Success and Failure of European Policy Implementation

lspri2055  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Success and Failure of European Policy Implementation
5.00 credits
30.0 h
Aubin David; Brans Marleen; Brenton Scott (compensates Aubin David);
Main themes
The first sessions will introduce an analysis framework to public policies, as well as present the comparative method. Then, a lecture will introduce the major features of theory. It could also introduce the selected theme of the year In a third part, particular theoretical aspects of this year's object will be submitted to a comparative analysis of public policies. This work will be presented by the students and discussed in regards to weekly readings. Each session combines oral presentations in class and a discussion animated by the students through the oral presentation of weekly readings. The students will have to read a syllabus and a series of texts before each ses-sion.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Objectives for the student : - learn to manipulate theory helping in the understanding of major issues related to public policies in the world ; - master the different steps of a compared analysis of public policies ; - critically discuss a range of public policies in different sectors and countries ; - be aware of the questions and issues of multi-level governance.
The general question that is addressed in this course is:
  • What explains similarities and differences in the member states’ implementation of European policies? What explains the success and failure of European policy implementation?
  • Can we find the answers in different cultures, institutions, politics, or a mix of all these variables? 
The first part of the course consists of a series of lectures (on campus) that tackle the method of comparing public policies cross-nationally from a theoretical point of view. Particular attention is given to the similarities and differences of public policies across Europe, the impact of European policies, and the explanation of laggards’ and forerunners’ positions in domestic policy implementation. These themes are addressed in four different sessions:
  • Doing research on public policy
  • Comparison and its methodological traps
  • What has been compared?
  • Implementation of European Policies: Europeanization and Implementation Theory
During the second part, the students experience the possibilities and limitations of the method in practice. Students have to write, present, and discuss a paper in which the domestic implementation of a European public policy is compared cross-nationally.
Teaching methods
To reach the objectives, the course is divided into two parts. The first part consists of a series of lectures (online and/or on campus) that tackle the method of comparing public policies cross-nationally from a theoretical point of view. Students are advised to read the course materials in advance so they can actively participate during classes.
During the second part, the students experience the possibilities and limitations of this method in practice. A paper is to be written by the students in group in which they compare the implementation of a European public policy cross-nationally. Both UCLouvain and KU Leuven students can improve their work by actively making use of question and answer sessions with the respective didactic team, and of peer review. Each group has to present its paper during a final session in May, in which they also discuss another group’s paper.
Evaluation methods
Characteristics of the evaluation
The exam consists of writing, presenting, and discussing a paper in which they analyse the success and failure of the domestic implementation of a European public policy is compared cross-nationally. Students have to write and present this paper in group. The evaluation for this course consists of five partial evaluations:
  • A group paper
  • An intermediate peer evaluation
  • A group presentation
  • A group discussion of another paper
  • Participation and attendance during contact hours
  • Peer assessment
The submission deadline and other deadlines are decided by the lecturer(s) and communicated via Moodle.
Determination of the end result
The course is evaluated by the lecturer(s), as communicated via Moodle and in compliance with the examination regulations. The result is calculated and communicated as an integral number on 20.
The final result is a weighted number, defined as follows:
  • Group paper: 15/20
  • Intermediate peer evaluation: 1/20
  • Group presentation: 1/20
  • Group discussion: 1/20
  • Participation and attendance during contact hours: 1/20
  • Peer assessment: 1/20
The grades for this course are given according to the quality of the paper, the quality of the intermediate peer evaluation, the quality of the presentation, the quality of the critical discussion of another group’s paper, and participation and attendance during contact hours. The grades can also differ based on a peer assessment. Further requirements are specified during the lectures, and in separate documents on the electronic learning platforms.
All deadlines must be respected. Negotiation about any deviation is impossible. In case of any exceptional circumstances, students are required to contact the faculty’s ombudsperson prior to the respective deadline. If (one of) the deadline(s) is not met, the complete course will be evaluated as a ‘not taken’ (NA) unless a new submission deadline has been determined due to exceptional circumstances.
If the student does not participate in one (or more) out of several partial evaluations of the course, the student receives a ‘not taken’ (NA) for the complete course.
Students are fully responsible for submitting papers and assignments free of fraud and plagiarism and are requested to comply with the Faculty’s relevant regulations.
Retake exam
Students who fail this course get a second examination chance during the third examination period. The format of the evaluation may be different from the first examination format. The second examination chance consists of an individual assignment, i.e. a revised version of the group paper as well as a discussant note. A presentation is not required. Achieved results for participation and attendance during contact hours and peer assessment will no longer be taken into account for the retake exam. The concrete modalities for the third examination period are communicated at the beginning of July via Moodle.
Other information
The course is taught in English only and alternatively held in Louvain-la-Neuve and Leuven.
Online resources
The following course materials are used during this course:
  • Slides & hand-outs: Slides are used in each session of the course, made available via Moodle. Students are advised to take notes during the lectures.
  • Compulsory readings: A reader, made available via Moodle. 
  • Recommended readings: A list of recommended readings is included in the course outline, made available via Moodle.
Extra course documents: During class, additional documents may be distributed to the students.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Public Administration

Master [120] in Political Sciences: General