Political management in Government explores how politicians and their staff use management tools to help them achieve their goals within the constraints and challenges of the governing environment. Students take on the role of a particular political manager:

  •  Director of Strategy, Branding Director
  • Political Market Researcher, Stakeholder Manager,
  • Policy Advisor, Head of the Delivery Unit,
  • Chief Press Secretary, Director of Communications,
  • Director of Crisis Management, Director of Public Relations
  • Advertising Co-Ordinator, Social Marketing Director

POLS704 Political Management in Government course outline 2014

Drawing on academic research and international practice in these areas to identify best practice as well as what to avoid, the political managers will create recommendations for a political leader for how they should use political management to further their goals in a specific case. The course will therefore explore the nature of government including the constraints, pressures, leadership/listening dilemma, 24/7 media environment, and public expectations; and the role of political managers in terms of advising political leaders. It will discuss and debate how different political management tools can be used to overcome such obstacles in specific cases: market research, stakeholder management, public engagement, strategy, branding, public relations, government advertising, social marketing, crisis management, media management, strategic communications and delivery management. Students apply knowledge and understanding from academic literature in these areas to current government cases.

Seminars are student led. Students will choose a particular topic/advisory role and give a traditional presentation about that topic in theory from the literature. They will then role play the position of an advisor in that area and delivering a presentation offering advice to the political leader about what to do in each of the cases and engaging in debate discussion with other political managers about which is the best strategy for that case. By taking one advisory role for the whole course, students will gain a deep knowledge and understanding which will grow throughout the duration of the course, but also learn about other areas of practice and how they overlap through listening to and debating each others presentations and ideas.

Students are required to deliver 4 Pecha-Kucha presentations in relation to political management concepts and the 3 cases; covering lessons from academic literature, international practice from governments round the worlds, and recommendations they would make for government action in the future. This work can then be used to complete the written assessment on which they will be marked, which will consist of three 2000 word Advisory Reports. The Advisory Reports are written for the Prime Minister/President and focus on a specific current case to review past government behavior and make recommendations for future action.

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