Introduction to Public Administration

Course description Introduction to Public Administration
Year: 2016-2017
Catalog number: 6453728
  • Dr. W.J. van Noort
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 5
Level: 200
Period: Semester 1, Block I
  • Yes Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class


Public administration is concerned with policy making, public management and the political – administrative relations.
In this introductory course we will discuss the basic issues and concepts of public administration, such as:

  • The characteristics of public organizations;
  • The policy cycle and the factors that influence the effectiveness and transparency of public policy programs;
  • The leadership styles of public administrators and the legal, political, social and administrative context of public organizations;
  • The most important management doctrines: Human Resources Management, New Public Management, Public Network Management;
  • The accountability of public administrators and the possibility of administrative ethics;
  • The institutional characteristics of public administration in the Netherlands and the EU.

We will discuss the classical handbook Public Administration: An Action Orientation by Denhardt & Denhardt and some articles. In weekly assignments the students have to discuss the literature and apply the theoretical concepts to current issues of public administration, like the refugee crisis in Europe.

Course objectives

  • Students should acquire knowledge of the basic concepts of public administration regarding the policy cycle, public management and public organizations.
  • Students should acquire a profound understanding of the most important doctrines of public management.
  • Students should acquire knowledge of the most important public institutions of the Netherlands and the EU.
  • Students must be able to apply the concepts of public administration to analyze current policy issues and the performing of public organizations
  • Students must be able to reflect on the ethical issues of public administration.


To be announced by OSC staff.

Mode of instruction

Seminars (compulsory).

Course Load

Total course load:140 hours
Seminars:14 hours
Weekly assignments:30 hours
Studying literature: 56 hours
Paper: 40 hours

Assessment method

5 weekly assignments (50% ), in which students have to discuss the literature and apply the literature to governance issues. There is no option for compensation.
A paper (10 pp.; 50%), in which students have to report on a small research.


Blackboard will be available a week before the start of the course.

Reading list

Robert B. Denhardt, Janet V. Denhardt & Tara A. Blank, Public Administration. An Action Orientation. Cengage Learning, Seventh revised edition, 2013.
Some articles, available on blackboard.


To be announced by OSC staff. ### Contact

Dhr. Dr. W.J. Van Noort


This course is part of the minor and open for exchange students