The emergence of a New Industrial Era propelled by globalization and strategic applications of information technology (IT) has transformed the public affairs environment in which calls for government reform have risen, old-line industrial bureaucracies have declined, and a rapid thickening of transnational interactions has reorganized global patterns of competition and cooperation. How do public decision-makers and legacy systems of policy and administration respond?
Comparative study helps answer the question. Using Barcelona and Spain, as a base of operations, students have a fertile environment in which to examine the current challenges and changes confronting public policy makers and managers in the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). Examples of public problem solving channeled through multiple layers of governance in both the EU and US illustrate how complex systems respond to the global pressures for change and innovation.
Seminar: V482/V582 – Policy, Governance and Management in a Multi-‐Level World: Concepts (3 credits): Examination of the adaptations and innovations that occur when complex policy and administrative systems confront global demands for change. Theoretical and grounded analyses focus on three layers: (1) The new environment within which global collaboration occurs; (2) changes in national systems of policy-making and administration; (3) strategies and innovations at regional and local levels of governance.
Seminar: V482/V582 – Policy, Governance and Management in a Multi-‐Level World: Applications (3 credits): Examination of case problems that arise when public policy makers and administrators respond to global challenges and demands for change. Possible topics include: Patterns of transnational competition and collaboration, reform of national policy-making and administration, innovations at subnational and local levels of governance.
Both courses count as electives in the following SPEA majors at the undergraduate level: Public management, policy studies, and policy analysis. Both courses count as electives in the following MPA concentrations: Public management, policy analysis, comparative and international administration. The courses may count in specialized concentrations with the advice of an academic adviser.
Class Preparation – Prior to Arrival in Barcelona: Students should attend three spring meetings and lectures as announced (times and places TBA) and plan to have read assigned background material about Spain and its society, economy and government as well as a basic summary of Spanish history. Relevant free sources are available on the Internet. They are:
- U.S. State Department country study of Spain Interested students might wish also to peruse the 1988 Library of Congress analysis of Spain referenced in the State Department Web page.
- World Bank country data for Spain
- International Monetary Fund, Data and Statistics for Spain - “Country Info”
- European country report for Spain - upper left under “How the EU Works.”
Grades: Student grades will be based on in-class oral presentations of required reading, class discussion, team project reports, and individual papers due at the end of the summer. Separate teams of undergraduate and graduate students will define and execute an independent research project with the assistance of IBEI research staff.
Syllabus Outline and Class Topics:
Week 1 – Global Change Happens
A. Comparative Study and Global Benchmarking as a Modern Fact of Life
B. The Environmental Triple Shift
C. A Global Grid Emerges
D. Comparison of EU and USA
E. Team Research Projects Defined
Excursion #1: Barcelona Old and New
Week 2 – Mandate for Change
A. Golden Straitjacket Rules Challenge Legacy Systems
B. The Strategic Triangle: Governance, Policy, and Administration
C. Nations Respond: Spain, EU and US
D. Autonomous Regions and States Adapt
E. Cities as Centers of Innovation
Double Excursion #2 and #3: Madrid AND Toledo
Week 3 – Thinking About Change
A. Designing Complex Systems
B. New Rules
C. Understanding the R-Words in:
D. Strategies for Change
E. New Designs for Intergovernmental Relations
Excursion #4: The Creative Side of Barcelona
Week 4 – Thinking About Innovation
A. Defining Innovation
B. New Governance Patterns
C. New Policy Initiatives
D. New Modes of Operation
E. Using IT in New Public, Private, and Nonprofit Blends
AUGUST 30: INDIVIDUAL PAPERS DUE
FALL DEBRIEFING: TBA
1. The course is designed to make the seminar location itself the object of systematic study. Students will live in international student housing next to (5 minutes) the modern urban UPF campus in which all morning classes will be held. On Thursday afternoons, students will migrate to IEBI in the medieval part of the city for afternoon classes associated with the applications course and research projects. All facilities are modern, air conditioned, and offer excellent technical systems support in a Wi-Fi environment. By using their transportation passes to circulate among several classroom locations and field trip sites, students can learn how a very old and vibrant city actually operates and interacts with the many layers of a complex international environment.
2. All classes will be taught in English with easy access to English reading materials at both IBEI with its adjoining foundation library and the very modern UPF library. Students will also have access to staff assistants to help them find and translate documents and data. Thursday evening roundtables will bring knowledgeable practitioners and scholars to the classroom to discuss current case problems. The Friday on-site case studies will expose students to the operating realities and competing approaches to specific public policy problems.
3. Language instruction in Spanish and Catalan will be offered three days per week for at least the first three weeks with two purposes in mind: First, to smooth the student introduction to Spanish and Catalan culture and, second, to facilitate the development of student research projects that will make use of Spanish statistics and information for which local instructors will also serve as advisers. Language instruction will be divided into beginning and intermediate sections that students may choose based on their level of interest and previous training.
4. Four excursions will augment classroom instruction, roundtable discussions, and field trips. The first is an introductory orientation and historic overview of the City of Barcelona prior to holding classes. The double excursion to Madrid and Toledo will introduce students, respectively, to Spain’s national institutions of governance and also take students to the deep core of Spanish history and culture that explores the City of Madrid and includes a Sunday tour of the history, art, and architecture of Toledo, a short bus ride from Madrid. Finally, a fourth excursion will explore the possible relevance of Catalan art and culture to the modern demand for creativity and innovation in public problem solving.
Barcelona 2012 Course Schedule (Please click to enlarge schedule)
V482 is in the following undergraduate majors. To find out how this fits into your specific degree, please see your academic advisor.
Overseas Program Specialist