Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


nl en

Decision-Making in Multi-level Governance Systems



This course introduces students to the variety of decision-making processes and procedures in international settings: from the densely institutionalized setting of European Union policymaking to the more informal and unregulated setting of global political decision-making. We will use a variety of decision-making theories (from rational choice/game-theoretic to discursive approaches and constructivist approaches) to explore such topics as power, conflict, collective choice, public choice, strategic behavior, and decision-making under uncertainty.

Course objectives

  • Understand and compare the key theories and concepts in state-of-the-art policy-making and decision-making literatures

  • Advanced understanding of how multi-level governance systems constrain or enable decision-making on complex transnational policy issues

  • Advanced understanding of the complexity of decision-making situations in which real actors are confronted with

  • Identify and apply effectively a relevant theoretical framework to analyze real life problems and cases in a conceptually rigorous manner

  • Critically evaluate the effects of various multi-level decision-making systems on the outputs and outcomes of international and European policy processes

  • Build, present and defend well-grounded arguments in oral communication*


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Seminars (mandatory)

  • Further structured study (preparation for team presentations and writing final essay)

  • Self-study (course reading)

Course Load

  • Lectures (7 hours)

  • Seminars (8 hours)

  • Further structured study (15 hours)

  • Self-study (110 hours)

Assessment method

  • Multiple choice quizzes (20%)

  • Team presentation (30%)

  • Individual written assignment (24 hours) (50%)

In order to pass the course, students must receive 1) a grade of 5.5 or higher on the written assignment; 2) a grade of 5.5 or higher on the multiple choice quiz component; and 3) a grade of 5.5 or higher on ALL components averaged together.

Re-takes. A re-take for the written assignment will be provided in the regular resit period. One additional quiz will be provided in the regular resit period for students who do not receive a grade of 5.5 or higher on the quiz component. If a student passes the written assignment component AND quiz component, but still has an insufficient grade (5.0 or lower), an oral examination will be given as “re-take” for the presentation component.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.


The Blackboard site will be available for students at least one month before the start of the class so that students can enroll in the site and receive updates when new content is posted. A course outline and other information will be posted on Blackboard one week before the start of the course.

Reading list

TBA by 1 September.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Dr. Brendan J. Carroll (Schouwburgstraat, B1.07), office hours by appointment.
E-mail: b.j.carroll@fgga.leidenuniv.nl