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PPM-102: Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

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Normed Course Outlines

PPM-102: Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

Description: This normed course outline covers the fundamental problems of participation and democratic governance in contemporary political systems. It provides students with an understanding of public policy, decision-making in government and key elements of the policy process. This subject also examines the political institutions in democratic societies and their implications for the formulation and implementation of public policy. Students consider how different institutional frameworks meet the tests of democracy, conflict management, effective governance and accountability. This includes the ways that the policymaking world has changed in recent years, forcing reconsideration of the traditional tools of policy analysis and public management. Specifically, it considers how the public policy challenges of the 21st century require policy-makers to see issues from multiple perspectives aside from that of the state – they must also see issues from the perspective of other stakeholders whose actions will be essential to the achievement of government objectives. 

Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course students will have the skills and knowledge to utilize the concepts enumerated below and be able to understand and describe: 

  • How political institutions and structures shape the choice architecture of politicians and the decision making process, and how different political systems impact the policy making process, including their ability to meet the increasingly complex demands of contemporary governance.
  • The key bureaucratic and legislative processes through which policies are decided upon, implemented and evaluated, including the political and administrative obstacles that must be overcome at different stages in the policy cycle and will be able to identify the most influential actors and institutions at the different steps.
  • The distinction between a federal state and a unitary state, including the historical underpinnings and key features of the country’s federal system.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the elected legislature and cabinet ministers as well as the appropriate role of the unelected, non-partisan professional public service, including the relationship between the bureaucracy and elected politicians, bureaucratic independence, ministerial responsibility, and the alleged "politicization" of the public service.
  • The ways in which pressures from outside of the state can enable and constrain the policy and implementation choices available to domestic policymakers, as well as the important international institutions that influence domestic policy choices and the implications of globalization and trade liberalization for democratic accountability.
  • The historical evolution of the unique governance institutions that have been developed by and for indigenous peoples, including the key historical and ongoing disputes about the legal rights of Aboriginal peoples as individuals and members of specific communities, including key court cases that have shaped indigenous rights and institutions.
  • The role of the Cabinet in a Westminster parliamentary system, including the role of the Prime Minister and other Cabinet Ministers, and the relationships between the Cabinet and the bureaucracy as well as the Cabinet and the legislature.
  • The foundations of Westminster forms of government (with a focus on the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India) including the differences with alternative regimes such as presidential systems.
  • The role of the courts in the policy process and Constitutional rights and freedoms, and the key similarities and differences between the constitutional orders that exist in developed countries, particularly Canada and the United States.
  • What a para-public institution is, and the advantages and risks of relying on para-public institutions to deliver public services.
  • The role of political parties in democratic systems and the role of elections in ensuring democratic accountability and channelling the preferences of the people as an input to the policy process.
  • How the people hold governments accountable under a presidential system, and under a Westminster parliamentary system, including the role of interest groups, the media and engaged citizens in the policy process, and the opportunities and constraints such actors face in their efforts to see their policy preferences enacted by governments.

Concepts to be Learned: Agenda Setting; Brokerage Politics; Deliberative Democracy; Democracy; Direct vs. Indirect Democracy; Interest Aggregation; Issue-Attention Cycle; Issue Framing; Legislature; Political PartiesVenue Shopping; Focusing Events; Policy; Policy Development; Policy Feedback; Policy Goals; Policy Learning; Policy Statement; Policy Window; Problem Recognition; Punctuated Equilibrium; Deliberation; Federalism; Asymmetrical Federalism; Cooperative Federalism; Cost-shared Programs; Executive Federalism; Fiscal Federalism; Tax Transfer; Intrastate Federalism; Washington Consensus; Policy Transfer; Catch-Up Effect; Fragile State; Globalization; Globalization System; Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers; Intergovernmental Organization; Intergovernmental Relations; Internationalization; Intrastate Federalism; Structural Theories of Globalization; Trade Liberalization; Capital Flight; Capital Mobility; Aboriginal; Inherent Right to Self-Government; Own Source Revenue; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; The Crown’s Fiduciary Relationship with Aboriginal Peoples; Emergency Management; Prime Minister; Cabinet; Memorandum to Cabinet; Westminster Style Parliamentary System; Official Opposition; Parliamentary Accountability; Parliamentary Budget Officer; Parliamentary System of Government; Responsible Government; Standing Committees; Statute; Backbencher; Cabinet Secrecy; Central Agencies; Government Bill; Legislation; Legislative Auditor; Legislative Committees; Legislature; Legitimacy; Regime;  Stare DecisisJudicial ActivismJudicial IndependenceJudicial ReviewJudiciary; Quasi-Legislation; Public Sector Management; Government Business Enterprise; Regulation; Regulatory Agency; Political Parties; Politicization; Presidential System of Government; Brokerage Politics; Liberal Democracy; Single Member Plurality System; Citizen Engagement; Public Interest; Citizen Participation; Citizens; Citizenship; Democracy; Direct vs. Indirect Democracy; Representative Democracy.

Course Syllabi Sources for this Normed Course Outline: University of Toronto: PPPG-1001; Toronto: PPG2001H The Law and Policy of Protecting the Environment, Winter 2014; Carleton University: PADM-5116; Saskatchewan and Regina: JSGS-801; NYU Wagner: CORE-GP.1022; George Washington: PPA-6006; American: PUAD-612, UCLA: PP-202, George Washington: PPA-6011; Harvard Kennedy School:  DPI-101; NYU Wagner: GP-1022;

Normed Topics in this Normed Course Outline

Like other normed topics on the Atlas, each of these has a topic description, links to core concepts relevant to the topic, learning outcomes, a reading list drawn from available course syllabi, and a series of assessment questions.

Recommended Readings:

Week 1: The Political Context of Policy Making

Deborah A. Stone. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, 3rd Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011.  Introduction, Chapters 1-4, 6-9, 11-14, Conclusion.

R. Kent Weaver. Ending Welfare as We Know It. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2000. Chapter 6, “The Role of Policy Research,” pp. 135-168.

Arnold J. Meltsner. (1972), “Political Feasibility and Policy Analysis.” PAR, 32(6): 859-867.

Bachrach and Baratz (1962), “Two Faces of Power,” American Political Science Review, 56(4): 947-952.

Anthony Downs (1972), “Up and Down with Ecology: The Issue-Attention Cycle.” The Public Interest, 28: 38-50.

Donald Horowitz, 2003, “Electoral Systems: A Primer for Decision Makers,” Journal of Democracy 14 (4), pp. 115-127.

Torben Iversen and David Soskice, 2006, “Electoral Institutions and the Politics of Coalitions: Why Some Democracies Redistribute More Than Others,” American Political Science Review100 (2), pp. 165-181.

Skogstad, Grace. 2003. “Who Governs? Who Should Govern? Political Authority and Legitimacy in Canada in the Twenty-First Century.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 36(5), 955-973.

Sutherland, Sharon. 1991. “Responsible Government and Ministerial Responsibility: Every Solution is its Own Problem.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 24(1), 91-111.

Smith, David. 2007. “Clarifying the Doctrine of Ministerial Responsibility as it Applies to the Government and Parliament of Canada.” Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities Research Studies I. 101-43.  http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/GomeryII/ResearchStudies1/CISPAA_Vol1_4.pdf 

Brown, David C.G. 2013. "Accountability in a collectivized environment: From Glassco to digital public administration." Canadian Public Administration 56 (1): 47-69.

Mulgan, Richard. 2010. “Where Have All the Ministers Gone?” Australian Journal of Public Administration, 69 (3): 289-300.

Polidano, Charles. 1999. “The Bureaucrat Who Fell Under a Bus: Ministerial Responsibility, Executive Agencies and The Derek Lewis Affair in Britain.” Governance 12(2): 201-229.

D’Ombrain, Nicolas. 2007. “Ministerial Responsibility and the Machinery of Government,” Canadian Public Administration 50(2): 195-218.

Shepsle, Kenneth. 1989. “Studying Institutions: Some Lessons from the Rational Choice Approach.” Journal of Theoretical Politics 1, 2: pp. 131-47.

Hardin, Garrett. 1968. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science 162: pp. 1243-1248.

Moe, Terry. 2005. “Power and Political Institutions.” Perspectives on Politics 3, 2 : pp. 215-233.

Ostrom, Elinor. 1999. “Coping with Tragedies of the Commons.” Annual Review of Political Science 2: pp. 493-535.

Week 2: The Policy Cycle

Kraft & Furlong, Public Policy: Politics, Analysis and Alternatives, 4th edition (2013). Chapter 3.

Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, 2nd updated edition (2011). Chapters 4-10.

Jenkins-Smith, HC & Sabatier, PA (1994), "Evaluating the Advocacy Coalition Framework"Journal of Public Policy, Volume 14,Issue 02, April 1994, pp 175-203

Charles Lindblom (1959), “The Science of Muddling Through." PAR 19(2): 79-88.

Baumgartner, Frank R. & Jones, Bryan D. (2009), Agendas and Instability in American Politics, Chapters 1 & 2. University of Chicago Press

Week 3: Federalism

Gibbins, Roger, Antonia Maioni and Janice Gross Stein. 2006. Canada by Picasso: The Faces of Federalism. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada. Essays by Gibbins and Stein. Available online: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/documents.aspx?did=1785.

Mendelsohn, Matthew, Joshua Hjartarson and James Pearce. 2010. Saving Dollars and Making Sense: An Agenda for a More Efficient and Accountable Federation. Toronto: Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.

Simeon, Richard and Amy Nugent. 2008. “Parliamentary Canada and Intergovernmental Canada: Exploring the Tensions.” Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy, ed. Herman Bakvis and Grace Skogstad, 89-111. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Slack, Enid and Richard M. Bird. 2007. “Cities in Canadian Federalism.” Policy Options December 2007:72-77.

Skogstad, G. (2003). Who Governs? Who Should Govern?: Political Authority and Legitimacy in Canada in the Twenty-First Century. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 36(5): 955-973.

Taylor, Charles. 1993. “Shared and divergent values,” in Reconciling the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Federalism and Nationalism, p. 155-186. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Rocher, Francois. 2009. "The Quebec-Canada Dynamic or the Negation of the Ideal of Federalism." In Contemporary Canadian Federalism: Foundations, Traditions, Institutions, ed. Alain-G. Gagnon, p. 97-131. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Laforest, Guy. 2010. “The meaning of Canadian federalism in Québec: Critical reflections.” Revista d’Estudis Autonomics i Federals 11(October): 11-56.

Cameron, David. 2012. “Quebec and the Canadian federation,” in Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy, 3rd ed., eds. Herman Bakvis and Grace Skogstad, p. 38-58. (PPG-1000)

White, Graham. 2009. “Governance in Nunavut: Capacity vs. culture?” Journal of Canadian Studies 43(2): 57-81.

Alfred Stepan. 1999. “Federalism and Democracy: Beyond the US model.” Journal of Democracy, 10(4).

Beamer, Glenn. Creative Politics: Taxes and Public Goods in a Federal System. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999. Chapters 1-5, 6, 7, 8. 

Stone, Deborah A. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, 3rd Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. Chapter 15, Powers.

McDermott, Kathryn A. and Laura S. Jensen. “Dubious Sovereignty: Federal Conditions of Aid and the No Child Left Behind Act.” Peabody Journal of Education 80(2): 39-56.

Dobbs, Michael. “Federal Rules for Teachers Relaxed; Rural Schools Will Get a Break,” Washington Post, March 16, 2004, p. A-03.

Gillespie, Noreen. “Conn. Sues ‘No Child Left Behind’ Law,” Associated Press, August 22, 2005.

States Defy Rules of Federal No Child Left Behind Law,” St. Petersburg Times, September 5, 2005.

Week 4: Political and Administrative Responsibilities

Leone, Roberto and Frank Ohemeng. Approaching Public Administration: Core Debates and Emerging Issues (Toronto: Edmond-Montgomery, 2011). chapter 5.

Nick d’Ombrain, “Ministerial Responsibility and the Machinery of Government,” Canadian Public Administration, 50, 2, Summer 2007, 195-218.

Gregory Tardi, “Departments and other Institutions of Government,” in Christopher Dunn (ed.), The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration. Don Mills, Oxford University Press, 2002, 281-304.

John Alford and Janine O’Flynn, “Making Sense of Public Value: Concepts, Critiques and Emergent Meanings,” International Journal of Public Administration, 32 (2009), 3, 171-91.

Kenneth Kernaghan, “East Block and Westminster: Conventions, Values, and Public Service,” in Christopher Dunn (ed.), The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration. Don Mills, Oxford University Press, 2002, 104-119.

Peter Aucoin, Jennifer Smith and Geoff Dinsdale, Responsible Government: Clarify Essentials, Dispelling Myths and Exploring Change (Ottawa: Canada School of Public Service, 2004).

Jonathan Malloy and Scott Millar, “Why Ministerial Responsibility can Still Work,” in G. Bruce Doern (ed.), How Ottawa Spends 2007-2008: The Harper Conservatives – Climate of Change (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007), 105-22.

Week 5: The International Context of Domestic Institutions

Cameron, David and Janice Stein. 2002. “The State as place amid shifting spaces,” in Street Protests and Fantasy Parks: Globalization, Culture and the State, eds. David Cameron and Janice Stein, 141-59. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Muller, Jerry Z. 2013. “Capitalism and Inequality.” Foreign Affairs 92(2): 30-51.

