Fundamentals of Public Policy


The goal of the course is to equip students with theoretical and practical knowledge of policy making process and teach them best practices of conducting policy analysis. The instructor draws largely on the concepts from economics, political science, and behavioral science to provide students with the tools essential for policy making/analysis.

The first part of the course introduces the main concepts of public policy analysis. Each lecture is dedicated to a different stage of the ‘policy cycle’ (agenda-setting, implementation and evaluation).

During each of those lectures, students acquire critical knowledge as to the central themes in the theory and practice of public policy. The training provides a systematic examination of core issues that arise in the process of designing, implementing, and evaluating strategic policies. The course also encourages a critical appreciation of the main trends in contemporary public policy-making.

The second part is designed to introduce some historical perspective on the public policy process in Ukraine, reforming of the Ukrainian state, society and economy from the early 1990s till nowadays. We will look at how political institutions and public policies have been shaped (often – involuntarily) by politics and (hidden) ideologies; how lack of policy decisions led to reactionary decision-making (‘policy of non-policy’) that resulted in political, social and economic stagnation. We shall proceed to discuss policies in specific areas such as public administration, public finance, monetary system, energy, education, public health, welfare.

Students will study based on academic research, policy documents, legislation, reports by international organizations, and Ukrainian analysts and researchers. In order to gain in-depth knowledge, we will invite guest speakers to discuss policies in specific sectors with the students. The course aims to look at the broader picture, understand reasonings, historical prerequisites and ideological connotations of the policy decisions in Ukraine. The core objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how to identify and manage the most common political impediments to policymaking across a range of policy issues.

This course equips students to be better agents of change by developing their understanding of why desirable policy changes are often not achieved, by identifying solutions to these common challenges, and by effectively communicating political analysis in the form of a polished policy memo.