Governance and Development Policy

About Governance and Development Policy (GDP)

Globalization, decentralization and new forms of public-private sector cooperation have changed the ways in which people, organizations and territories are governed. They have also affected the ways in which different actors are able to voice their interests and act upon them.

The GDP Major provides students with insights and skills relevant to understanding and affecting governance processes at local and national levels.

The Major addresses the processes and problems of governance, policy and local economic development, and how these work out in the everyday realities of people, with a bias towards the poor and vulnerable. It combines a thorough theoretical understanding with a practical, policy-oriented approach, with attention for concrete governance and policy dimensions such as the role of actors in democracy and public-private-community partnerships, the need for capacity and adequate planning systems, and the detrimental effects of corruption. 

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A short informational Video 

Target group

This Major offers essential insights for people interested and/or involved in the analysis or practices of multi-actor governance, policy and local economic development processes in relation to socio-economic development. It targets people occupying or aspiring careers in local or national governments, in development organisations, NGOs, universities and the private sector. 

Find out more about the ISS student body.


Within the MA programme students have an option to specialize further. Take a look at the current specializations on offer.

ISS study guide

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