Hoberg, George, Keith G. Banting, and Richard Simeon. 2002. “The scope of domestic choice: Policy autonomy in a globalizing world,” in Capacity for Choice: Canada in a New North America, ed. George Hoberg, p. 253-298. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Slaughter, Anne-Marie. February 2013. “Preface”, in The Arab Spring and Climate Change. Center for American Progress/The Stimson Center: 1-6. http://www.americanprogress.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/02/ClimateChangeArabSpring.pdf

Wolfgang Streeck. 2011. “The Crises of Democratic Capitalism,” New Left Review 71 (September-October 2011) 5-29.

Hale, Geoffrey E. 2012. “In pursuit of leverage: The evolution of Canadian trade and investment policies in an increasingly multipolar world.” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 18(1): 106-119.

Evans, Paul. 2006. “Canada, Meet Global China.” International Journal 61(Spring): 283-298.

Stephen Gill. "The Constitution of Global Capitalism", 2000.

Dorval Brunelle. From World Order and Global Disorder. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008. End of Chapter 4 (beginning at the McDonald Commission) and Chapter 5-6, pp. 91-128.

Week 6: Indigenous Rights and Institutions

Borrows. 2004. Recovering Canada, The Resurgence of Indigenous Law. Page 13 to 28 and page 47 to 55.

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. 2006. "Principles of a Renewed Relationship" and "Restructuring the Relationships." In The Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Highlights of the report available at http://www.aincinac.gc.ca/ch/rcap/rpt/nte_e.html

Alfred, T. 2000. "Deconstructing the British Columbia Treaty Process."

Review of the B.C. Treaty Process. Institute on Governance. 1998. "Aboriginal Governance in Urban Settings."

Bunnell, Friesen and Hyung. 2006. "Indigination: the politics of being/becoming indigenous in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Canada."

Barsh, R. 1993. "Aboriginal Governance in the United States: A Qualitative Political Analysis."

Democracy Center. 2007. "Interpreting Bolivia’s Political Transformation."

Week 7: Westminster Parliamentary Systems

Savoie, Donald J., Court Government and the Collapse of Accountability: in Canada and the United Kingdom (Toronto: UofT Press, 2008). Introduction and Chapter 2.

Leone, Roberto and Frank Ohemeng. Approaching Public Administration: Core Debates and Emerging Issues (Toronto: Edmond-Montgomery, 2011). chapter 3

Gerald Baier, Herman Bakvis and Douglas Brown, “Executive Federalism, the Democratic Deficit and Parliamentary Reform,” in G. Bruce Doern (ed.), How Ottawa Spends 2005-2006: Managing the Minority. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005, 163-183.

Paul Thomas, “Parliament and the Public Service,” in Christopher Dunn (ed.), The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration. Don Mills, Oxford University Press, 2002, 341-368.

Joseph Heath, “The Myth of Shared Values in Canada,” 2003 John L. Manion Lecture, Canada School of Public Service. May 2003, 1-35.

Eugene Forsey, How Canadians Govern Themselves, 7th Edition (Ottawa: Supply and Services, 2005). Available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/idb/forsey/PDFs/How_Canadians_Govern_Themselves-7ed.pdf/

Aucoin, P., Smith, J., Dinsdale, G. (2004). Responsible Government: Clarifying Essentials, Dispelling Myths and Exploring Change. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Management Development. Available online: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/SC94-107-2004E.pdf

Johnson, D. (2011). Chapter 3. “Institutions of Governance”, pp.105-156 in Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Griffith, A. (June, 2013). Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism. Optimum Online. Vol. 43, Issue 2.

Week 8: Executive Leadership in Government

David Johnson (2011), "Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada," 3rd edition, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Chapters 3 and 4.

Donald Savoie (2010), “Revisiting Governing from the Centre”, in Power: Where Is It?, Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 129-151.

Eoin O’Malley (2007), “Setting Choices, Controlling Outcomes: The Operation of Prime Ministerial Influence and the UK’s Decision to Invade Iraq”, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 9, 1-19.

Peter Riddell, Zoe Gruhn, and Liz Carolan (2011), "The Challenge of Being a Minister," London, Institute of Government, London, Institute of Government, 14-22.

Week 9: Courts, Judicial Review, Rights and Democracy

Deborah A. Stone. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making . New York: W.W. Norton, 1997. Chapter 14, Rights.

