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Public Management


Admission requirements

Course is only available for students of Public Administration.


Within the study of government, public management has become quite early a major field of interest. Apart from the classical bureaucratic model attention in much of public management literature is focused on improving the organization and management of public service delivery by looking to the private sector. Thus for a long period of time and certainly since the 1980s, generic approaches to public management have received much attention from practitioners and the scientific community alike Most recently, the so-called New Public Management approach is often seen as a prime manifestation of how private sector methods are used within the public sector. Though NPM should be seen as a broad managerialist movement than a coherent and uniform theoretical approach, most countries have experienced the introduction of NPM ideas within their own system of public service delivery at least in a formal sense and often on their own national terms. Though still popular in the factual government operations, both within government, society and academic circles NPM is being criticized for overlooking the special identity (the ‘publicness’) of government. That issue of publicness is considered of fundamental importance also in this course. Attention is increasingly focussed on new alternative approaches as post NPM and neo-Weberianism remedying the perceived shortcomings of this managerialist approach. The approaches are often still in an early stage of development and/or lack a sufficient degree of inner consistency. In order to get a better understanding on these current discussions on and future directions of public management and more in particular to get indications how to improve the management of public service delivery we have to examine the fundamentals of current public management debates. We often think of and discuss government or more generally to the public sector in formal and structural terms. In reality what government does is done through public officials and more in particularly the civil service. In this course we will pay ample attention to the civil service system and its role and defining tasks in public management activities.

Course objectives

  • Goal 1 Orientation on the content and foundations of various areas of public administration

  • Goal 2 Academic skills

  • Goal 3 Skills in social scientific research


The (provisional) timetable is on the first page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Three hours interactive lectures per week, including guest lectures.

Assessment method

Final exam
Course material is also obligatory for the exam as far as it is set out in sheets, handouts and other information media.


Blackboard site available

Reading list

  • Jos C.N. Raadschelders, Theo A.J. Toonen and Frits M. van der Meer (Eds.) (2007 or more recent). The civil service systems in the 21st century. London: Palgrave.

  • Articles to be announced.


Registration via USIS.


Dr. C.F. van den Berg

Remarks/ preparation for the first session