Module Description

Module Description

This 4 MC module takes an inter-disciplinary look at the multifarious concept of “governance” - how resources, issues and groups are organised and managed by a range of actors from the public, private and people sectors. Through a combination of academic work and case studies, the module explores

(i) under what circumstances, and how, governance in the modern world needs to be more “polycentric” – taking place at multiple interlocking levels, including the global, national and local;

(ii) key determinants of success or failure in different instances of polycentricity;

(iii) both the benefits and limitations inherent in polycentric governance arrangements, as well as the challenges and obstacles to achieving greater polycentricity.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should:

  • understand how “governance”, as distinct from “government”, is a complex concept that encompasses multiple sectors (including governments, businesses and civil society);
  • recognise that effective governance of resources, issues and groups requires multiple sectors coming together, often in complex ways that  require new ideas on the conceptualisation and implementation of governance;
  • critically apply a nuanced understanding of governance to contemporary issues and a personally-chosen topic that will form the basis of a class presentation;
  • assess the critical success factors behind different governance modalities and arrangements, in geographies at different developmental stages; 
  • acquire and apply a vocabulary to debate contemporary issues relating to governance of resources, issues and groups;
  • feel confident evaluating current governance arrangements, whether by governments, businesses, communities and other groups/organisations – either as potential practitioners of governance with varying degrees of polycentricity, or as discerning citizens.

Course Provider: Aaron Maniam, Adjunct Lecturer

The course will meet on Saturdays, 2.00 to 6.00 pm.