Skip to content


Governance in theory and practice 7.5 credits

Politisk styrning i teori och praktik
First cycle, S0038N
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2022 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
First cycle
Grade scale
U G VG *
Political Science
Subject group (SCB)
Political Science
Main field of study
Political Science

Entry requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements for first cycle studies you must have successfully completed upper secondary education and documented skills in English language and completed the following courses with at least a passing grade; Political Science A, Swedish Politics and Public Adm. (S0006N) 7,5 credits or the course Local Government A (S0023N) 15 credits, or equivalent.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 1-165 credits.

Course Aim
The course departs from the shift from government to governance in the formation of public policy. There is an ongoing development from state-centered and hierarchical steering systems towards new forms of governance systems, in which a multitude of public and private actors, on different levels, participate. The course introduces theoretical perspectives and concepts to describe, analyze and reflect on the ongoing change and its consequences. A central theme of course is how values like democracy, legitimacy and sustainable development are accounted for in different ways of organizing the political process.

After the course the student should be able to:
  • Describe different connotations of governing and discuss how the concept has changed over time within the field of political science and public administration.  
  • Describe and compare the characterizing features of different governance models, such as new public management, network governance, multi-level governance and collaborative management.
  • Provide examples of, and analyze the development of,  new governance models in the Swedish context as well as discuss and problematize how different ways of organizing politics and its implementation cater for central values such as democracy, effectiveness and legitimacy.
  • Accommodate scientific articles.   
  • Demonstrate skills in oral as well as writing presentation- and communication techniques.

Public governance is all about realizing political goals and to account for the public will. However, political goals are essentially conflicting; the issues are complex and the expectations held by the public highly set. There is therefore a great challenge to find appropriate models of governance, which are considered as legitimate, democratic and effective. The course covers the topic of how different governance models within the public administration sustain and account for these central values. The course deals with public governing and different governance models from a theoretical perspective while it also exemplifies and problematizes these phenomena as they are played out in the Swedish context.

The following areas are dealt with:   
  • Political governance and the public policy process.
  • The concepts of democracy, effectiveness and legitimacy and the role of these values in organizing public problem solving via different governance models.
  • Governance; the rise of the concept, different connotations and applications in the fields of political science and public administration.
  • Different models of governance; new public management, network governance, multi-level governance and collaborative governance, etc.
  • Governance in the Swedish context: examples and analyses of cases from different policy areas.
  • Written and oral presentation techniques.

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.

The course consists of lectures and seminars with associated written assignments. A number of generic skills, such as oral and written presentation, are trained during the course which is finalized by an individual oral exam.

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.

All aims of the course are assessed through seminars with associated writing assignments (3.0 credits) and an oral exam (4.5 credits).

The grades U, G, VG are given for both parts.

Students must register for the courses themselves or contact ETKS educational administration not later than three days after the quarter commences. Failure to do so can result in the place being lost. This rule also applies to students with a guaranteed place.

Carina Lundmark

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2022 Sp 1
Andersson, S., Bergh, A., Erlingsson G. och M. Sjölin (2014) Korruption, maktmissbruk och legitimitet. Lund: Studentlitteratur
Dahlström, C. (ed.) (2018) Politik som organisation. Förvaltningspolitikens grundproblem. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Hysing, E. och J. Olsson (2012) Tjänstemän i politiken. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Karlsson, L. (2014) Vad är offentlig förvaltning? Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Additional references can be added.

Course offered by
Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0003Oral ExamU G VG *4.50MandatoryA18
0004Seminar 1U G VG *1.00MandatoryA18
0005Seminar 2U G VG *1.00MandatoryA18
0006Seminar 3U G VG *1.00MandatoryA18

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by Director of Undergraduate Studies Bo Jonsson, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences 14 Feb 2014

Last revised
by Director of Undergraduate Studies Daniel Örtqvist, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts 11 Feb 2022