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Essentials in Public Administration


This doctoral course is open to all PhD students interested in logics of public administration, public policy and public management.
It is part of the Swiss doctoral program “Public Administration” jointly offered by the University of Lausanne, the University of Berne and the Università della Svizzera italiana.
The course is piloted by Prof. Villeneuve of the Università della Svizzera italiana and Prof. Mark Thatcher of the London School of Economics. It will take place on November 17th and 18th in Lugano Switzerland.

While broadening student’s horizons, this course also aims at ‘forcing’ students to actively engage with the texts, to debate their ramifications and implications and to confront other points of view. A PhD program would not be complete without the reading, discussing and debating of the main issues and subject in one’s field of study.
This course has two specific objectives:

  1. Give PhD students a direct link to the key readings in public administration.
  2. Give PhD student the opportunity to discuss and debate the main aspects of their discipline.

Course Format and Preparation
This course is focused on the reading, analyzing, presenting and discussing of some of the most central contributions in the field of Public Administration.

One person will be responsible to present the article and two others will serve as discussants, making critical comments on the text.

Assignment for presenters:

  • Preparation of a one-page-summary of the specific article and an introductory 5 min. presentation of the content of the article.
  • The summary of the article’s content can be supplemented by information regarding author(s) and time period.
  • Make sure to bring copies for everyone.
Assignment for discussants:
  • 5 min. discussion of the article’s content, strengths and weaknesses etc.
  • Underline the issue that are raised for public administrations and for the study of public administration.
  • Preparation of two or three important questions for the whole group.
Location: USI in Lugano
Dates: 17th and 18th of November.
Fees: Free for all PhD students (irrespectively of institution of origin)
Schedule: 09h15 to 12h30 and 14h00 to 17h00 (16h00 on the 2nd)

For academic questions: Prof. Jean-Patrick Villeneuve
For logistical questions: Ms. Laetitia Mathys



Thatcher M.

Course director

Villeneuve J.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year