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Institutional Designs and Paths

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Actors, Interests and Lobbying
Administration and Governance
Administrative Law and Constitutional Checks on the Executive
All-Powerful Leaders?: The Concentration of Power in Modern Executives
Bureaucracy and the Formulation of Public Policy
Canadian Intergovernmental Structures and Operating Processes
Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations of Third Sector Governance and Management
Courts, Judicial Review, Rights and Democracy
Emergence of the Nation State
Executive Authority, Cabinet and Leadership
Executive Leadership in Government
Executive-Legislative Relations
Federal-Provincial Fiscal Relations
Federal-Provincial-Municipal Relations
Game Theory and Rational Institutionalism
Indigenous Rights and Institutions
Institutional Architecture: Federalism
Institutional Designs and Paths
Machinery of Government
Media, Framing and Agenda Setting
New Public Management
Parliamentary, Presidential and Decentralized Unitary Systems
Political and Administrative Responsibilities
Political and Administrative Responsibilities
Political Parties and Elections
Probing the Accuracy of Rational Decision Making Models: Alternative Accounts
Public and Para-Public Institutions
Public Institutions, Organizing Principles and Democratic Control
Public Opinion, Ideas and Policy Frames
Representation and Accountability
Representation and Responsiveness
Representation, Accountability and Policy
The Architecture of the Canadian State
The Bureaucracy and Bureaucratic Behaviour
The Changing Role of the State
The Democratic Deficit: Ethics, Responsiveness and Performance
The International Context of Domestic Institutions
The Policy Cycle
The Political Context of Policy Making
Weber: Rationalization and Bureaucracy
Westminster Parliamentary Systems
Who are the Players in the Policy Process?


A Teaching Topic in Democratic Institutions and Policy Process 

Institutional Designs and Paths

This topic seeks to shed light on how public institutions are structured. The focus being on the administrational aspects such people who staff public institutions and the they are managed and the procedures that they undertake as functionaries of the state apparatus. (PUAD-612) Given that variation of institutions occurs due to factors like history, culture, and other variables, the study of institutions can also be done at a comparative level, focusing on reforms, capacity building activities, and the inhibitive factors that affect policy making   performed by institutions in various states. (PUAD-608) This topic seeks to document the process of how institutions are subject to change by covering the historical and theoretical foundations of the topic. (JSGS-801)

Topic Learning Outcome: Students will be able to clearly explain how governance institutions help shape policy outcomes, and the ways in which different institutional arrangements can either constrain or empower policy actors and ultimately help determine policy outcomes . Students will be able to identify the key differences between Canadian and American governance institutions, and will be familiar with prevailing theories about how those differences influence policy outcomes in the two countries.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: New Institutionalism; Path Dependency; Institutionalism.

Recommended Readings

American University: PUAD-612 and PUAD-608

Fayol, Henri. General and Industrial Management (1916). Pp. 19-26, 33-36. (PUAD-612)

Gulick, Luther. “Notes on the Theory of Organization” from Papers on the Science of Administration (1937). Pg. 3-13. (PUAD-612)

Taylor, Frederick Winslow. The Principles of Scientific Management. Harper, 1914. (PUAD-612)

Brownlow, Louis, Charles E. Merriam, and Luther Gulick. "Report of the President's Committee on Administrative Management." Classics of Public Administration. J. Shafritz, M., AC Hyde und SJ Parkes. Belmont, Wadsworth (1937): 99-103. (PUAD-612)

Dahl, Robert A. 1947. The Science of Public Administration: Three Problems. Public Administration Review 7(1): 1-11. (PUAD-608)

Kettl, D.F. and J.W. Fesler. 2009. What Government Does – And How it Does it. In The Politics of the Administrative Process, pp. 49-73. (PUAD-608)

La Palombra, Joseph. 2006. An Overview of Bureaucracy and Political Development. In Comparative Public Administration: The Essential Readings, edited by Eric E. Otenyo and Nancy S. Lind, 193-220. New York, NY: Elsevier. (PUAD-608)

Micklethwait, J. 2011. A Special Report on the Future of the State: Taming Leviathan.

