Prospectus

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Democracy, Bureaucracy & Public Choice

Course 2012-2013

Democracy, Bureaucracy, Public Choice

Description

This course introduces the students to the economic theory of collective decision making (also known as ‘public choice’ or the positive theory of political decision making). Important insights based on this approach include Downs’ theory on party competition, Niskanen’s insights on the behavior of bureaucrats, and Olson’s work on collective action problems. In this course, we further explore the applications of this approach to various problems and dilemma’s in political science and public administration. In addition, we also discuss game-theory and the spatial theory of voting as analytical tools often used to make public choice arguments.
The course builds on the textbook of K.A Shepsle (and M.S. Bonchek) (1997 or 2010, Analyzing politics: rationality, behavior, and institutions. New York: Norton), which has been used in the BA in Public Administration, so students are advised to get familiar with this book in advance.

Course objectives

  • to introduce the public choice literature
  • to strengthen the skills of students to analyze collective decision making problems using game theory and spatial models
  • to help the students write research papers analyzing real-world collective decision making problems

Timetable

Monday 29-10-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01
Monday 5-11-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01
Monday 12-11-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01
Monday 19-11-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01
Monday 26-11-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01
Monday 3-12-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01
Monday 10-12-2012 10:00 13:00 CDH-SCHOUW A0.01

Mode of instruction

Lectures

Assessment method

Presentations, paper.

Reading list/Literature

  • Shepsle, Kenneth A. and Mark S. Bonchek (1997) Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company.
    or Shepsle, Kenneth A (2010) Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions. 2nd edition. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Articles (available through the University Library services).

Blackboard

Instructor uses Blackboard. This page is available approximately one month before the start of the course

Registration

Via USIS

Contact information

Dr. R. de Ruiter
r.de.ruiter@fsw.leidenuniv.nl