The course focuses on the practice of "Public Affairs". Discussing different public affairs approaches, we examine to what extent corporate interest and individuals can influence the political processes and particularly changes in legislation. In the course, we will get to know institutions such as the European Commission, Parliament or Council or the US Federal Trade Commission as well as the (semi-)direct democracy of Switzerland and its specifics such as the militia system. In order to understand and apply Public Affairs strategies the course presents a toolbox of public affairs. The role of the media and the involvement of stakeholders are particularly emphasized.
The course addresses issues such as lobbying and corporate political activity, think tanks, grassroots initiatives, consultancies, stakeholder relations and the impact of corporate social responsibility on public affairs. Furthermore, a critical reflection on the use and misuse of Public Affairs and Lobbying is discussed by evaluating different codes of conduct for Public Affairs practitioners.
The course also includes a general introduction into the law-making processes and political systems of CH, EU, UK, USA and China.
Teaching will include a series of lectures, case studies, workshops and also informs about the basic principles of the political law making processes.
70 % exam
30 % individual assignment
Recommended as overall background reading:
- Harris, P.; Fleisher, C.: Handbook of Public Affairs. Sage 2005
- Fleisher, C. (2001), “Emerging US public affairs practice: the 2000+ PA model”, Journal of Public Affairs, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 44–52.
- Lerbinger, O. (2006), Corporate Public Affairs. Interacting with interest groups, media and government, Laurence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.
- Lock, Irina; Seele, Peter (2016): Deliberative Lobbying: Toward a Non-Contradiction of Corporate Political Activities and Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Management Inquiry.
- McGrath, C. (2005), Lobbying in Washington, London and Brussels. The persuasive communication on political issues, The Edwin Mellen Press, New York.
- Niessen, Alexandra; Ruenzi, Stefan (2010): Political Connectedness and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany. In: German Economic Review 11(4): 441–464
- Schilliger, Laura, Seele, Peter (2015): Company Level Localization and Public Affairs Officers Educational Background in Switzerland. Journal of Public Affairs. 15/1. 98-106. DOI: 10.1002/pa.1525
- Thomson, S. and John, S. (2007), Public Affairs in Practice: A Practical Guide to Lobbying (PR In Practice). Kogan Page, London, UK