MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe Policy Incubator

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Paul De Grauwe CBG 6.12


This course is compulsory on the MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

Students will undertake a group project (in teams usually of 3 to 5 people) relating to a policy problem faced by an external organisation. Such organisations might be public sector bodies, companies operating in the public management or public policy sector, international organisations, think tanks and NGOs.


2 hours of seminars and 1 hour and 30 minutes of help sessions in the MT. 2 hours of help sessions in the LT.

The help sessions (workshops) will take the form of 2 supervision meetings in the MT, 1 supervision meeting in the LT and 1 student presentation in the LT.

Each Policy Incubator group will be allocated a supervisor, who will provide overall guidance on the project's development. Other staff members may also advise as required. In the MT, students will attend a 1.5-hour Introductory Workshop. In this workshop, they will be presented with the available challenges and asked to express preferences (ranked). During this workshop, students will also discuss team working rules, as well as policy brief development. Students will also attend a 45 minutes Civil Servant Workshop. In this workshop, a civil servant with European and international policy-making experience will brief students on policy analysis, evaluation and stakeholder involvement.

Formative coursework

During the LT, students are asked to present their project and policy proposals in front of a jury constituted of alumni, members of faculty and visiting fellows. They will provide feedback and, potentially, act as a jury for the best policy solution.

Indicative reading

Useful preliminary reading:

  • Charles E. Lindblom and David K. Cohen, Social Science and Social Problem Solving (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979);
  • Martha S. Feldman, Order Without Design: Information Production and Policy-making (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989);
  • Ray Pawson, Evidence-based Policy: A Realist Perspective (London: Sage, 2006);
  • Common Causes of Project Failure (London: OGC, 2004);
  • Howard White, Theory-based Impact Evaluation: Principles and Practice (3ie, 2011);
  • Curtis Cook, Just Enough Project Management (McGraw-Hill, 2004);
  • J. E. McGrath and F. Tschan, 'Dynamics in Groups and Teams: Groups as Complex Action Systems',
  • chapter three in M. S. Poole and A. H. Van de Ven (eds) Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2004).


Project (100%, 10000 words) in the ST.

Students are asked to present a group report in the form of a policy advocacy brief (3000 words, 30% grade). They are then asked to, individually, submit a full policy report in which they discuss alternative policy options and evaluate their suggests policy solutions (7000 words, 70% grade).

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication