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Learning Objectives

The mission of this course is to explore how the public sphere works, how public decisions are made and which are the main implications for companies and the civil society. By public sphere we mean governments at any level, public sector organizations, international institutions, as well as non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

The course aims at providing both a conceptual overview of issues, but also at providing a glimpse into the practical and concrete difficulties linked to policy development and policy implementation at the social and institutional levels.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:
- identify the specificities and key problems of public sector organizations, international institutions and non-profit and non-governmental organizations;
- recognize and understand the different types of cross-sectoral interactions and collaborations;
- use the knowledge from the economic and managerial fields to develop ideas for improving the strategy and performance of public sector organizations, international institutions, as well as non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

Beside lectures, seminars with practitioners, case study discussions and short project works will enable students to identify critical aspects of the subject and propose solutions.

Class participation and presentations, as well as discussion with practitioners, are aimed to enhance students’ communication and dialogue capacities.

Analyzing in a critical way concrete situations and case studies, working in team and managing strict deadlines.




The course is structured into five main parts:
Section I - Public Sector Management and Governance
Section II - Public Sector Strategy and Performance
Section III - Public Sector Innovation and Sustainability
Section IV - Public Sector Finance, Accounting and Accountability
Section V - Public-Private-People Relationships


Selected papers:
Colasanti N., Frondizi R., Meneguzzo M. (2018), "The Co-production of Housing Policies: Social Housing and Community Land Trust”, in Bonomi Savignon A., Gnan L., Hinna A., Monteduro F. (eds.), Cross-Sectoral Relations in the Delivery of Public Services, Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.155-176.
Frondizi R., Fantauzzi C., Colasanti N., Fiorani G. (2019), “ The evaluation of universities’ third mission and intellectual capital: theoretical analysis and application to Italy”, Sustainability, 11(12), 3455.
Colasanti N., Frondizi R., Liddle J., Meneguzzo M. (2018), “"Grassroots democracy and local government in Northern Syria: the case of democratic confederalism”, Local Government Studies, 44(6), pp.807-825.
Colasanti N., Frondizi R., Meneguzzo M. (2018), "Higher education and stakeholders’ donations: the first civic crowdfunding project in an Italian university”, Public Money and Management, 38(4), pp.281-288.


Brandsen T., Steen T., Verschuere B. (2018), Co-production and Co-creation: Engaging Citizens in Public Service, Routledge.
Bryson J. M. (2018), Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement, John Wiley & Sons.
Frumkin P. (2002), On being nonprofit: A conceptual and policy primer, Harvard University Press.
Joyce P. (2015), Strategic Management in the Public Sector, Routledge.
Klassen T., Cepiku D., Lah T.J. (eds.) (2017), The Routledge Handbook of Global Public Policy and Administration, Routledge.
Ongaro E., van Thiel S. (eds.) (2018), The Palgrave handbook of public administration and management in Europe, Palgrave Macmillan.
Pollitt C., Bouckaert G. (2017), Public management reform: a comparative analysis-into the age of austerity, Oxford University Press.

Teaching methods

- Lectures and seminars.
- Case study discussions.
- Group essays.

Exam Rules

For attending students, the exam will consist in an oral test and in the evaluation of group assignments.
For non-attending students, the exam is in oral form.
The exam will be assessed according to the following criteria:
Not suitable: important deficiencies and / or inaccuracies in the knowledge and understanding of the topics; limited capacity for analysis and synthesis, frequent generalizations and limited critical and judgment skills, the arguments are presented in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate language;
18-20: just sufficient knowledge and understanding of the topics with possible generalizations and imperfections; sufficient capacity for analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment, the topics are frequently exposed in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate / technical language;
21-23: Routine knowledge and understanding of topics; Ability to correct analysis and synthesis with sufficiently coherent logical argument and appropriate / technical language;
24-26: Fair knowledge and understanding of the topics; good analysis and synthesis skills with rigorously expressed arguments but with a language that is not always appropriate / technical;
27-29: Complete knowledge and understanding of the topics; remarkable abilities of analysis and synthesis. Good autonomy of judgment. Topics exposed rigorously and with appropriate / technical language;
30-30L: Excellent level of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the topics. Excellent skills of analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment. Arguments expressed in an original way and with appropriate technical language.