Course code PolZ5011

Credit points 3

Public Administration

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours57

Date of course confirmation22.01.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developers

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Jānis Ķusis

Dr. hist.


Voldemārs Bariss

Dr. phil.

author reserch

Dina Bite

Dr. sc. soc.

Course abstract

The course provides knowledge of public administration in Latvia, rise students' understanding on public and nongovernmental sector, mechanism of their functioning, paying attention to topical researches actualities and sustainable development of these sectors. The course program consists of 3 blocks: the general description of the public administration, the place of local government in the public administration system and the activities and development trends of non-governmental organizations.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge of the structure, functioning mechanism and management innovation in Latvia and abroad; knowledge of local government development, organization and activity; knowledge of the conditions for the formation of NGOs, their role in the development of the state and society - 3 tests.
Ability to explain and discuss national and societal trends in a reasoned way and to find solutions to manage social change in the context of sustainable society development; ability to critically assess the various aspects of national and local authorities and NGO activities – homework, seminars.
Capability to self-formulate and critically analyse complex and dynamic problems in the field of organization and public administration, in the context of their professional activities – homework.

Course Content(Calendar)

Lecture topics
1. Public and private as areas of human life.
2. General characteristics of the public administration.
3. The specificities of public organisations.
4. Institutional structure of the public administration of the Republic of Latvia.
5. Policy.
6. Topical issues of the Latvian public administration.
7. The concept and nature of local government.
8. Competence of local governments. Division of functions between the State and local governments. Local government functions: autonomous functions, delegated functions, voluntary initiatives. Rights and obligations of municipalities.
9. Analysis of the organisational structure of municipalities.
10. The economy and budget of the municipality.
11. Nature and characterisation of the non-governmental sector.
12. Sustainability of the public and non-governmental sector.

Topics for seminars
1. Definitions of public administration, their analysis (1 hour).
2. E. Levits. “Legal structure and basic concepts of public and public administration”: analysis of the text, discussion of groups (1 hour).
3. Create document hierarchy scheme of a policy (presentation) (1 hour).
4. Public administration theories, structure of Latvian society management and functioning mechanism (1 hour) - test.
5. Administrative territorial reform in Latvia (1 hour).
6. One-stop agencies – examples of good practice: presentations (2 hours).
7. Municipal development, organisation and activity (1 hour) – test.
8. Assessment of civil society and the non-governmental sector in Latvia (2 hours).
9. Assessment of the potential for introducing new management forms (1 hour).
10. Conditions for the formation of NGOs, their place and their role in the development of the country and society (1 hour) – test.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Formal test with a grade
It consists of an accumulative assessment of the progress made during the semester:
- three tests written at their scheduled time;
- elaborated homework on the development trends of local governments and NGOs, presented at the specified time.
All tests and homework must be positively assessed.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

- independent literature studies on topics to be discussed at seminars;
- preparation of the homework.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Formal test with a grade based on a cumulative assessment (100% system): - 3 tests – 60%; - homework – 40%. Students pass the tests if at least 50% of answers are correct. Homework is assessed according to quality requirements defined by the tutor.

Compulsory reading

1. Bariss V. Publiskā administrācija. Jelgava: LLU, 2009,111 lpp.
2. Denhardt B.R. Theories of Public Organization. 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011, 240 p.
3. FredericksonH. G. , SmithK. B., Larimer C. W., Licari M. J. The Public Administration Theory Primer.Boulder : Westview Press, 2018, 310 p.
4. Holzer M., Schwester R. Public administration: an introduction. Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge, 2019, 438 p.
5. Lewis D. Management of non-governmental development organizations: an introduction.- London: Routledge, 2001, 242 p.
6. Powell W.W., Steinberg R. (eds.) The nonprofit sector : a research handbook. 2nd ed. - London: Yale University Press, 2006, 659 p.
7. Pūķis M. Pašu valdība, Latvijas pašvaldību pieredze, idejas un nākotnes redzējums. Rīga LU, 512 lpp.
8. Shafritz J. M., Russell E.W., Borick C. Introducing Public Administration. 8th ed. London and NewYork: Routledge, 2015, 592 p.

Further reading

1. Berkley G, Rouse J. The Craft of Public Administration. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009, 359 pp.
2. Cropf R.A. The public administration casebook. Boston: Longman, 2012, 108 p.
3. Dexia, Sub. National goverments in the Europen Union. Responsobilities and finance .Dexia Edition, 2008, 655 p.
4. Kolb B.M. Marketing research for non-profit, community and creative organizations: how to improve your product, find customers and effectively promote your message. - Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008, 276 p.
5. McNabb D.E. Research methods in public administration and nonprofit management : quantitative and qualitative approaches. 2nd ed. - New York: M.E.Sharpe, 2008, 458 p.
6. Ozoliņa Ž., Reinholde I. (red.) Laba pārvaldība. Rīga: Zinātne, 2009.
7. Public administration in Central Europe: ideas as causes of reforms. London, New York: Routledge, 2020, 292 p.
8. Šūpule I. (u.c.) Pētnieku un sabiedrisko organizāciju sadarbība: iespējas un vajadzības. - Rīga: Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, 2007, 67 lpp.
9. The Handbook of Public Administration. (Ed. By B. Guy Peters, J.Pierre). SAGE publications Ltd, 2009, 394 p.
10. Vanags E, Vilka I. Pašvaldību darbība un attīstība. - LU Akadēmiskais apgāds. 2008., 384 lpp.
11. Vanags E., Vilka I. Valsts pārvaldes un pašvaldību organizācija..- LU Akadēmiskais apgāds.,2009. 225 lpp.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Administration and Society. ISSN: 0095 - 3997 [Tiešsaiste]. Pieejams: 2. International Review of Administrative Sciences ISSN: 0033 - 3352 [Tiešsaiste]. Pieejams: 3. Latvijas Pilsoniskās alianses iknedēļas elektroniskais ziņu izdevums "Nesēdi tumsā". [Tiešsaiste] (Pieejams:, eLPA). 4. Logs.Latvijas Pašvaldību savienība sadarbībā ar izdevējfirmu "ASTRA PRINT". 5. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly [Tiešsaiste]. Pieejams:, SAGE Publications Ltd, London. 6. Voluntas: Official Journal of International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. [Tiešsaiste]. Pieejams:, SpringerLink.


Restricted elective study course for the ESAF academic master's study program "Economics" for the specialization "Sustainable territorial development and marketing" and for the professional master's study program "Project Management".