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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Theories of Governance - JSM790
Title: Theories of Governance
Guaranteed by: Department of Public and Social Policy (23-KVSP)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2023 to 2023
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: summer s.:written
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:2/1, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited / unlimited (10)
Min. number of students: 8
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: yes / unlimited
State of the course: not taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Sokhna Adele Rosalie Ndiaye, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Sokhna Adele Rosalie Ndiaye, Ph.D.
Class: Courses for incoming students
Examination dates   Schedule   Noticeboard   
Last update: PhDr. Michaela Frantová (22.01.2024)

Basic Information

Course title: Theories of Governance

Course number: JSM790

Semester: Summer 2023/2024

Teachers: Sokhna Rosalie Ndiaye, Ph.D.

Hours per week, examination: Once per week (80 minutes), written exam

Course format: Online

Volume of instruction: 2/1

Number of credits: 6 Credits (1 credit = 3 working hours)

Time and Place: Wednesday, 2Pm to 4:10 Pm, Online (Teams)



Consultations: Upon agreement


Course Description

This course delves into governance, exploring theoretical and practical dimensions to foster a comprehensive understanding. It aims to present governance in a simpler, more tangible manner through classical and modern theories. The course identifies core issues and dynamics in public governance, defining the concept in public administration and promoting critical thinking through interactive discussions based on predetermined scholarly literature.


Main Objectives:

This course aims to enhance students' comprehension of governance and its dimensions, introducing diverse governance theories and their applications across various policy settings and sectors. Upon completion, students will be able to:

·      Recognize the significance of governance in public policy.

·      Identify different forms of existing governance.

·      Acquire knowledge about new considerations and theories of governance in public administration.

·      Formulate a personal definition of governance based on explored literature and discussions.

·      Apply various governance theories in policy analysis.

·      Understand the challenges that unstable governance poses to the policy process.


Structure of lectures and seminars: This course will be an alternance between lectures and seminars. The lectures will introduce students to different theories of governance while the seminars will be discussions based on the practical application of these theories.



Table 1: Points are distributed in the following ways:


Points (up to)

Assignments - Short Reflection Paper (4 / 10 points each)


Class participation


Group presentation


Written examination


Extra credit (Class Presentation or short paper)





Table 2: Final grading shall be based on the following formula:

Final point score


91 or more





Very Good










50 or less




Assignments and final examination

1.   Expect four (4) short written assignments of 500 words each.

2.   The final exam will be in the format of 5 short answer questions for 2.5 points each (total 10) and one essay style question for 10 points.

3.   Group presentation on the seminar topic.

4.   Students have the option to deliver a voluntary class presentation or submit a short reflection paper on a topic of their choice for 10 points extra-credit.

Please note: All Sources shall be consistently credited in line with the latest version of the ISO 690 standard or another internationally accepted referencing standard (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard). No form of plagiarism is tolerated at the Charles University. Any instances of plagiarism shall be discussed by the Disciplinary Board and, eventually, the Dean.

Course Schedule

Lecture 1

Understanding Governance:

·      Introduction to the concept of governance


Lecture 2

Governance in Theory: Classical Theoretical Approaches

·      Organization Theory

·      Collective Action Theory

·      Democratic Theory

·      Development Theory

 Assignment 1 due

Lecture 3

Governance in Theory: Novel Theoretical Approaches

·      New Public Governance

·      Evolutionary Governance Theory

Discussing 1st assignment

Seminar 1

Discussing the function of governance in the public policy process; differences in theoretical approaches to governance and their application in a public policy setting.

Discussing the use of governance as a way to explain the interactions of policy communities and networks.

Group 1 presentation

Lecture 4

Forms of Governance in the public policy setting: Classical Considerations

·      Network Governance

·      Collaborative Governance

·      Regulatory Governance

Assignment 2 due

Lecture 5

Forms of Governance in the public policy setting: Novel Considerations

·      Multi-level Governance

·      Strategic Governance

·      Adaptive Governance

Discussing 2nd assignment

Seminar 2

·       Discussing the contextual application of previously discussed forms of application and how to determine their use and suitability.

Group 2 presentation

Lecture 6

Analysis models

·      Normative Theory

·      Narrative and Interpretive Theories

Assignment 3 due

Lecture 7

Analysis models Cont.

·      Discourse Theory

·      Institutional Theory

·      Public Choice Theory

Discussing 3rd assignment

Seminar 3:

Discussing the analysis of governance mechanisms theoretically and practically. How to determine which method to apply when?

Group 3 presentation

Lecture 8 

Reconciling Governance, Government and Public Institutions

Assignment 4 due

Seminar 4: 

Discussion Governance as a tool for governments & governance as an asset for public institutions and public policy making.

Discussing final exam – what to expect.

Discussing 4th assignment

Group 4 presentation




Course Materials

Required readings will be available on Moodle


Core reference readings:

Dror, Y. (2001) The Capacity to Govern. London: Frank Cass


Ansell, C. K., & Torfing, J. (2016). Handbook on theories of governance. Edward Elgar Publishing.


Pierre J, Peters GB (2000) Governance, politics and the state. St. Martin’s Press, New York


Recommended Readings:

Rhodes, R.A.W. (1997) Understanding governance: policy networks, governance, reflexivity and accountability (Public Policy & Management), Philadelphia, US. Open University, 252pp.


Potůček, M. (ed.) Capacities of governance in the Czech Republic. 1st ed. Praha: Matfyzpress, 2008. 198 p. ISBN 978-80-7378-038-8


Potůček, M. Strategic governance and the Czech Republic. 1st ed. Praha: Karolinum, 2009. 196 p. ISBN 978-80-246-1681-0.


Reading made available to students:

Asaduzzaman, Mohammed & Virtanen, Petri. (2016). Governance Theories and Models. 10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_2612-1.


Assche, Kristof & Beunen, Raoul & Duineveld, Martijn. (2015). An overview of EGT’s main concepts. 10.1007/978-3-319-12274-8_2.


Egeberg, M., Gornitzka, Å., & Trondal, J. (2016). "Organization theory". In Handbook on Theories of Governance. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi:


Farazmand A (2012) Sound governance: engaging citizens through collaborative organizations. Public Org Rev 12:223–241


Hatfield-Dodds, S., Nelson, R., & Cook, D.C. (2007). Adaptive Governance: An Introduction and Implications for Public Policy.


Jessop B (1995) The regulation approach and governance theory: alternative perspectives on economic and polit- ical change. Econ Soc 24(3):307–333


Potůček, M. 2005. Strategic Govenanece in Central and Eastern Europe: From Concepts to reality. Available online at


Stephen P. Osborne Professor (2006) The New Public Governance?, Public Management Review, 8:3, 377-387, DOI: 10.1080/14719030600853022


Online Resources on Governance






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