Course Description

Course Name

Comparative Public Policy

Session: VSOS3221

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course description

This course provides students with an opportunity to learn how to systematically compare public policies. It pays attention to the reasons behind similarities and differences of public policies in different countries. The course consists of three parts. The first part of the course introduces and discusses concepts, theories, and methods in comparative public policy. The second part covers real-case comparisons for problem-solving. Key public policy issues are examined in comparative perspectives. Finally, while examining cross-national policy learning and policy transfers, the course discusses the importance of comparative public policy in policy-making and formulation. The key purpose of the course is to strengthen students' capacity to compare public policies, to devise policy alternatives, and to enhance the ability to make good public policies.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students should be able to:

  • understand strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of comparative methods in comparing public policies
  • discuss merits and demerits of a range of theories in comparing public policies
  • apply key theories and methods to major public policy areas
  • discuss the importance of comparative public policy in policy learning and policy transfers



Key texts

Heidenheimer, A. L., Heclo, H. and Adams, C. T. (1990). Comparative Public Policy: The politics of social choice inAmerica,Europe and Japan. Third edition.New York:St. Martin?s Press.

Rose, R. (2005) Learning from comparative public policy: A practical guide.London andNew York: Routledge.

*Course content subject to change