Governance of wicked problems

A wide range of policy issues from food safety to counter-terrorism, climate change or migration has come to be interpreted as inter-connected, multi-dimensional problem constellations rather than easily identifiable single issues with a clear territorial locus or readily identifiable causal origin. That is why ‘wicked problems’ are considered particular governance challenges and very tricky to address. Simultaneously high levels of complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity with far-reaching repercussions for organizational boundaries, attentiveness, and problem-solving capacity require considerable coordination efforts, knowledge transfer, and strategy building. The course discusses conceptual perspectives on wicked problems as well as governance mechanisms to address wicked problems.

The course is structured in two parts. Part I discusses the concept of wicked problems. Part II focusses on specific governance mechanisms through which wicked problems are addressed.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.