0824 Alternative Approaches in Understanding Public Administration

0824 Alternative Approaches in Understanding Public Administration

  • Study programme and level: University degree programme Public sector governance 1st Cycle
  • 2nd or 3rd year
  • 6 ECTS
  • Course type: Elective
  • Lectures: 30
  • Other forms of study: 90
  • Individual work: 60
  • Lecturer: Mitja Durnik, PhD

1. Objectives and competences


  • in-depth understanding of the content and combining knowledge in the field of policy analysis and public administration with other scientific disciplines,
  • Acquisition of a broader set of skills that assure  students advantages in employment and professional career in public administration and broader,
  • Raising the quality of work with individuals and groups,


  • the ability of analytical and integrative  thinking in the field of multidisciplinarity,
  • the ability for critical analysis and problem solving, particularly in relation to vulnerable groups,
  • the ability of self-reflection and ethical conduct in dealing with complex social problems and deeper understanding of the everyday problems of clients in administrative matters.

2. Content

  • The Changing Nature of Public Administration Operation
  • Away from Predictable Models: »Public Policies are not Solely Measurable Category«
  • Public Administration as Organism
  • Lasswell's Starting Point: Psychoanalysis and Policy Science
  • Basics of Interpretive Policy Analysis: Language, Political Psychology and Interpretation
  • Critical Discourse Analysis in Public administration.
  • Language and the Unconsciousness: The Contribution of the Analytical Psychology
  • Discourse Analysis in Public Administration Organizations
  • Theory of Metaphor and Discourse Analysis
  • Political/Public-Administrative Archetypes
  • How to Understand Personal Complexes of the Staff in Public Administration?
  • The Phenomenon of Cultural Complexes in Public Administration

3. Readings

  • Riccuci, Norma (2010). Public Administration : Traditions of Inquiry and Philosophies of Knowledge. Washington, D.C. : Georgetown University Press (21-40) (19 str.).
  • Farmer, J. D. (2015). Public Administration in Perspective: Theory and Practice Through Multiple Lenses. Routledge (1-40) (40 str.).
  • Alschuler, L. R. (2009). The politics of complexes. Psychotherapy & Politics International, vol. 7 issue 2, 108-121 (13 str.).
  • Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York & London: Continuum (126-195) (69 str.).
  • Samuels, A. (2004). The Political Psyche, Taylor & Francis (1-98) (98 str.).
  • Yanow, D. &  Schwartz-Shea, P. (2014). Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn, Armonk: M.E. Sharp (1-50) (50 str.).

4. Intended learning outcomes

  • Students will understand broader political and administrative processes.
  • Unconventional approaches assure multi-level operation and dealing with professional issues concerning various  social groups that require different understanding and approaches due to their specific position in society.
  • Ability to analyse content in multidisciplinary context.
  • Combination of  methodological and theoretical approaches for the purpose of analysis.
  • Ability of understanding contemporary migration.

5. Learning and teaching methods

  • lectures;
  • e-learning;
  • use of e-communication tools to solve practical problems;
  • seminar paper;
  • group presentations;
  • problem based learning.

6. Assessment

  • written exam (50%)
  • coursework and active class participation (20%)
  • seminar work (30%)