A Joint Course in Public Administration and Public Policy, University of Delaware, U.S.A. and Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

In recent years there has been growing political and theoretical focus upon the contribution of nonprofit and voluntary sector organizations within modern market-based democracies. Increasingly governments look to nonprofit organizations, charities, cooperatives or social enterprises to provide remedies to social problems; at the same time voluntary organizations within civil society seek to regulate and to change the behaviors of governments and of the market.

This course aims to provide students with conceptual frameworks to understand what the nonprofit and voluntary sector organizations’ roles are and how organized civil society and the third sector function in developed economies. It seeks to explore the history and the theoretical function and contribution of such organizations, and also some of the challenges of governance and accountability.

The course draws in particular upon literature and research of European countries and the United States.

On completion of the course students will understand:

  • history and traditions of philanthropy, voluntary and nonprofit organizations
  • central concepts such as charity, philanthropy, volunteering, voluntary and community organizations and sector, nonprofit, third sector, civil society, social capital, corporate philanthropy, ethics, fundraising
  • the significance and functions of the nonprofit and voluntary sector in public policy
  • relationships of the nonprofit and voluntary sector with government and the private sector
  • the role of third sector organizations in national and international level

This is a course about preparing, designing and selecting public policy (public strategies, programs and projects). It is mainly on analytical approaches and methods that are intended to guide policy design and structure policy choice: argumentation analysis, to understand, evaluate and construct policy arguments, including considerations about the values and other assumptions that are used.