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During the twentieth century and the first decade of this century new ways of thinking about the relationship between governments and their citizens have emerged. These developments have in part been a reaction to the strict application of managerial approaches which dominated public administration in the US, the UK and Australia beginning in the 1980s. It also partly reflected a deeper concern regarding the apparent decline in citizens’ attachment to and respect for the practice of politics. This subject will provoke a wide ranging discussion about the role of ‘publics’ (citizens, users, communities etc) in public policy and public services. The emergent paradigm of citizen-centred governance, sometimes called Government 2.0, is networked, collaborative and flexible, with service delivery arrangements which are personalised, choice-based and delivered through multiple channels. This subject will critically examine the theoretical underpinnings of this emergent paradigm and assess its utility in theory and practice, as well as other unconventional approaches to policy making such as behavioural economics and randomized controlled trials, through academic (Aaron Martin) and practitioner (Yehudi Blacher) perspectives. The course will include conversations with practitioners who have sought to re-think the way they have led their organisations to make them more responsive to the needs of their clients. The subject will also draw on a number of local and international case studies.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject students should have developed:
- a clear understanding of the theoretical literature which underpins new approaches to citizen-centric public administration;
- a framework which they can apply to thinking about how organisations can become more responsive to their clients;
- an understanding of the institutional and cultural constraints of this approach to public administration;
- insights into its practical application in different organisational settings.
On completion of the subject students should:
- be able to demonstrate competence in critical, creative and theoretical thinking through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgments and arguments from conflicting evidence, and by critical analysis;
- be able to demonstrate proficiency in the application of policy analysis skills to empirical problems;
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of the academic protocols of research and presentation.
Last updated: 3 November 2022