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API 5116: Democratic Governance and Public Management

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University of Ottawa - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

API-5116: Democratic Governance and Public Management

Description: Examination of the political institutions of democratic societies and their implications for the formulation and implementation of public policy. Study of Canada in a comparative perspective. Topics include the organization of the executive and decision-making in government, the relationship among the political executive, the Public Service and the legislature, and policy implementation by the Public Service. Current trends in public management, such as new modes of service delivery, citizen engagement and consultation, and performance-based management.

The course focuses on the political and administrative institutions and processes that guide and structure the formulation and implementation of public policy in democratic societies. In this context, its general objective is to ensure that students understand the purpose, nature and effects of the institutional and normative framework provided by the constitutions of liberal democracies on their governments and administrations. While an emphasis will be placed the workings of Canadian institutions, the experience of other democratic countries will also be considered, partly to place the Canadian experience in a comparative context but also to draw our attention to broader principles or phenomena that can be found across democratic polities.

At the end of the semester, students should be able to describe and discuss, in a critical and sophisticated manner, the main principles, processes and institutions that guide policy-making and public administration in democratic societies. In particular, they should be able to describe and discuss critically the complex relationships among the various institutional components of the democratic state, the key political and bureaucratic decision-making processes associated with policy-making in some of those states, and the implications of the contemporary trends that are currently transforming those processes and relationships.

In addition to the acquisition of knowledge, the course also seeks to help students develop some of the analytical and writing skills that they will find essential in the workplace. Professionals in the field of policy-making must be able to communicate, in a clear and succinct manner, their analysis of complex issues, often under severe time constraints. Accordingly, as part of the course, students will be challenged to hone their research and writing skills by completing two policy-oriented assignments. These assignments should help students better understand the particular challenges involved in communicating policy analysis in a professional environment.

Faculty: Luc Juliet (Fall 2012)

Source: At (accessed 6 April 2013)

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

 Democratic Institutions and the Policy Process

  Administrative Law and Constitutional Checks on the Executive
  Cabinet Government: The Prime Minister, Ministers and the Bureaucracy
  Representation, Accountability and Policy
  The Democratic Deficit: Ethics, Responsiveness and Performance
  All-Powerful Leaders?: The Concentration of Power in Modern Executives

 Strategy and Structure for Public Management

  Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
  Performance, Public Management and Administrative Reforms

 Communication for Public Management

  Communication, Media and the Practice of Government

 Budgeting and Financial Management

  The Budget, Financial Management and the Politics of Deficits

 Human Resources Management

  HR, Merit and the Relative Independence of the Public Service

Commentary by the Atlas Editors:

Page created by: Ben Eisen and Matthew Seddon, last updated 5 August 2013. 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.


GSPIA_Syllabus_5116_Fall 2011_Luc_Juillet.pdfGSPIA_Syllabus_5116_Fall 2011_Luc_Juillet

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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance