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MPA 800: Governing Institutions

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Queen's University - School of Policy Studies (SPS)

MPA 800: Governing Institutions

Description: Political institutions and processes of decision-making play a fundamental role in shaping policy outcomes. This course analyzes governing institutions and the processes of modern government as a means of sharpening our understanding of policy formulation and implementation. While the course pays particular attention to the Canadian experience, American comparisons are used to highlight important differences in the way our institutions function. The knowledge gained in this course should provide a basis for critically assessing political and administrative decision-making and policy outcomes.

A knowledgeable policy actor requires certain skills to be effective. This course is designed to help future policymakers and advisors acquire some of those skills. These include abilities: to work cooperatively and effectively with one’s peers; to communicate ideas clearly and succinctly in a public forum; to write efficiently and persuasively; to analyze and synthesize material; and to succeed in a professional environment.

Faculty: Kathy Brock (2012-13) 

Source: Syllabus on this page, downloaded from (accessed 3 February 2013, page no longer operative).


Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Policy and Management Subject



Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles provide a number of candidates for teaching topics to be developed:

  • The Importance of Institutions
  • Liberal Democracy and Constitutional Foundations
  • Canada's Constitutional Saga
  • The Political Executive
  • Political Culture and Political Parties
  • The Judiciary and the Charter
  • Aboriginal and Territorial Governance
  • Culture, Media and the Public

Page created by: Ian Clark, 11 January 2014. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.


MPA800 Syllabus, Fall2012, Kathy Brock.pdfMPA800 Syllabus, Fall2012, Kathy Brock

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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance