This module is interested in studying the `how' in Lasswell's well-known definition of politics as being `who gets what, when, how'. Policy can be understood as the product or output of politics. Contemporary examples of public policy include the development of high speed rail links (HS2), cuts in public expenditure, education policy, environmental policy and investment in sport – all are the result of public policy decisions by politicians and bureaucrats.
The module introduces students to ways of understanding how and why such policy is developed by both the traditional institutions of government and more widely, in the era of governance, the wide range of actors influencing the policy decision making process. Indeed, the shift from `big' government to `new' governance by and through bureaucracy, networks and partnerships is a key theme throughout the module.