GV483      Half Unit
Public Management Theory and Doctrine

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Lodge

Dr Tamara Tubakovic


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), MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Public Policy and Administration, MSc in Regulation and Master of Public Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access) and access cannot be guaranteed. Priority will be given to students on the programmes listed above.

Course content

The course offers an intensive introduction into key areas of public management with reference to both developed and lesser developed world contexts. Topics include administrative doctrine, implementation, organizational change and inertia, capacity building, performance-management, leadership, institution creation, transparency and risk management. Public management is treated as an interdisciplinary field of study, with a particular emphasis on the administrative practices and change as well as the critical analysis of practical arguments about Public Management.


This course will be delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures, amounting to a minimum of 23 and a half hours across the Autumn term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of term.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to complete two formative essays.

Indicative reading

M Barzelay, Public Management as a design-oriented profession discipline, 2019; C Hood, The Art of the State, 1998; C Hood and M Lodge, Politics of Public Service Bargains, 2006; E. Ferlie, L. Lynn and C. Pollitt, Oxford Handbook of Public Management, 2005; C Hood and H Margetts, Tools of Government in the Digital Age, 2007; C Hood, The Blame Game (2010).


Essay (60%, 2500 words) in the WT.
Blog post (40%) in the AT.

The blog would have a word limit of 1000 words, and would be due for submission at the end of Week 11 of AT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 11.4
Merit 81.3
Pass 7.3
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2022/23: 42

Average class size 2022/23: 14

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Specialist skills