PhD Course Descriptions

PADM 6010: Current Issues in Public Policy

An examination of issues in Canadian public policy, and approaches to analysing them. May include issues such as inequality, gender, environment, indigenous governance, US/Canada relations. Approaches to analysis may include contemporary and classic thinkers. There are several major policy – and societal – problems facing Canada and the globe that students should have some familiarity with: environmental crisis; inequality (of income, class, race/ethnicity, sexuality etc); the rise of populism. In order to understand the broader context in which current decision-makers are facing, and in which these issues have arisen, students should also have some background on the nature of the post-WWII settlement, and the neoliberal shift of the 1970s.

PADM 6011: Theoretical Foundations of Public Policy

Addresses the normative and explanatory theories fundamental to public policy.   This course introduces theory from ethical, economic, and political/administrative perspectives.  Topics may include the influence of ethical considerations from utilitarianism, contractualism, and rights-based traditions; theories of the bureau; market failures and solutions; motivation and agency; rational and public choice; welfare and public goods; incentives; game theory; and political/macro-environmental forces on policy choices.

PADM 6012: Policy Process and Institutions

How do policies emerge, change, and ultimately feedback into our society? The Policy Process and Institutions doctoral seminar discusses the various theoretical approaches to policy-making. From understanding why some issues are solved through policy-making while others are not, students will explore the intricacies of policy development, design, and implementation. This seminar will discuss the challenges of changing policies and the multiple actors involved and their influence over the policy processes. Topics may include policy formation, agenda-setting, institutionalism, theories of the bureaucracy, theories of policy change, policy design and implementation, policy evaluation, advocacy and coalitions, and private policy-making.