The world's first international Masters course on 'how to reform a government' for senior civil servants and government advisers from developing and transitional countries.
This international course is designed to prepare rising civil servants, and others working in and around government, for senior leadership positions. Specifically the course is concerned with the management of complex, interdependent economic and governmental reform programmes in countries undergoing rapid change - 'emerging markets', transitional former command economies, and developing countries.
The course is taught from the perspective of 'senior generalists' in government (cabinet secretaries, heads of civil service, chief presidential advisers) who typically carry the responsibility for successfully coordinating and driving forward the implementation of different components of economic and governmental reforms. The course is designed to help prepare students for such 'senior generalist' roles. The course is multidisciplinary and places much emphasis on international comparisons with respect to how complex reform interdependencies and conflicts are addressed in different ways in different cultures and constitutional contexts.
'Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them' - Albert Einstein
This course is designed to equip students for senior leadership roles in government, with a particular emphasis on preparation for 'senior generalist' roles at the top of the civil service, or in the top advisory teams of Presidents and Prime Ministers. Senior generalists face the difficult challenge, in practice, of supervising government ministers.
In line with course aims, the course has three key important features.
First it attempts comprehensiveness. To achieve this, it clusters reform issues into seven modules - covering all the critical reforms typically faced by governments.
Macro & Micro Economics
Public Administration & Finance focusing on health & education reforms
International Law focusing on trade policy and international conflict
Domestic Judicial Reform focusing on the legal system
Political System Reform which places emphasis on constitutional structures
Military & Security functions and the achievement of better use of resources and effectiveness.
There are therefore no electives or options.
Second, the course features particular emphasis in a theoretical context on how different reforms interact with each other - the interdependencies and conflicts that arise - and this is achieved both through a special eighth policy integration module, in preparation for the course dissertation, and through the central theme of 'interlinked reforms' within each of the seven other modules.
Third, the course develops intellectual leadership skills vital for 'senior generalists' in government - such as critical-issue identification, questioning of the theoretical foundations of controversies that governments must typically confront, and by exposure through guest lectures, to the thoughts and experiences of international politicians and leading thinkers.
The course is taught in the normal academic year, from September to May, in two 12-week semesters.
-Five modules in the first semester: Public Administration & Finance; Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Judicial and Domestic Legal Reform, and the first part of the Policy Integration (preparation for the dissertation) course. These are typical 'head of government' functions.
-Four modules in the second semester: Military & Security Reform, Political Systems & Democracy and International Law, plus the second part of the Policy Integration (preparation for the dissertation) course.
These two semesters are followed by a supervised period for completion of the dissertation, in which students must compare the interface between two key subject areas, in two contrasting countries.
The course is modular, with the seven main subjects allocated 20 credits on successful completion, and the policy integration/dissertation module allocated 40 credits on successful completion.
All modules feature guest lectures by expert practitioners - a chance for students to question practitioners on the realities of policymaking in different countries or international institutions.