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Decision Making and Policy Implementation in the EU



Objectives: 1. The course will contribute to the knowledge related objective of the Research Master’s programme by providing students with a thorough grounding in the current developments in the literature on European Union decision making and the implementation of EU policy measures in the member states. 2. The course will contribute to the skills related objectives of the programme by guiding the students in conducting a joint research project in the field: jointly identifying the relevant gaps in the research agenda, selecting a research topic and defining the appropriate method and approach to data collection and then evaluating the results. In this way, the course will make a major contribution to developing the students’ research related skills.

Content: This seminar we focus on how European policy, as specified by a regulation or a directive, is implemented in member states. Students will analyze the process that leads to the implementation of the policy, including the process of transposition, which is crucial for directives. To understand potential factors that may hinder, or stimulate, smooth implementation, we will focus on the current literature on EU compliance and the more traditional public administration literature on policy implementation. There are striking parallel developments in these literatures, which are worth further exploration.

As part of this course, students need to analyze empirically, together with the instructor, a topic on implementation in one or more EU member states. This assignment includes the development of a research design, a review of relevant studies, the development of one or more hypotheses or expectations based on current implementation theories, the collection of data, and finally, some exploration or testing. The resulting paper should aim to make a contribution to the implementation literature, both in European compliance research as well as Public Administration.

Method of instruction

The mode of instruction is close interaction between professor and student in tutorial format.

In part I of the course, the students familiarize themselves with the core literature and most recent research regarding decision making in the EU after the coming into force of the Lisbon treaty and the current research trends in implementation research. The students will report on the key findings of these two bodies of literature and discuss these with the instructor. They also report and discuss identifiable gaps in the research agenda in the field.

In part II the student undertakes guided research on one of the topics identified in part I together with the instructor.

Study material

A selection of articles from the most prominent academic journals in the field.


The main components for the assessment will be the report on the literature for part I and the draft article produced as end result of the guided research for part II.


Do 6-9-2012 09:00 11:00 CDH-SCHOUW teachers room
Do 13-9-2012 09:00 11:00 CDH-SCHOUW teachers room
Do 20-9-2012 TBA
Do 27-9-2012 09:00 11:00 CDH-SCHOUW teachers room
Do 4-10-2012 09:00 11:00 CDH-SCHOUW teachers room
Do 11-10-201209:00 11:00 CDH-SCHOUW teachers room
Do 18-10-201209:00 11:00 CDH-SCHOUW teachers room