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Online Course

Governance and Policy Advice: How political decisions come to life

Hertie School of Governance via iversity

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Overview

Political decisions are of course made by governments and/or parliaments. But who provides these bodies with the information they need and shows them the strategic options they have? Who frames political action before the wider public even takes notice of the issue? How does political agenda setting work and what do certain policy outcomes tell us about the future of the issue at stake?
This course is designed to outline key features of policy advice and political consulting and their impact on governance.
We will observe the key players on the spot as well as those behind the scenes and we will analyze their patterns of interaction. Moreover, we will provide insights regarding essential questions to which there are no single right answers: What role does policy advice play in different democracies? What is good policy advice? What makes an expert? In sum: Whom do (and should) politicians and society listen to, and what do (and should) they make of the advice they receive?

What do I learn?

By the end of the course, students will know the key concepts of policy advice as well as the main actors in the field and their patterns of interaction. They will understand how and by whom a certain political decision is framed, shaped and implemented. And they will be able to apply this knowledge to a given political event which may affect their own professional or personal life. So, first and foremost, they will be able to ask the right questions.

What do I need to know

The course is designed to cater for students and professionals who are interested in decision making, political communication, policy advice, and consulting. Course participants are expected to follow current politics and to be keen on looking at the matter from different (and sometimes unusual) perspectives. Basic knowledge in political science would be an asset.

Syllabus

Chapter 1        Introduction and Course Overview
Convener: Prof. Dr. Andrea Römmele, Professor for Communication in Politics & Civil Society, Hertie School of Governance

Chapter 2        Truth to Power? Scientific Advisers Seeking Truth, Decision-Makers Seeking Power?
Convener: PD Dr. Martin Thunert, Senior Lecturer, Heidelberg Center for American Studies, University of Heidelberg

Chapter 3        Political Communication and Political Consulting
Convener: Prof. Dr. Andrea Römmele, Professor for Communication in Politics & Civil Society, Hertie School of Governance

Chapter 4        Economic and Financial Policy
Convener: Prof. Dr. Thomas König, Chair of Political Science, University of Mannheim

Chapter 5        Social Policy
Convener: Prof. Dr. Kent Weaver, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Professor of Public Policy and Government at Georgetown University

Chapter 6        Foreign and Security Policy
Convener: Dr. Nicole Renvert, Postdoc Fellow, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg

Chapter 7        Energy and Environment
Convener: Prof. Dr. Karen Smith Stegen, KAEFER Professor of Renewable Energy and Environmental Politics, Jacobs University, Bremen

Chapter 8        Policy Advice in International Cooperation
Convener: Katharina Hübner, Senior Manager, Division Good Governance and Human Rights, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Chapter 9        Citizens’ Involvement in Policy Advice
Convener: Henrik Schober, Head Editor, Zeitschrift für Politikberatung (Journal for Political Consulting and Policy Advice), Hertie School of Governance

Chapter 10        Best Practices: Guidelines for Policy Advice?
Convener: Prof. Dr. Andrea Römmele, Professor for Communication in Politics & Civil Society, Hertie School of Governance

Taught by

Henrik Schober, Eva Savinova and Dr. Andrea Römmele

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