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

Key information

Subject area:

FutureLearn Online Courses

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


3 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 01 September 2023 To: 31 August 2024

Course overview

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.

What does this course 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

What will I achieve?

  • 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 will I learn with?

Mark  Pennington

Mark Pennington

Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy

Who is this 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.

Our partners

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Future Learn

Course status:

Places available

Full fee £0



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