Course code PolZ6005

Credit points 3

Policy Analysis

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours57

Date of course confirmation30.09.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author lect.

Baiba Miltoviča

Mg. paed.

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to acquaint master students with in-depth theoretical knowledge in policy analysis, to develop the ability to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge in the evaluation of current public policies. The lectures analyse the policy-making process and its participants, examine approaches to the decision-making process, and provide insight into the systematic analysis of sectoral policy issues. The study course develops students' skills to analyse the political process and provide conceptual solutions.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. Knows the essence of policy analysis, policy planning process, policy analysis approaches and understands the importance of policy evaluation in policy making (test, practical work and independent research).

Skills. Ability to apply the theoretical knowledge to the evaluation of current public policies, describe how certain conditions become problems, how they come to the political agenda, distinguish different approaches to policy analysis, independently analyse the actual course of the political process (practical work and independent research).

Competence. Ability to identify and analyse the decisions made by one sector policy, to develop joint conclusions and proposals on the actual course of the political process (practical work and independent research).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Policy analysis framework, description (1 hour).
2. Policy content and policy process. Object and subject of the policy. Public policy process (1 hour).
3. Policy analysis approaches. Policy impact assessment models. Structure and operation of the policy system (2 hours).
4. Policy instruments. Types of policy instruments and their characteristics. Choice, appropriateness and selection of policy instruments. The link between a policy instrument and policy formulation (2 hours).
5. The role and power of the state. Legitimacy of power. The role of power in the public policy process (2 hours).
6. Decision making. Basic principles of decision making (2 hours).
7. Actors in the policy-making process and their interaction. Basic principles of policy making (2 hours).
8. Policy formulation. Policy development (2 hours).
9. Creating an agenda. Creating and setting the agenda (2 hours).
10. Policy implementation and civil service. Policy implementation opportunities and limitations. Bureaucracy: concept and role in the political process (2 hours).
11. Policy analysis and policy evaluation. Approaches to addressing policy evaluation (1 hour).
12. Political process and policy challenges in Latvia (1 hour).

Topics for seminars (12 hours)
1. Institutional framework of public policy (1 hour).
2. The essence of policy analysis, the policy planning process and the role of policy evaluation in policy making (2 hours), test.
3. Analysis of sectoral policy decision, evaluation (2 hours), independent task.
4. Political programs and their role in the political process (1 hour).
5. The role of political process participants in policy making and implementation (1 hour), Individual task 1.
6. Analysis of political processes and policy decision (1 hour), Individual task 2.
7. Formal regulation of the political process in Latvia (1 hour).

8. Recent trends in policy analysis (1 hour).

Requirements for awarding credit points

At the end of the study course there is a test with a mark. The final evaluation is cumulative on the following topics: 1) The essence of policy analysis, the policy planning process and the role of policy evaluation in policy making (test - 30%), 2) The analysis of one sectoral policy decision is developed and submitted (independent task - 30%), 3) Research and analysis, conclusions and proposals on policy process and policy decision analysis (individual tasks, presentation - 40%).

Study process in part-time distance learning is organised in accordance with the Order of the Vice-Rector of Studies No. 2.4.-5/59 On distance learning procedures at LBTU. Study courses are scheduled for each semester according to the study plan. The students learn the topics included in the study course independently, using the materials created and placed by the lecturer in the e-studies (Moodle). Feedback on the learning of lecture and seminar topics in distance learning is organised in the form of self-assessment tests, discussion forums and independent work, as well as in face-to-face or online consultations, lectures and final examinations according to the timetable.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Independent and individual tasks has been completed, independent research has been carried out and test has been passed.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Master students must pass and develop: one test (30%), one independent task (30%), prepare two individual tasks and present them (40%). 10% corresponds to one point on the 10-point assessment scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Dunn W.N. (2018) Public Policy Analysis: An Integrated Approach, 6th Edition, New York: Routledge, p. 498.
2. Dye T.R. (2017) Understanding Public Policy, 15th Edition, Florida: Pearson, p.365
3. Easton D. (1957) An Approach to the Analysis of Political Systems. World Politics. Cambridge University Press, p. 383-400
4. Hogwood W.B, Gunn L.A. (1984) Policy analysis for the real world. Oxford University Press, p. 298
5. Weible C.M., Sabatier P.A. (2018) Theories of the Policy Process. 4th Edition. New York: Routledge, p.416
6. O’Brian V.G. (2019) Metaphor Analysis in Public Policy and Private Practice: A Social Work Perspective. Washington, DC: NASW Press, p.100. Pieejams:
7. Clavier C. Leeuw E. (2013) Health Promotion and the Policy Process. New York: Oxford University Press, p.230. Pieejams:
8. Vaidere I u.c. (2008) Reģionālā politika un pašvaldību attīstība Eiropas Savienībā. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 296 lpp.
9. Vanags E., Vilka I. (2009) Valsts pārvaldes un pašvaldību organizācija. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds , 225 lpp.

10. Vorlander H. (2017) Īsi par demokrātiju. Rīga: Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka, 191 lpp.

Further reading

1. Anderson J.E. Public Policymaking. Eight edition, USA: Cengage Learning, 2014.-p.384 Pieejams:
2. Bandelow N.C., Hornung J. Policy programme cycles through old and new programmatic groups. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 August 2020. Pieejams:
3. LR Pārresoru koordinācijas centrs. Politikas veidošanas rokasgrāmata. Rīga: 2016. Pieejams:
4. Kļaviņa S., Klapkalne U., Pētersone B. Politikas ietekmes vērtēšana politikas veidošanas sistēmā. Valsts kanceleja. Rīga: 2005. Pieejams:
5. Valtenbergs V. Interneta politiskās komunikācijas nozīme atklātības un elektroniskās demokrātijas attīstībā. Rīga: 2010. Pieejams:

Periodicals and other sources

1. Policy Analysis and Implementation. Module 2 - Policy Formulation Process: The Process, Structure and Context of Policy-making. Canada, Vancouver: 2012. Pieejams:
2. Globālie satricinājumi un Latvijas izaicinājumi. Latvija 2022. Domnīca Certus: 2017. Pieejams:
3. Ž.Ozoliņa zin. red. Latvijas Politologu biedrība. Periodika: Latvijas intereses Eiropas Savienībā. Rīga. Pieejams:
4. Journal of Public Policy, Periodicals: Cambridge University Press. Pieejams:


Compulsory study course in ESAF academic master's study program "Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration".