SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L208692
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module introduces students to the field of public administration within a comparative context. The course will begin with an examination of the nature of comparative analysis in public administration, and consider the analytical question of whether there are any RuniversalsS which guide public administration and management. Second, the course will examine the governmental and administrative process in three western democracies: the United States, Germany and France. The central focus on the module will be in the way in which governmental and administrative systems in these countries differ from each other and from those in the UK.


The Nature of Comparison in Public AdministrationThe Governmental Systems of the United States, Germany and FranceThe Public Bureaucracies and Administrative Systems in the United States, Germany and FranceCentral-Local Government Relations and Local Administration in the United States, Germany and FranceThe Judiciary in the United States, Germany and France, and its Role within the Governmental-Administrative System

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module, the student will have a clear understanding of the nature of comparison within the study of public administration and of the governmental and administrative systems of the United States, Germany and France. As such, students will possess a knowledge of public administration in a wider international context. They will be able to describe the main institutional and procedural elements of public administration in those countries studied within the module, and understand the reasons for differences in administrative systems between and across nations. In addition, students will have an understanding of the major debates on the question of comparative analysis in public administration and management.In addition, studetns will be able to satisfactorily complete essay-type assignments, make both formal and informal contributions to seminar discussions, and answer a range of questions under examination conditions on material covered in the syllabus.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered over one semester. The formal structure will comprise three lectures and one seminar per week. Students will be encouraged to do their own and directed reading through the use of specified texts and articles, most of which will be listed in a topic-based booklist. Seminar preparation and presentations represent an integral part of self-directed learning.

Indicative Reading

J.A. Chandler, ed., Local Government in Liberal Democracies, Routledge, 1993 D. Conradt, The German Polity, 5th Edition, Longman, 1993R. Hague, M. Harrop and S. Breslin, Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction, 3rd Edition, Macmillan, 1992P.A. Hall, J. Hayward and H. Machin, eds., Developments in French Politics, 2nd Edition, Macmillan, 1994D. McKay, American Politics and Society, 3rd Edition, Basil Blackwell, 1993G. Peele, C.J. Bailey and B. Cain, eds., Developments in American Politics, Macmillan, 1992G. Peele, C.J. Bailey,B. Cain and B. Guy Peters, eds., Developments in American Politics, 2nd Edition, Macmillan, 1994B. Guy Peters, The Politics of Bureaucracy, Longman, 1994W. Safran, The French Polity, 4th Edition, Longman, 1995G. Smith, W.E. Paterson, P.H. Merkl and S. Padgett, eds., Developments in German Politics, Macmillan, 1992Y. Meny, Government and Politics in Western Europe, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 1993V. Wright, The Government and Politics of France, 3rd Edition, Routledge, 1994

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 50.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Seminars (PT) 10.00
Independent Learning (PT) 96.00
Independent Learning (FT) 84.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 40% n/a
Coursework 0.00 50.00 40% n/a