Market, Identity and Governance Challenges


Course Objective

This course aims to discuss the governance challenges that relate to
contemporary ‘big problems’. Draw-ing on political science and public
administration, you will learn to critically reflect on factors that
make public governance increasingly complex (particularly the hegemony
of neoliberal economic ideology and the growing concern with
socio-cultural identity). This complexity raises questions regarding
the resili-ence of our contemporary societies. The course aims to
identify conditions that are crucial to resilient governance.

Learning objectives:

1. You know and are able to evaluate theories from political theory and
public administration on market, identity and governance challenges.
2. You are able to apply these theories and formulate research questions
and hypotheses that con-tribute to scientific thinking in the field.
3. You are able to explain the societal relevance of a research
question. (AKU 6)
4. You are able to reflect critically on governance research conducted
in the ISR. (KU4, JF10)
5. You have the skills to conduct a literature search: to use feasible
and relevant search terms for the domain, evaluate the quality of
research questions and theories, and make proper refer-ences.(JF10,
6. You are able to present the scientific and societal relevance of a
research question and relevant theories in a clear manner so that they
are understandable for stakeholders outside university. (C13)
7. You recognize factors that are vital to the resilience of
(governance) responses to current societal problems. (KU2, JF9)
8. You recognize both the transnational and local dimensions in
contemporary governance challeng-es. (KU2,AKU6, JF9)
9. You are able to link political science and public administration
perspectives on public governance issues. (AKU6, LS14)

Course Content

This course focuses on (the analysis of) contemporary governance
challenges. Increasingly, the govern-ments of nation states seem unable
to deal with the complexity of current social problems. Telling
exam-ples are climate change, refugee crisis and/or socio-economic
inequality. This complexity is caused by nu-merous drivers, but the
course will focus on two central forces that underlie the incapacitation
of national policy-making. First, the political-economy of
neoliberalism, transforming ‘the social’ and ‘the political’ into one
‘global marketplace’. Second, and related, there is a serious issue of
identity. Images of who we are, and to which (political) community we
belong, are weakening, feeding the growth of populist sentiments. In
part I of the course, different theoretical perspectives are presented
that explain how marketization and identity issues are related, and
produce serious concerns in the area of public governance.
In the remainder of the course (part II and part III), the focus shifts
towards two concrete manifestations of our central theme, the first one
focusing on ‘transnationalization’ of governance systems, the second on
‘localization’. Transnationalization seems required, given the growth of
global socio-economic interde-pendencies. However, this goes hand in
hand with complex identity issues. Localization, on the other hand, may
address these identity issues, but seems dysfunctional when it comes to
the question of gov-erning global interdependencies. Two empirical
cases will be discussed that highlight these dilemma’s, e.g. the Brexit
case (illuminating transnationalization dilemmas) and the
decentralization of welfare (illu-minating the localization dilemmas).
The course will end with a joint debate on the possibilities of
connecting global and local perspectives on public governance. Drawing
on the concept of ‘glocalisation’, students are challenged to think
about new ways of connecting economic and identity concerns by means of
governance approaches that take the ‘glocal’ nature of modern social
life into account.

Teaching Methods

Two meetings a week, with lectures, discussion of literature and
assignments; active participation is mamndatory

Method of Assessment

1. The midterm exam consists of five open ended questions (20% of the
final grade).
2. Final assignment (75% of the final grade). You can choose between two
different types of final assignments: writing a theoretical paper or
designing and presenting a poster (including extended abstract).
3. Research log and reflection assignment (5% of the final grade).


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General Information

Course Code S_MIGC
Credits 6 EC
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. W.A. Trommel
Examiner prof. dr. W.A. Trommel
Teaching Staff prof. dr. C.E. de Vries
prof. dr. W.A. Trommel

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study-group, Reading