MASTER'S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE, PROGRAMME IN public policy

Presentation of the master

The  “Public policies” major draws on two observations:

  • Public policies are central to government ways and forms of exercising contemporary power;
  • They are key to understanding institutional transformation and change, be it in relation to States, the European Union, economics, capitalism, the welfare state, or bureaucracies.

The major focuses on the study of how political power at the local, national, European, international, and transnational levels is exercised today through multiple public policies.

  • Public policies are privileged scenes for observing processes of power distribution, of domination, of resource allocation, of regulation, and of population governance.
  • Public policies are central to the relationships that citizens form with the State and affect their perceptions and behaviors as beneficiaries, subjects, nationals, users, etc.
  • Public policies are also at the heart of party programs and a tool for managing public opinion.
  • Public policies are the subject of controversies on expertise and knowledge.
  • Public policies help reflect on the transformations affecting major institutions at the heart of contemporary societies (State, markets, firms, capitalism, bureaucracies, and the welfare state) and the dynamics of institutional change.

Objectives

The program is especially geared towards students considering academic careers  (research and teaching), as well as those considering careers as experts in international and national organizations, be they public or private, and generalist competitions to enter the civil service (national, international, and European).

Targeted skills

The program offers excellent training in political science that provides the following skills: the ability to design and implement a research project, a command of research tools, the ability to communicate research findings, the development of critical and independent thinking, and solid expertise on institutional change.

Program structure

Students admitted to the major will receive comprehensive training in public policy analysis, emphasizing its various theoretical approaches (historical, sociological and rational choice neo-institutionalism, policy process, political economy, multi-level governance theories, etc.) and its methods (from agenda building to implementation and evaluation).
The major in public policy follows a curriculum based on several pillars:

  • A selection of general political science courses chosen from the core curriculum (comparative politics, political behavior, international relations, political theory)
  • Advanced methodological training in qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as specific training in the different methods of public policy analysis
  • Specialization courses aimed at acquiring the theoretical foundations of public policy analysis, and allowing specific analyses of the challenges and dynamics of institutional change in various sectors (fighting inequalities and discrimination, climate change, neo-liberalization, financialization, managerialization, digitization)
  • A research thesis constituting a central element of the training.

It draws on the knowledge of a large and internationally renowned teaching team. 

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