The International and European Governance specialisation of the master’s programme provides the essential theoretical background, knowledge and skills for the public leaders and policy makers of tomorrow to address the challenges of effective and legitimate governance in a globalised world. The specialisation integrates core research competences in the Institute of Public administration in themes which have at their centre our own inspiration to explore the challenges of governance between the national, supranational and global levels of governance.
The specialisation International and European Governance (IEG) is designed to enable students to gain a solid understanding of the complex nature of contemporary public governance arising from the interactions of supranational, international, national, and local actors and institutions. We prepare students to critically evaluate, implement and design public policies and programs fit for societal problems that transcend national and regional borders.
As with the other specialisations in the Master’s programme in Public Administration, this track builds on a common core of essential courses, familiarizing students with classic and state of the art approaches to institutions, public policy and public management. The specialisation courses focus on the role of international organizations in interaction with member states and non-state actors and in relation to prominent challenges for policy makers and citizens alike: the crisis of the Eurozone and its member states, the legitimacy of EU institutions and their ongoing institutional transformation, the role of the IMF and the World Bank for economic development and reforms worldwide, the role of organizations aiming to support democracy such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe. A subset of the specialisation courses analyses decision-making and policy making in the European Union and their effects on national and subnational actors (government as well as ministries, but also regional and local government), while another sub-set allows students to specialize in other international organizations and their tools and approaches to key aspects of governance such as economic reform (IMF, World Bank, OECD), public administration reform (OECD, EU), democratization (OSCE, Council of Europe, EU).
“How can we address humankind’s most pressing problems from the perspective of governance?”
Although these and many other challenges differ in many ways, they all share a common underlying dimension, namely public governance: to address them in a meaningful way we need knowledge about political, administrative and societal actors and processes.
In the Master we concentrate on the management, steering, and coordination of political, administrative, economic, and social actors and the formal and informal regimes and policy processes within which they act towards addressing collective social problems at regional, national, and international levels.
In our Master we will teach you that societal challenges are multi-level governance problems. For example, the Ebola disease started as a local governance problem of a few countries but transformed itself rapidly into a global problem due to the disease’s spread by means of modern transportation. We will also teach you that such societal challenges require a multi-disciplinary perspective. It requires the knowledge of economic, political, organizational, management and legal studies to gain a better understanding of them.
And, finally, we also will show you that societal challenges are transboundary problems. That is, they involve both the public and the private sector.
This is what we aim for then: educating future academics with the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and professional skills that are capable of addressing our most important challenges. We educate people who know that governments alone can no longer steer societies on their own but need partners to do the job. Thus, we educate knowledge entrepreneurs, capable of working within (semi) public as well as private organizations towards solving our pressing social and economic problems.
“The fundamental idea behind the International and European Governance specialisation is that today’s public problems go beyond national borders. Many of such global challenges, think for instance of sustainable energy, affect individual nation-states but no individual government can solve such problems alone. Therefore we need to understand how national governments work together in an effective and legitimate way to solve these problems.”
“International and European Governance as a field of study focuses on how we can address global challenges in today’s multi-level governance systems, where many political-administrative levels are interrelated. To better understand the implications of the International and European administrative landscape for solving global challenges, we analyse the mechanisms of international and EU governance, study the effect of multi-level governance on several core public challenges in depth, and examine management and decision-making processes in EU and international organizations.”
“Students of International and European governance acquire knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories of management, decision-making processes and institutions of EU and international institutions. They will also become familiar with state-of-the-art academic research in this field. In addition, we offer our students a solid toolkit of academic research methods and professional skills that prepares them for a job in either international or EU organizations or (sub)national organizations, which are confronted with cross-border global challenges.”