Insegnamento a.a. 2003-2004



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEA (6 credits - I sem. - RR) - CLAPI (6 credits - I sem. - RR) - CLEFIN (6 credits - I sem. - AI) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - AI) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - AI) - DES (6 credits - I sem. - AI) - CLEMIT (6 credits - I sem. - AI) - DIEM (6 credits - I sem. - RR) - CLSG (6 credits - I sem. - AI)
Course Head:

Classes: 31

Introduction to the course:

International organisations have become a more prominent and important feature of the political and economic landscape in recent years. Despite their acknowledged importance little attention has been paid to the distinctive problems of managing them. But as pressures for better performance and greater accountability have grown, a serious interest in reforming international organisations has emerged. The purpose of the course is to examine issues of reform in the light of a comparative perspective on the problems and processes of managing international organisations.
In the second part, the course examines, through a comparative analysis, the impact that the development of functions, power and influence of the international organisations has on the management culture and systems of the member States. So, one particular focus of interest, linking the two parts of the course, is how international organisations build and manage networks of partnerships with national and sub-national organisations. The role of international organisations in promoting the reform of public management in different countries is highlighted.

Course Content :

  • Background and development of international organisations. A comparative perspective, shared features of international organisation.
  • Common characteristics of managing in international organisations; multinational staffs, politicisation of policy processes, financial dependence on member governments.
  • The distinctive roles and responsibilities of selected organisations e.g. United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organisation, European Union.
  • Differentiating features of international organisations with global and regional responsibilities. International and supranational organisations and their management.
  • Reform issues: internal management of personnel, finances, policies and operations; external management of relationships with member governments in policy formulation and implementation.
  • Governance without government: the development of regimes as a form of international organisation and policy management.
  • Current reform issues in the European Union: reform of the Commission, European governance and the Convention on the Future of Europe.
  • The reform of public management in different countries: guidelines for a comparative analysis.
  • Trajectories of reform: contents and processes for changing public management.
  • Results of reform: a taxonomy. Operational results, results as process change, results as changing the system, results as the realisation of a vision. The paradigms of reform
  • Country cases of especial significance for the reforms in public management:
  • Mainland Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands.
  • The Mediterranean area: France, Italy.
  • Nordic countries: Finland and Sweden.
  • Anglo-Saxon countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA.


  • C. POLLITT, G. BOUCKAERT, Public Management Reform: a Comparative Analysis, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • J. PETERSON, M. SHACKLETON, The Institutions of the European Union, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • L. METCALFE, Selection of papers on governance and management in international organisations (future publication).
  • Further readings will be communicated at the beginning of the course.


Attending students
Students attending classes on a regular basis will be offered the opportunity to take a mid-term take-home exam (case discussion), which will weight one third of the final grade.
The final exam for students attending classes on a regular basis will be in a written form, and will include a case discussion and questions about the topics covered in class.
All other exams will be oral.
Non attending students
All exams will be oral.