Power and Policy Making

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Power and Policy Making

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, International Relations, Public Policy Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course addresses a number of fundamental questions relating to the nature of public policy process by examining a range of relevant concepts and theories, and evaluating their validity through an analysis of a number of specific policy areas.

    Course Introduction
    Who influences or controls the public policies that shape our lives? How do they exercise power over public decision making, and influence the values that underlie public policy agendas? Given that power can be exercised in ways that are subtle and not easily observed, how can we tell that power is being applied? This course addresses these questions through a critical evaluation of concepts and theories of political power and an analysis of the exercise of power in specific policy areas. Students are introduced to a range of contending theoretical approaches, and then get to apply and test the practical relevance and utility of these approaches in helping us to understand the nature and complexity of political decision making.

    Course Aims
    This course introduces students to a series of concepts and theories which can be used in understanding public policy processes, the nature of power and decision making, and the relationship between these processes and the broader political system. The focus is on the critical evaluation of these alternative theoretical approaches. The course then applies these concepts and theories to specific policy areas and issues to test their relevance and utility in helping us to understand the nature of political decision making.

    The overall aims of this course are thus to, first, provide students with the theoretical tools to develop a thorough understanding of public policy processes; and second, to use these theoretical tools in the consideration and analysis of specific policy areas and issues.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 Appreciate and understand, the various pressures of public policy processes and outcomes.
    2 Assess and analyse contending perspectives and theories on the nature of policy processes.
    3 Apply the understanding of the policy process to a range of specific policy areas and issues.
    4 Apply the capacity for critical thought and analysis to both specific policy cases studied in the course but also to all areas of study and in professional work.
    5 Enhance your capacity for oral and written communication, analytical thinking, problem solving, critical evaluation and information literacy.

    Assessment Summary
    Seminar Contribution-Weighted 10%/10
    Mini Tests (4)-Weighted 40%/40
    Essay-Weighted 50%/50

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.