Bringing the Daily Life of the Minister into the Classroom
This paper reports on a summer course titled “The Political Secretariat” referring to the personal office of top elected political leaders like ministers or mayors and their top administrative advisor (Permanent Secretary or City Manager). Such offices are, in accordance with the Danish tradition, staffed with permanent civil servants rather than politically appointed persons. The aim of the course is to train the students in servicing the political and administrative top leaders of a politically led organization that is exposed to daily attention from the public, media and opposition. The course runs for four weeks in august. In those four weeks, the work in a specific political secretariat is simulated covering three ministries and one local government: Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Ministry of Finance, The City of Odense and finally Ministry of Education. Cases were developed in close cooperation with the ministries and the mayor’s office. Besides training students to work under pressure, to write short and precise memos, to work in groups as well as on their own, to assess the political aspects of an issue, the course had some rather positive side effects in terms of student motivation and involvement, not only in the course as such but probably also as far as the rest of their university studies go.
Teaching Political Science; Case teaching
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72nd Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2014