The Economist, March 23: 1-4. (PUAD-608)

Meier, K.J. 1997. Bureaucracy and Democracy: The Case for More Bureaucracy and Less

Democracy. Public Administration Review 57(3): 193-199. (PUAD-608)

Carleton University: PADM-5116

Leslie A. Pal, Beyond Policy Analysis 4th ed. Toronto: Nelson Education, 2010. Chapter 4. (PADM-5116)

Aucoin, Peter. “The Policy Roles of Central Agencies: Bruce Doern’s Approach to the Policy Process.” in Policy, Eds. G. Toner, L.A. Pal, and M.J. Prince. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010. Pp. 59-76. (PADM-5116)

McDaniel, Susan and Paul Bernard. “Life Course as a Policy Lens: Challenges and Opportunities.” Canadian Public Policy, Supplement Vol. XXXVII, 2011. (PADM-5116)

Milkman, L., Katherine, Todd Rogers and Max H. Bazerman. “Harnessing Our Inner Angels and Demons: What We have Learned About Want/Should Conflicts and How That knowledge Can Help Us Reduce Short-Sighted Decision Making.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 3:4 (2008), 324-338. (PADM-5116)  

Harvard Kennedy School: DPI-101

Mainwaring, Scott and Matthew Shugart. “Juan Linz, Presidentialism, and  Democracy: A Critical Appraisal.Comparative Politics 29:4 (1997), pp. 449-471. (DPI-101) 

Linz, Juan. (1990) “The Perils of Presidentialism,” Journal of Democracy, 1(1): 51-69. (DPI-101)

NYU Wagner: GP-1002

Heclo, Hugh. “Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment”. (GP-1002)

Federalist Papers 10 & 51 (GP-1002)

Kraft & Furlong, Public Policy: Politics, Analysis and Alternatives, 4th edition (2013). (GP-1002

Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, 2nd updated edition (2011). (GP-1002) 

Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy: JSGS-801

Weber, Max. “Bureaucracy,” in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, eds. H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills New York: Oxford University Press, 1946. Pp. 1-7. 

Wilson , James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. New York: Basic Books.  Chapters 1,2,7,9.

Miller, Gary J. (2005) “The Political Evolution of Principal-Agent Models.” Annual Review of Political Science 8: 203–225.

Scott, James C. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. Introduction and chapters 9 and 10.

Merton, Robert K. Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press, 1957.  Chapter 6, “Bureaucratic Structure and Personality.”

Lynn, Laurence E. (2001) "The Myth of the Bureaucratic Paradigm: What Public Administration Really Stood for." Public Administration Review 61: 144-160.

University of Toronto- PPG-1000

Peters, B.G. (2011). “Institutional Theory”, pp. 78-91 in The Sage handbook of governance, Mark Bevir (Eds). London: SAGE. (PPG-1000)

Atkinson, M. (1993) “Introduction: Governing Canada”, pp. 1-16. in Governing Canada: Institutions and Public Policy. M. Atkinson (ed.). Toronto: Harcourt, Brace Janovich Canada Inc. (PPG-1000)

Boothe, K., Harrison, K. (2009) The Influence of Institutions on Issue Definition: Children's Environmental Health Policy in the United States and Canada, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 11(3): 287-307. (PPG-1000)

Boucher. A. (2013). Bureaucratic Control and Policy Change: A Comparative Venue Shopping Approach to Skilled Immigration Policies in Australia and Canada, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice (PPG-1000)

Possible Assessment Questions:

  1. Political scientists often claim that the American system of government creates an “institutional bias” in favour of government inaction.  Provide some examples of features in the American system that might contribute to such a bias.
  2. What is institutionalism?
  3. What are some of the key differences between Canadian and American governing institutions, and how might these differences influence policy development?

Page created by: Joshua Tan, edited by Ben Eisen, 23 October 2014.


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