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Course Listing for Glendon SPIA, January 2014

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York University (The Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, GSPIA) 

Course List for Master’s program in Public and International Affairs (MPIA) 

Downloaded from, 24 January 2014

Required Courses
PIA 6000 3.0: Public Management
PIA 6001 3.0: The Policy Process
PIA 6002 3.0: Economics and Public Policy
PIA 6003 3.0: Research Methods

Additional Required Course
PIA 6100 3.0: Capstone Seminar

PIA 6200 1.5: Colloquium: Canada and its Place in the World

PIA 6400 6.0: Internship 

Elective Courses
(N.B. Not all courses are offered every year)

PIA 6004 3.0: Canadian Political and Social Structures

PIA 6005 3.0: International Context of Policy-making
PIA 6300 3.0: State and Society
PIA 6301 3.0: Government-Business Relations
PIA 6302 3.0: Political Philosophy
PIA 6303 3.0: Global Immigration and Canadian Law and Policy
PIA 6304 3.0: Science and Technology Policy
PIA 6305 3.0: Politics of Sustainability
PIA 6306 3.0: The Global Economy

PIA 6308 3.0: International Law and International Organizations
PIA 6309 3.0: Europe in International Affairs


Public and International Affairs 6000 3.0: Public Management. This course examines the principles and processes of public management. It covers specific topics such as financial management, budget process, personnel management, political and administrative control. Analysis of proposals for public sector reform. Canadian and comparative experiences are studied.

Public and International Affairs 6001 3.0: The Policy Process. Examination of the various stages of policy analysis: definition, design, implementation and evaluation. Exploration of various theories and models of the policy process. Canadian and comparative experiences will be examined.

Public and International Affairs 6002 3.0: Economics and Public Policy. Application of fundamental economic principles to the design and analysis of government programs and policies. The dilemma between equity/efficiency faced by governments in their interventions is addressed, as well as how economics devises optimal practical solutions to this problem.

Public and International Affairs 6003 3.0: Research Methods. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods is examined to enable students to use, interpret and analyze qualitative and quantitative data as well as to appraise the analyses of others.

Public and International Affairs 6004 3.0: Canadian Political and Social Structures. An examination of governmental structures, such as the Constitution, intergovernmental relations and legislative procedures, as well as the party system and other political structures.  Exploration of social divisions such as language, ethnicity, gender and class as well as Aboriginal issues.

Public and International Affairs 6005 3.0: International Context of Policy-making. The course explores policy-makers’ attempts to improve domestic policies by the use of systematic comparisons of country performance. While not new, this ‘benchmarking exercise’ is increasingly carried out in collaboration with international organizations.

Public and International Affairs 6100 3.0: Capstone Seminar. Students pursue individual projects, starting with policy briefs and culminating in Major Research Papers (MRPs) or a Policy Analysis Exercise. A Major Research Paper is an independent examination of an issue in public affairs. A Policy Analysis Exercise is developed in collaboration with a public sector organization, or client, exploring issues that confront the client and proposing recommendations. Drafts of texts are presented in the weekly seminars and the completed papers are presented in a year-end colloquium, attended by the full student body.  

Public and International Affairs 6200 1.5: Colloquium: Canada and its Place in the World. Critical reflection on challenges facing Canada and the Canadian state, from both domestic and international perspectives.   Sessions involve faculty members, visiting faculty, practitioners, members of School advisory committee, etc. Weekly sessions to be attended by all students in the program. 

Public and International Affairs 6400 6.0: Internship.  A four-month full-time internship with an appropriate governmental or non-governmental unit.  The program will assist students in locating appropriate internships. The internship will be remunerated and be an integral part of the overall student financial assistance package. In close collaboration with the coordinator, students will define objectives and prepare an analysis of their experience. Students not undertaking an internship will complete two additional half courses, during the summer session.

Public and International Affairs 6300 3.0: State and Society. The nature of civil society and alternative theorizations of the relationship between civil society and the state. Continuing validity of the private-public division. Examination of new forms of governance that transcend the two spheres. Comparative examples will be examined.

Public and International Affairs 6301 3.0: Government-Business Relations. Focus on the interaction between government and business. Issues regarding the interplay of public policies and private governance are addressed in the global environment. A cross-country comparative approach is taken to examine topics such as intellectual property, subsidy rules, etc.

Public and International Affairs 6302 3.0: Political Philosophy. A survey of contemporary political philosophy, with a focus on issues that are particularly relevant to contemporary public affairs. Topics include theories of rights and freedoms; distributive justice; liberal neutrality; administrative and political ethics; and international obligations of rich countries.

Public and International Affairs 6303 3.0: Global Immigration and Canadian Law and Policy. An overview of Canada's legislation and policy relating to immigration and exploration of the challenges facing policymakers. Examination of current debates regarding international migration, related issues of state sovereignty, demographic trends, migration control and human rights obligations.

Public and International Affairs 6304 3.0: Science and Technology Policy. Science and technology influence society and economy as never before and the implications for government are profound. The course focuses on the understanding of the causes and consequences of technological change and the role of public policy.

Public and International Affairs 6305 3.0: Politics of Sustainability. Exploration of political goals, actors and policy instruments shaping the politics of sustainability in the Canadian context and internationally. Examination of the politics of sustainability combining the management of environmental issues and the politics of sustainable economic and social relations.

Public and International Affairs 6306 3.0: The Global Economy. Exploration of new literature on economic growth, demographic bifurcation between North and South, the rise of global cities, trade theory in the presence of free capital flows but restricted labor, the rise of China and India, and human capital agglomeration.

Public and International Affairs 6308 3.0: International Law and International Organizations. This course deals with public international law and the law of international organizations. It explores principles and processes of the international legal order so that students will understand how international law affects public affairs and the work of international organizations.

Public and International Affairs 6309 3.0: Europe in international affairs. This public affairs seminar considers the role of Europe in international affairs, focusing on the European Union and its institutions. Emphasis on an independent research project in public affairs. Enrolment is restricted to students in the Graduate Program in Public & International Affairs.

Public and International Affairs 6310 3.0 : Governance and Reforms in the Health Sector. This course will track the health services offering reforms in Canada since 1960, with an emphasis on the past few years. We will analyse the complexity of the issues as well as some management and reform approaches and strategies put forward in Canada and in several industrialised countries.

Public and International Affairs 6311 3.0 : Theories of International Relations. This course is an introduction to the major theories of international relations. It is intended as a survey course for MPIA students at Glendon College, who may have little to no background in political science or international relations.

Public and International Affairs 6312 3.0 : Identity construction, cultural trends and societal movements. Globalization, weakening of the nation-state, general state of war; this course is rooted in the heart of deep transformations. Identity construction processes, community and religious debates, cultural and social movements in advanced capitalist nations are examined through the eyes of contemporary theorists and observers.

Public and International Affairs 6313 3.0 : Feminism, Political Citizenship and Collective Action. This course proposes the most current feminist theories concerning the definition/redefinition of rights, social and political citizenships and movements. The course is multidisciplinary and structured around the intersectionality of race, gender, sexual practices and abilities.

Public and International Affairs 6314 3.0 : The Environmental Crisis: International and Public Policy Implications. The environmental crisis is a multi-dimensional phenomenon in which climate change, pollution, resource depletion, food, energy, consumption, culture, social justice and demography interact. This course examines the ramifications of these interactions for international and national public policy questions.

Public and International Affairs 6315 3.0 : The United States and the Emerging World Order. This course employs forecasting as a policymaking guide to tackle the question of how the competition between the United States and contenders for its superpower status might combine with major trends to shape alternative futures requiring new approaches to international governance and new foreign policy styles.

Public and International Affairs 6316 3.0 : Foreign Policy Analysis. The changing nature of foreign policy in the context of globalization and deterritorialization; foreign policy as public policy and in relation to the major theories of international relations. Examples are drawn primarily from the foreign policies of small and middle powers.

Public and International Affairs 6317 3.0 : Inside Public Policy. The course examines the policy process from an “insider's” perspective, including the role of research and science and the roles and responsibilities of key institutions.  Current issues are used to highlight the distinctive features of policy development in Canada as a federation and constitutional democracy.

Public and International Affairs 6318 3.0 : Notion of Risk in Modern Societies. The course explores the notion of risk in an interdisciplinary perspective at the national and international levels.  Decision-makers develop an arsenal to prevent and manage risk.  International arrangements behind risk management have been considerably transformed.

Public and International Affairs 6319 3.0 : Policies, Politics and Practice of the Multilateral Trade System. This course focuses on the international trading system as a multilateral institution affected by the global shift in power from the emerging economies. It examines the problem solving capacity of the WTO with particular emphasis on the rise of the global south and its demands for a new kind of trade and development agenda.

Public and International Affairs 6320 3.0 : Human Rights and Civil Liberties. This course probes the dilemmas of human rights in democracies. While certain principles such as free speech are fundamental to our system, they invariably collide with other important values, such as public safety. We will examine these recurring conflicts.

Public and International Affairs 6321 3.0 : Indigenous Language Policy. This course examines the field of indigenous language policy in comparative perspective in Canada and the Americas. Students analyse a variety of policy approaches and integrative perspectives from the LP field, typically those which foster language revitalization.

Public and International Affairs 6322 3.0 : Managing Diversity.

This course aims at presenting, discussing, and criticising models and philosophies pertaining to the management of diversity in Western societies. Models such as multiculturalism, republicanism, and interculturalism will be addressed in their normative, theoretical, and empirical dimensions. It involves a de facto comparative perspective as these models are often associated with different countries/jurisdictions. 

Public and International Affairs 6323 3.0 : Canada's Foreign Aid in Perspective. This course introduces the politics, policies and programming of Canada's foreign development assistance, in global comparative context. It provides an overview of international assistance structures and processes; the history of Canada's development assistance policy and programming; and current issues and debates.

Public and International Affairs 6324 3.0: World Heritage and Development. Preserving natural and cultural heritage is a strategy of sustainable development contributing to inter generational prosperity and well-being of developed and developing countries. However, negative externalities can arise. The course examines the determinants of public investment and assesses the socio-politico-economic impact of natural and cultural world heritage.  

Public and International Affairs 6326 3.0 : The Political Economics of Income Inequality. This course explores the evolving nature of income distribution in Canada, and its significance to Canadians. It will focus on empirical trends, economic causes, policy responses and emerging political realities.

Public and International Affairs 6327 3.0 : Transformations in the Middle East and North Africa. This course is designed to assist students in developing a critical analytical perspective and a professional frame of reference within the field of international development assistance, through an intensive discussion of five recent case studies in the MENA region.

Public and International Affairs 6328 3.0 : Institutions and Instruments of Public Finance in Canada. This course will be an introduction for graduate public policy students to public finances at federal, provincial and municipal levels, with an emphasis on the federal government.  It will examine the key public finance policy instruments and institutions that underlie them.

Public and International Affairs 6329 3.0 : Municipalities, Gateways and Community-based Logics. A detailed analysis of municipalities serving as gateways in transport, distribution and the international political economy, as well as of their impacts on local communities.

Public and International Affairs 6331 :The Development of Socio-Economic Policy in Canada, 1919-1966.  An examination of economic, financial, social, and cultural policy development in Canada, within the context of federal-provincial relations, from the end of the First World War into the 1960s.

Public and International Affairs 6332 : Citizenship and Migration. The political and policy relevance of citizenship and migration is high. Through contemporary case studies, students in this course examine a range of issues related to the politics of nationality and citizenship, transformations of sovereignty, the meaning of citizenship, immigration and emigration policies and laws, immigrant integration, and border and security studies.

Public and International Affairs 6333 : A Geopolitical History of the Middle East. This course focuses on conflicts, doctrines and socio-political dynamics which determine the geopolitics of the Middle East. This reality is analysed through the historical evolution of these terms from the reforms of the nineteenth century to the mixed results of the Arab Spring. The course is taught in French.

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance