nl en

Politics of the Policy Process: Policy Reform and Change




Admission requirements

Institutions of Governance & Development


This course explores the interactions between politics and policy, in processes of designing and implementing reforms to promote desired societal goals relevant to global challenges. Reforms refer to changes in government policies or institutional rules in order to address a problem that stands in the way of achieving goals of peace, sustainability, prosperity or equality. Drawing on historical experiences of both developed and developing countries, we will examine the conditions under which reforms are or are not undertaken when they are needed for the good of society. We will do this by exploring policies as outcomes of interactions between politicians and bureaucrats, and interest groups who help them acquire and retain power. Processes of policy reform both face economic constraints and generate benefits/outcomes that affect future distributions of power within society. Policy change is ultimately underpinned by conflict, bargaining and contestation -- the conditions for which are shaped by both domestic and external actors and social forces. In this context, we will deploy the theoretical lens of political economy to explore the two-way interaction between politics and policy.

Course objectives

To develop a critical understanding of:

  • how political and economic power interact in policy reform processes

  • the policy-making process and the roles of politicians, bureaucracies and interest groups in shaping outcomes relevant to global challenges

  • domestic and international political economy dynamics that structure the conditions for policy reform

To hone skills in:

  • public presentation

  • critical analysis and reflexivity

  • policy application of theoretical constructs.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.


Seminar presentation (20%)
Reflection paper (30%)
Final exam (40%)
Class Participation (10%)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact