This seminar is the second part of the introductory module of the Master programme “Comparative Public Governance”. Building on the definition and foundations of comparative public governance provided in the first part of the introduction module taught in Twente, this course deepens and widens the analysis of key challenges of comparative public governance. It addresses current and future challenges for which solutions have to be found not only at the global and European, but also at the national, regional and local levels.
The seminar revolves around a range of “wicked problems” that challenge the problem-solving capacity of governance arrangements at various levels. These challenges include, inter alia, migration, climate change, poverty and social inequality, the erosion of democratic standards etc. What makes these issues particularly challenging is that they typically require collaboration between public and private actors, between actors at different levels of governance, from the local to the European or even global level, and between actors from different jurisdictions (countries, provinces/Länder, local authorities etc.).
The first part of the course will discuss theoretical angles to understand how public governance is challenged by such problems and what solutions could be devised. The second part then turns to group research projects. Each of these projects focuses on one particular challenge. Students are expected to do research on how these challenges are tackled politically. Which actors at which levels of governance are involved in the governance of these challenges? What policy solutions are currently produced? How effective are these policy solutions? What could be done to increase the effectiveness of the policy solutions? To what extent do (inside or outside) actors contest the legitimacy of the governance arrangement? The results of these research projects will be presented and discussed in the third part of the seminar.
In order to pass the seminar, students are required to prepare the reading assignments, participate in one of the research groups and write a term paper based on the results of the research projects.