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Introduction to Public Administration



This course is open to Students of the Minor Public Administration Multi-Level Governance: id en Management, and Leiden University students (elective/keuzevak). Per group a max amount of students is determined.


Public administration is concerned with policy making, public management and the political – administrative relations.
In this introductory course we will discuss the basic issues and concepts of public administration, such as:

  • The characteristics of public organizations;

  • The policy cycle and the factors that influence the effectiveness and transparency of public policy programs;

  • The leadership styles of public administrators and the legal, political, social and administrative context of public organizations;

  • The most important management doctrines: Human Resources Management, New Public Management, Public Network Management;

  • The accountability of public administrators and the possibility of administrative ethics;

  • The institutional characteristics of public administration in the Netherlands and the EU.

Course objectives

  • Students should acquire knowledge of the basic concepts of public administration regarding the policy cycle, public management and public organizations.

  • Students should acquire a profound understanding of the most important doctrines of public management.

  • Students should acquire knowledge of the most important public institutions of the Netherlands and the EU.

  • Students must be able to apply the concepts of public administration to analyze current policy issues and the performing of public organizations.

  • Students must be able to reflect on the ethical issues of public administration.



Mode of Instruction

Seminars (compulsory).

Course Load

Total course load:140 hours
Seminars:14 hours
Weekly assignments:30 hours
Studying literature: 56 hours
Paper: 40 hours

Assessment method

5 weekly assignments (50%), in which students have to discuss the literature and apply the literature to governance issues. There is no option for compensation.
A paper (10 pp.; 50%), in which students have to report on a small research.


Blackboard will be available a week before the start of the course.

Reading list



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.


D.A.G.T. van Osch MSc MA