Comparative Public GovernanceOrganization logo: Wageningen University & Research

About this course

Progress or deadlocks in sustainability transformations are the result of governmental and non-governmental actors and shaped by existing public governance systems. For example, how bureaucracies deal with risk and uncertainty, which regulatory instruments are in place to govern sustainability challenges, how sustainability issues are framed in the public debate, and how societal actors can set the agenda for sustainability policies. Often a combination of top-down (government-driven) and bottom-up (society-driven) processes are involved.

In this course, you will use public governance theories (from public administration, policy science and political science) to critically reflect on governance systems and processes that shape the depth, scope and speed of sustainability transformations. The focus of this course is on national level processes and comparing governance systems and processes between countries. You will learn to apply text-based data science methods to empirically investigate governance structures and processes that drive or hinder transformational change related to biodiversity, food and climate change across different countries.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • explain comparative public governance theories for understanding transformational change;
  • apply textual data science methods for addressing comparative public governance questions;
  • design and execute an individual research project to study the governance of sustainability challenges;
  • develop academic writing skills;

Prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
Course on Grand challenges for the governance of sustainability transformations; Transformative sustainability practices for systemic change; Governance and Policy Change; or equivalent. Basic programming skills are recommended, but not essential.

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    8 januari 2024

    • Ends
      2 februari 2024
    • Term *
      Period 3
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 23:59 - 26 Nov 2023
    Enrolment starts in 6 days
These offerings are valid for students of TU Eindhoven