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SP50250: The politics of policy in international perspective: actors, arenas and conflict

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To provide a comprehensive introduction to and understanding of political transformations and new political dynamics affecting national and global policy making.
To enable students to explore and critically discuss the emergence of new actors, arenas and conflicts. as well as alternative social and political perspectives and interpretations of policy and policy making.
To highlight both historical factors and contemporary context surrounding policy making , in particular the emergence of a global order and new forms of contentious politics that have emerged out of it.
To reflect critically on the theories and explanations as well as the debates addressed during the unit.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit, students will be able to:
* identify and systemise the main aspects and arguments of the political dimension of policy making.
* identify and explore the new policy actors, the geographical and political reconfiguration of arenas for design and implementation of policy making, and the emerging contentious dynamics around policy making at national and international levels.
* review and critically evaluate a variety of multidisciplinary perspectives, approaches and theoretical problematics and debates which aim to grasp the impact of the emerging global order on policy, and responses to it critically conceptualise and identify main political issues related to the concept and reality of policy in the age of 'globalisation'.

Intellectual skills:
* To develop a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problem and/or new insights
* To achieve originality in the application of knowledge together with a practical understanding of the matter
* To evaluate methodologies and critiques of them
* To critically evaluate and assess current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding.
Transferable/Key skills:
* Essay research, preparation and writing skills
* Presentation skills and verbal communication (i.e. oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contributions)
* To exercise initiative and personal responsibility as well as independent learning
Knowledge outcomes:
* Identification of general political issues underpinning policy in international perspective
* Theoretical basis for a political perspective on policy
* Knowledge of the current developments and contemporary research on different national cases as well as at local and trans-national levels.

This unit explores key contemporary research and theoretical debates on the politics of policy. The unit problematises the notion of policy by proposing that it is a contested issue. The main topics to be addressed are globalisation and the transformation of the nation state; changes in the international state system; the transition from government to governance and the concept of governance; the displacement of state power 'upwards' and the role of international (financial/business) organisations such as IMF/WTO; regionalisation: new actors and the struggle for 'social' Europe (against 'neoliberal' Europe); the displacement of state power downwards and the role of civil society actors (NGOs and social movements) in policy making; new forms of contentious politics (a): local resistance and policy from below: is Autonomy possible? and (b) transnational activism, opposition to corporate power and new global forums/transnational publics.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP50250 is available for Auditing on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

SP50250 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

SP50250 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • THSP-AFM15 : MSc Wellbeing in Public Policy and International Development
  • THSP-APM15 : MSc Wellbeing in Public Policy and International Development

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.