This seminar course explores a range of concepts, theories and findings in public policy research with a view to understanding similarities and differences in policies across advanced industrial societies. In doing so, it deals with issues of definition, classification and measurement. What is policy? What is the difference between policy outputs and policy outcomes? How can they be measured? How can we distinguish types of policy and is it useful to do so?
We also examine existing research that seeks to explain policy outputs and policy outcomes. Why do some countries respond differently to similar problems? What does the policy making process look like? Which factors influence policy making? Do policy actors like parties and interest groups matter? Do interests or ideas matter? Do policy makers undergo a learning process? Do they learn from one another's experiences?
We will use discussion of these fundamental questions as a platform to explore substantive policy areas. The course is centred on weekly reading and participation in class. It places a strong emphasis on recent research.
About this institute
UCD traces its origins to the Catholic University of Ireland founded in 1854 by Cardinal John Henry Newman, author of the celebrated 'The Idea of a University'. Since its start, the University College Dublin has played a central role in...
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