The core of social organization is the process of ‘decision-making’ for those organizations. In contemporary societies, policy-making involves public, private, and international interactions operating in an increasingly complex environment.
Understanding decision-making processes is essential to understanding the limits and promise of collective organization that forms the very foundation of civilization – while also suggesting ways in which existing processes can be improved.
While the focus will be on decision-making in an organizational context and on policy-making in the public sector, substantial attention will also be paid to assumptions of individual decision-making processes that underpin different theories of collective decision-making processes. Discussions will directly address the application of our understanding of the policy process to international institutions and arrangements.
The core learning objectives for this course are:
- Students will be able to orient themselves in the intellectual landscape of theoretical and empirical understandings of individual and collective decision-making, and how these theories connect to public policy making.
- Students will develop an appreciation for complexity and challenges of governing collectives of individuals – and possibly reassess their own critique’s of policy-makers successes and failings.
- Special emphasis will be put on generalizing the arguments examined in this class for application outside of the context for which they were traditionally developed – including applications to international organizations, social clubs, and even groups of friends trying to choose a place to eat.
Please see the LUC website: www.lucthehague.nl
Mode of instruction
This course will be primarily seminar-based, with short lectures (30 -45 minutes long on average), with student preparation for classroom discussion forming a core component of the class. However, certain concepts may be demonstrated via classroom experiment or ‘serious games’.
- Verbal and interpersonal engagement with course material: assessed through In-class participation (20% of final grade):Ongoing Weeks 1 – 7
- Individual engagement with course readings: assessed through 3 reaction papers (25% of final grade):Each due 24 hours before readings are discussed
- Conversational immersion in course content : assessed in oral examination. 2 answers prepared in advance. 2 questions given during exam (25% of the final grade) :By appointment during Week 8
- Application of theoretical discussion to a particular policy area in one or more countries or contexts.: assessed in Final research/essay paper (30% of final grade): Proposal due by the beginning of Week 4: Sunday at 23:59- Final Paper due end of Week 8, Friday at 23:59
This course is supported by a BlackBoard site
Most readings will be disseminated via the course website. No more than one book should be required for purchase for this course. Please contact course instructor about whether a book is required for purchase
This course is only open for LUC The Hague students.
Dr. Brandon Zicha: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject to Change
Week 1: Theories of Individual Decision-Making: Rationality, Bounded Rationality, and Rule-based decision-making.
Week 2: Paradoxes and challenges of collective decision-making
Week 3: New Institutional Theories of Policy Making Domestically and Internationally
Week 4: Incrementalism vs. The Politics of Attention and Punctuated Equilibrium
Week 5: Policy Implementation & Policy Analysis
Week 6: Comparative Decision-Making Processes in Developed, Developing, Divided, and Globalized communities.
Week 7: Comparative Policy Outcomes
Week 8: Reading & Exams
Preparation for first session
Students should contact professor when enrolling for this course for the specific readings for the first session which will be made available by September 15th.