Analyse de l’action publique

Analyse de l’action publique (SPOL1322 – 30h)

With the transformation of its object, with the pluralisation of its actors, instruments and intervention levels (regionalisation, Europeanization), as well as with a transformation of public action regulation modes (proceduralisation, contracting, evaluation, etc.), the analysis of public action is moving away from a state-centred, decisional and linear vision of public policies to a broader study of their construction and implementation processes. From a disciplinary point of view, the analysis of public action lies at the confluence of several approaches to Political Science and Sociology.

The issues and themes currently discussed in class are the following:
(i) definition and delimitation of public action
analysis as a discipline: history, object, research fields;
(ii) history and historicity of public action (at a macro level: periodisation of public action and contemporary characterisation; at a meso level: sequential approach of public action);
(iii) types and configurations of public action actors (institutional and emerging): administration, parties, interest groups, professional and users as policy makers;
(iv) theoretical perspectives: “instrumental” approach, “cognitive” approach, “neo-institutionalist” approach, “actors” approach;
(v) scales of public action (“multi-level governance”); and
(vi) evaluation of public action: instruments and instrumentalisation.

The Chair will enable a discussion of these important aspects of public policy analysis. Among other things, while presenting the typology of instruments used by governments, the Chair Holder will develop the example of the European carbon market, and its potential connection to an international carbon market, as foreseen by the EU; while explaining multi-level governance, the Chair will introduce the subsidiary principle and how it is applied to environmental issues within and outside the EU; and while discussing actors, the Chair will introduce the key role of the European Parliament in the international debate on biofuels and food security.