The course attempts to provide answers to questions such as: Why do the various national governments develop the policies that they do? Why do countries facing similar problems respond with different public policies? The course also considers a wide range of issues such as housing, health, education, environmental, macroeconomic, and social policies across advanced industrial and developing countries. Additionally, the course assesses competing explanations for the patterns of cross-national similarities and differences in policy formulation and implementation. Special attention will be paid to the recent world-wide trend towards privatisation.