SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN208706
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module involves students in analysing the field of public policy and administration in the United States. The course begins with an examination of the basis of the American system of government and the institutions of the federal government of the United States. It considers contemporary themes in U.S. public management and administration, such as micromanagement and the reinventing government initiative, and involves students in analysing case studies in contemporary public policy.


Introduction:A review of the central principles of government and administration in the United States: federalism; separation of powers; the structure of government and the administrative process.The Legislative Role in Public Administration: Congress; the role of the committees; legislative oversight.The Executive: President, Cabinet, Executive Office of the President; the executive branch and policy administration.Bureaucracy: The US federal bureaucracy: the bureaucracy as a fourth branch of government; policy implementation; government-bureaucratic relations; bureaucratic politics.Contemporary Issues in Public Administration: Current debates in public administration: reinventing government; micromanagement.Case Studies in Public Administration: The final weeks of the module will consist of an examination of a number of public policy case studies, covering such areas as health care, environmental policy and education policy in the United States. Students will have a degree of choice as to the specific policy areas covered.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module, the student will have an understanding of the American system of government and the structure and procedure of the main institutions of government and administration in the United States. Also, students will be conversant with te main themes and issues underlying public policy and administration in the United States and be aware of the main academic texts in this field.In additin, students 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

In this module, teaching is delivered by way of lectures, seminiars and tutorials. There will be two lecture hours per week. In addition, students will have one seminar per week. Seminars consist of small group discussions and presentations, each seminar will cover a general topic area, and group discussion will focus on specific issues underlying the general topic. As an Honours option, the emphasis is on self-directed learning on the part of the student.

Indicative Reading

N. Bowles, The Government and Politics of the United States, MacMillan, 1993A. Grant, The American Political Process, 5th Edition, Dartmouth, 1994A. Grant ed., Contemporary American Politics, Dartmouth, 1995D. 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 2, Macmillan, 1994B. Guy Peters, The Politics of Bureaucracy, Longman, 1995

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 5.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
Assessment (FT) 70.00
Independent Learning (FT) 83.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 20.00 40% n/a
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 60.00 40% n/a
Coursework 0.00 20.00 40% n/a