algorithms in Public Administration



Introduction to Public Policy Process: Actors, Problems and Agendas

Minimum income policies

Inequality and poverty  

New Social Risks and current challenges to social policies

Policies for the young

Other policies  



Learning is based on the reading and discussion of theoretical and empirical knowledge.

The aim is to acquire the capacity to formulate questions and answers. To this end, students will have to be active and autonomous in searching and selecting relevant information, in reading and thinking in order to create a rich and informed dialogue with the lecturer.

This autonomous effort will be required previously to each session, via reading, essay writing and some cases and exercices. This work will then be complemented with seminar discussions and oral presentations, which will help to better understand both theory and practice-based knowledge as well as to question it.

Class teaching will combine lectures and seminar/case, exercise discussions on theoretical and empirical knowledge –always trying to find the applicability of theory to the real world.

Tutorial teaching will focus on the preparation of essays, exercises and presentations.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures, attendance and participation 125 5 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 10, 12
Type: Supervised      
Seminars and tutorials 50 2 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 10, 12
Type: Autonomous      
Reading, essay writing and solving exercises 70 2.8 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 10, 12


Evaluation will be botn continuous and final. It will be based on the outputs of the different activities in which students will engage to show they have achieved the expected competencies.

Such activities and outputs include:

  1. Practical exercises proposed in class (public management) 
  2. Short essays on readings (public policy)
  3. A test (public management) 
  4. A final essay (public policy)  

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
3 in class exercises (Public Management) and 3 short essays (Public Policy) 50% 3 0.12 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 6, 7, 8, 11, 10, 12
Final test Public Management Part 25% 1 0.04 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 10, 12
Longer Public Policy Essay 25 % 1 0.04 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10


More recent papers and adjusted to the each topic in the Syllabus to be distributed in class


Boyne, G.A. (2003) “Sources of Public Service Improvement: A Critical Review and Research Agenda”, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 13 (3): 367- 394

De Vries, M.; Nemec, J. 2013 “Public Sector Reform: An Overview of Recent Literature and Research on NPM and Alternative Paths”, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 26(1):4-16.

Ferlie, E., Lynn, L.E. Jr and Pollitt, Ch. 2005 The Oxford Handbook of Public Management, New York: Oxford University Press.

Grant, A. 2012 “Leading with Meaning: Beneficiary Contact, Prosocial Impact and the Performance Effects of Transformational Leadership”, Academy of Management Journal, 55 (2):458-476 

Heifetz R. A. Linsky, M. 2002 Leadership on the Line. Boston, Mas: Harvard Business School Press. Pages 9-30

Kelly, J. 2007 “Reforming Public Services in the UK: Bringing in The Third Sector” Public Administration, 85 (4):1003-1022

Koffijberg, J. De Bruin, H. Priemus, H. 2012 “Combining Hierarchical and Network Strategies: Successful Changes in Dutch Social Housing” Public Administration, 90 (1):262-275 

Kotter, J.P. 2001 “What Leaders Really Do”. Harvard Business Review, December  

Kuhlmann, S. and Wollmann, H. 2014 Introduction to Comparative Public Administrations. Administrative Systems and Reform in Europe. Cheltenham and Northampton, MA:  Edward Elgar

Latham, G.P., Borgogni, L., Petitta, L. 2008 “Goal Setting and Performance Management in the Public Sector” International Public Management Journal, 11(4) 385-403

McGuire, M Agranoff, R. 2011 “The Limitations of Public Management Networks” Public Administration, 89 (2):265-284

Milward, H.B. Provan. K.G. (2000) “Governing theHollow State” Journal of PublicAdministration Research and Theory 10 (2) 359-379

Moynihan, D.P. 2005 “What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Performance. Dialogue Theory and Performance Budgeting” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16: 151-168

Moynihan, D. P. Pandey, S. K. 2010 “The Big Question for Performance Management: Why Do Managers Use Performance Information” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 20:849-866

OECD, 2008. Public-Private Partnerships. In Pursuit of Risk Sharing and Value for Money. Paris. OECD Publications. Chapter 1.  

Olsen, J. P.  2005 “Maybe It is Time to Rediscover Bureaucracy”, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16:1-24 

Page, E. Hood, C. Lodge, M. 2005. “Conclusion; Is Competency Management a Passing Fad”  Public Administration, 83 (4): 853-860

Perry, J., Christensen, R.K. 2015 Handbook of Public Administration, London: Routledge.

Perry, J. Hondeghem, A. Wise L.R. 2008. “Revisiting the Motivational Bases of PublicService: Twenty Years of Research and an Agenda for the Future”  Public Administration Review 70 (5):681-690    

Pollit, C. 2009 “Bureaucracies Remember; Post-Bureaucratic Organizations Forget”, Public Administration, 82 (2): 198-218

Pollit, C. and Bouckaert, G. 2004 Public Management Reform. A Comparative Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Truss, C. 2008 “Continuity and Change: The Role of the HR Function in the Modern Public Sector” Public Administration, 86 (4):1071-1088

Vandenabeele, W. 2008 “Government calling: Public Service Motivation asan Element in Selecting Government as an Employer of Choice”, Public Administration 86 (4):1089-1105

Van Ryzin, G. G. Charbonneau 2010 “Public Service Use and Perceived Performance;An Empirical Note on the Nature of the Relationship” Public Administration, 88 (2): 551-563

Van Ryzin, G. G. Immerwahr, Altman, S. 2008 “Measuring Street Cleanliness:  A Comparison of New York City’s Scorecard and Results from a Citizen Survey” Public Administration Review March –April: 295-303

Weibel A., Rost, K., Osterloh, M. “Pay for Performance in the Public Sector-Benefits and Hidden Costs” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20: 387-412

Wright, B.E. Moynihan, D.P. Pandey, S. K.2011 “Pulling the Levers: Transformational Leadership, Public Service Motivation and Mission Valence”, Public Administration Review 77 (2): 206-215



Albi, E.; González-Páramo, J.; López Casasnovas, G. 1997. Gestión pública. Barcelona. Ariel.

Aguilar, L. 1992. La hechura de las políticas públicas. México. M.A. Porrua. 4 vols.

Ballart, X. 1992 ¿Cómo evaluar programas y servicios públicos? Madrid. Ministerio para las Administraciones Públicas.

Barzelay, M.; Gallego, R. 2006. ‘From “new institutionalism” to “institutional processualism”: Advancing knowledge about public management policy change’. Governance, 19, 4:531-557.

Colebatch, H. 2002. Policy. London: Open University Press. 2nd edition.

Hill, M. ed. 1997. The policy process. A reader. Hertfordshire. Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf. 2nd edition.

Kingdon, J. 1995. Agendas, alternatives, and public policies. New York. HarperCollins. 2nd edition.

Knoepfel, P.; Larrue, C.; Varone, F. 2001. Analyse et pilotage des politiques publiques. Basel. Helbing and Lichtenhahn.

Lane, J. 1993. The public sector. Concepts, models and approaches. London. Sage.

Loseke, D. 2003. Thinking about social problems. New Jersey. Aldine Transaction. 2nd edition.

Moore, M. 1995. Gestión estratégica y creación de valor en el sector público. Paidós. Barcelona. (traducció 1998).

Pressman, J.; Vildavsky. A. 1984. Implementation. Berkeley. University of California Press. 3rd edition.

Sabatier, P. ed. 1999. Theories of the policy process. Oxford. Westview Press.

Stone, D. 2002. Policy paradox. The art of political decision making. London. Norton. 2nd edition.



(More detail in the syllabus to be distributed)