824 Alternative Approaches in Understanding Public Administration

824 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: 20
  • Other forms of study: 70
  • Individual work: 90
  • 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: Pathology, Psychoanalysis and Policy Science
  • Basics of Interpretive Analysis: Language, Political Psychology and Interpretation
  • Critical Discourse Analysis QDA
  • 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
  • The Silence of the Agency: Mimicry and the Personnel in Public Administration
  • Case Study A: How to Find the Exit from Mobbing Situation Using Counter-Discoursive Tecniques?
  • Case Study B: Understanding the Traumatic Discourse of the Client in the Administration Process
  • Case Study C: Public Servant's Approach to Resolve Issus Concerning specific Problems of a Particular Marginal Group

3. Readings

  • Alschuler, Lawrence R. 2009. The politics of complexes. Psychotherapy & Politics International, vol. 7 issue 2, p108-121.
  • Freire, Paulo. 2000. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York & London: Continuum (126-195).
  • Jun, Jong S., 2006. The Social Construction of Public Administration. Albany: State University of New York Press (1-42).
  • Kugler, Paul. The Alchemy of Discourse: Image, Sound and Psyche. Daimon Verlag (21-40) .
  • Samuels, Andrew. 2007. Politics on the Couch: Citizenship and the Internal Life. Karnac Books (253 strani).
  • Samuels, Andrew. 2004. The Political Psyche. Taylor & Francis (1-98).
  • Yanow, Dvora & Peregrine Schwartz-Shea. 2014. Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn. Armonk: M.E. Sharp (1-146).
  • Vezovnik, Andreja. Diskurz. 2009. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za družbene vede (19-84).

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.

5. Learning and teaching methods

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

6. Assessment

Type (examination, oral, coursework, project):

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