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The Ideal of Self-Governance: Public Policy Beyond Markets and States

Learn how non-traditional forms of governance can help to make modern societies greener, safer, and more prosperous.

1,093 enrolled on this course

The Ideal of Self-Governance: Public Policy Beyond Markets and States

Explore the opportunities and limitations of citizenship in the 21st century

On this course, you’ll explore a range of institutional responses to social problems.

Using real-world examples, you’ll discover the role and vibrant world of citizen action groups, community businesses, local governments, and public entrepreneurs.

You’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses of self-governance through major policy challenges like climate change and the housing crisis.

You’ll also be introduced to economic, political, and sociological concepts as you reimagine traditional ideas of public policy and challenge narratives about what ordinary people can achieve in public life.

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What topics will you cover?

  • What is governance?
  • What is the problem of public goods?
  • How does governance function beyond markets and states?
  • Examples of governance in different public policy spheres
  • What are the conditions and limitations for different forms of governance?
  • Being a citizen in a self-governing society

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain how self-governance differs from market and state approaches to governance
  • Describe how self-governing institutions can solve what economists call collective action problems
  • Describe the role of public entrepreneurs in relation to self-governance institutions
  • Evaluate the key arguments in favour of self-governance institutions and apply these to real-world case studies
  • Debate the limitations of self-governing institutions
  • Reflect on the relationship between citizenship and self-governance

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about governance and public policy.

This may be final year school students and university students seeking an introduction to the subject, or policy and media professionals and MPs who require more a thorough understanding of governance.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy at King's College, University of London. Over the past three years I've been working on the legacy of Elinor Ostrom's work.

Who developed the course?

King's College London

King’s College London, established in 1829 and a founding college of the University of London, is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the very heart of London.

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Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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