Not available in 2018/19
GV4J5      Half Unit
Fiscal Governance and Budgeting

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joachim Wehner


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Political Science and Political Economy and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course examines contemporary issues in fiscal governance and public budgeting in OECD countries and elsewhere.  The focus is on executive and legislative actors and the institutional structures within which they make budgetary choices.  Following an introduction to theoretical approaches to the study of budgeting, topics include medium-term frameworks, top-down budgeting, fiscal rules and fiscal councils, performance budgeting, legislative budgeting, fiscal decentralisation, budget transparency, audit and accountability.


30 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Students will write a formative essay during the week 6 reading week as practice for the take-home exam.

Indicative reading

Wildavsky, A. B. and Caiden, N (2004), The New Politics of the Budgetary Process (New York, Pearson/Longman)

Hallerberg, M, Strauch, R and von Hagen, J (2009), Fiscal Governance in Europe (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)

Allen, R, Hemming, R and Potter, B eds (2013), The International Handbook of Public Financial Management (New York, Palgrave Macmillan)

Cangiano, M, Curristine, T and Lazare, M eds (2013), Public Financial Management and Its Emerging Architecture (Washington D.C., International Monetary Fund)


Coursework (25%) in the LT.
Take home exam (75%) in the ST.

The coursework (worth 25%) will consist of a Policy Exercise which will be carried out in groups.  Students will prepare a presentation and produce a 2-3 page policy memo.

The take-home exam will be held in the first week of Summer Term.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2017/18: 20

Average class size 2017/18: 21

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills