COURSES

International Winter School on Public Policy - Alps Edition 2020

Course 1: A world of rules: regulations and its effects by Claudio Radaelli

Rules are a special type of policy instrument used by governments to affect the behaviour of individuals and markets. A good rule saves lives and protects the environment. A bad rule creates administrative hurdles, facilitates corruption and erodes trust in government. Regulation therefore has a central place in competitiveness, sustainability and governance. It matters in our daily life. There is a world of rules out there: national regulations, but also rules produced by independent regulatory authorities, transnational rules, multi-level systems of regulation such as the European Union, and rules designed and implemented by local authorities and their inspectors. The global presence of rules raises the following questions: how should rules be designed? How do governments and international organizations identify ‘good regulation’ and design their regulatory reforms? What does the empirical analysis say about the map of regulation across Europe? Most importantly, what are the effects of one type of regulatory reform or another on governance? This new course will allow you to explore the world of regulation going beyond the legal definitions, embracing wider definitions of rules commonly adopted in political science and socio-legal studies. Specifically, we will zoom on reforms and policy instruments that have been designed to manage complex systems of regulation: consultation, freedom of information, judicial review, regulatory impact assessment, the Ombudsman procedure and general principles of administrative law. All these components of a regulatory system have one thing in common: they affect rulemaking, that is, the crucial stage in which a rule is made. We will proceed in our exploration that by systematically discussing the literature and by exploiting the claims and empirical analyses of the project Protego (Procedural tools for effective governance). Protego is a four-year European Research Council’s advanced project on the EU-28 countries. You will explore how theoretical claims emerge from the gaps in the literature, the challenge of operationalising these claims, the approach to measurement, and the empirical findings. Among other sources, we will use the new Protego dataset. Upon completion of the course, the participants will learn about the literature on policy design, the regulatory reform agenda of international organizations, the relationship between regulation and accountability, Ostrom’s rule types, the causal effects of consultation on corruption, some basic notions of set-theoretic analysis (QCA, qualitative comparative analysis), and how to approach the choice of policy instruments looking at design in holistic ways.

 

Course 2: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) by Eva Thomann

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a set-theoretic method for identifying necessary and/or sufficient conditions for outcomes which is increasingly used in comparative policy analysis. Its core advantages lie in modelling causal complexity and enabling systematic comparisons to identify regularities, while integrating case knowledge at all levels of analysis. This course introduces participants to the nuts and bolts of QCA and its implementation using the most powerful currently available software in R. Apart from basic knowledge of empirical social research design and methodology, no particular pre-existing knowledge is required.

 

Course 3: Studying Policy Process with Constructivist, Pragmatic and Qualitative Approaches by Philippe Zittoun
This course focuses on how to study Policy Processes by mobilising different qualitative perspectives, from Constructivist to Pragmatic Approaches. Its main objective is to identify and discuss how we can empirically and methodologically grasp the policy process by observing and defining the struggles around the problem but also around the meaning of proposed solutions. Special attention will be paid to the building of coalitions, existing powerful dimensions, and the different challenges solutions encountered along their path. Why do some solutions manage to make it to the decision-making process whereas others fail? Under what conditions and at what price do solutions make it to the solution agenda? How do some actors succeed in "domesticating" "wicked" problems? First, this course will explore the career of a public problem, from emergence to agenda setting.  Second, it will explore the career of the proposal as it passes through different arenas such as bureaucracy, the advice system, and the political arena. Policy problems and solutions will be observed on the basis of three games: the game of language where a statement takes on meaning and becomes a problem/solution, the game of actors where this definition is stabilized through coalition building, and the game of power through the formation of multiple levels of power. The course will draw on the studies undertaken by key authors in the field and will explore how they perceive the political dimension in the policy process. It will also propose different concepts and approaches to help grasp the policy process from a different perspective. 

 

Course 4 : Politics and Policy Changes by Paolo Graziano

This course examines how politics and policy change may be intertwined emphasising especially conceptual, definitional and methodological issues which may be of relevance for the design and execution of PhD work. The five lectures are organized as follows. The first session is devoted to the links between politics (especially in terms of power relations) and policy preferences will be discussed following some examples of contributions available in the literature. The second session focuses on the mapping on the key political and social actors in small-N and large-N studies, problematizing from a methodological perspective issues such as preference articulation, symbolic participation and effective influence. The third session is centred on the policy content and on the ways it can be operationalized and studied. The fourth session discusses to the notion of policy change, on its definition, operationalization and empirical analysis. The last session concludes with the analysis of the positioning of policy actors in the policy process in order to understand the determinants of their policy behaviour and its success.

 

Course 5 : Applying the Narrative Policy Framework by Michael Jones

The Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) is a systematic approach to narrative policy analysis that allows both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.  While developed only in 2010, the NPF has seen rapid adoption, appearing in academic journals such as Critical Policy Studies, Policy Sciences, the Policy Studies Journal, as well as being featured in editions of Paul Sabatier’s classic Theories of the Policy Process.  This course offers a full rendering of the NPF with the aim of providing students both breadth and depth sufficient to apply the framework in their own research.  Topics covered include an overview of the framework, experimental NPF applications, content analysis and the NPF, as well as qualitative methods and the NPF.  The course emphasizes opportunities for students to explore their own NPF research.  Having a background in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies is beneficial, but not essential.