R. Shep Melnick. Between the Lines: Interpreting Welfare Rights . Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1994. Chapters 1, “Statutory Interpretation in Amer ican Politics,” pp. 3 – 22.

Jeb Barnes, Overruled? Legislative Overrides, Pluralism, and Contemporary Court - Congress Relations. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Peter D. Jacobson and Kenneth E. Warner, “Litigation and Public Health Policy Making: The Case of Tobacco Control,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 24 (August 1999): 769 – 804.

D. Rosenbloom, J. Carroll, and J. Carroll, Constitutional Competence for Public Managers: Cases and Commentary. Thomson Custom Publishing, 2010.

D. Rosenbloom, Administrative Law for Public Managers (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2003). ISBN 0-8133-9805-3.

Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190, 2008 SCC 9. http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/2408/index.do

Green, Andrew. 2012. Discretion, Judicial Review and Environmental Policy: Does the Federal Court Constrain Decisions under CEAA? www.canlecon.org/index.php/CLEA/CLEA2012/
paper/view/196

Sullivan, Ruth. 2008. Sullivan on the Construction of Statutes, 5th ed. Markham, Ont.: LexisNexis. Chapter 1: Driedger’s Modern Principle.

Week 10: Public and Para-Public Institutions

Lienert, Ian. 2009. "Where Does the Public Sector End and the Private Sector Begin?" IMF Working Paper. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2009/wp09122.pdf

Dean, Tony. 2011. “Is Public Service Delivery Obsolete? Why competition between civil servants, corporations and non-profits is good for everyone.” Literary Review of Canada 19(7):6-8.

Gold, Jennifer, Matthew Mendelsohn, Josh Hjartarson, and Reuven Shlozberg. 2011. Fiscal Sustainability & the Future of Public Services: A Shifting Gears Progress Report. Toronto: Mowat Centre.

Week 11: Political Parties and Elections

Nadia Urbinati and Mark E. Warren (2008) “The Concept of Representation in Contemporary Democratic Theory”, Annual Review of Political Science, vol.11, 387-412.

Peter Aucoin, Mark Jarvis and Lori Turnbull (2011) “Letting the People Decide: When Elections are not Enough”, in Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government, Toronto, Emond Montgomery Publications, 155-202. 

Nic Nanos (2011) “From a nothing election to a seismic shift”, Policy Options, July Issue, Montreal, IRPP, 14-16.

Stuart Soroka, Fred Cutler, Dietlind Stolle and Patrick Fournier (2011) “Capturing Change (and Continuity) in the 2011 Campaign”, Policy Options, July Issue, Montreal, IRPP, 70-77.

Skogstad, Grace. 2003. “Who Governs? Who Should Govern? Political Authority and Legitimacy in Canada in the Twenty-First Century.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 36, 5: pp. 955-974.

Barnes, Marian. 2003. “Constituting ‘the Public’ in Public Participation.” Public Administration 81, 2: pp. 379-399.

Walters, Lawrence C, et al. 2000. “Putting More Public in Policy Analysis.” Public Administration Review 60, 4: pp. 349-359.

David Smith. 2007. “Clarifying the doctrine of ministerial responsibility as it applies to the government and parliament of Canada.” Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities Research.  Studies I. 101-43. Available at: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/GomeryII/ResearchStudies1/CISPAA_Vol1_4.pdf

Donald Horowitz, 2003, “Electoral Systems: A Primer for Decision Makers,” Journal of Democracy 14 (4), pp. 115-127.

Evans, Heather K., Victoria Cordova, and Savannah Sipole. 2014. "Twitter Style: An Analysis of How House Candidates Used Twitter in Their 2012 Campaigns." PS: Political Science and Politics 47(2):  454-462.

Bawn, Kathleen, Martin Cohen, David Karol, Seth Masket, Hans Noel, and John Zaller.  2012. "A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands,  and Nominations in American Politics." Perspectives on Politics 10(3): 571-597.

Milkis, Sidney M., Jesse H. Rhodes, and Emily J. Charnock.  2012. "What Happened to Post-Partisanship? Barack Obama and the New American Party System." Perspectives on Politics 10(1): 57-76.

Week 12: Representation and Accountability

Thomas E. Patterson, We the People (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011) 7e, pp. 546-550; 8e, pp. 544-558; 9e, pp. 537-544

Kraft & Furlong, Public Policy: Politics, Analysis and Alternatives, 4th edition (2013) Chapter 1

Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, 2nd updated edition (2011) Chapter 1

Smith & Larimer, “Public Policy as a Concept and a Field (or Fields) of Study”

Aucoin, P., Smith, J., Dinsdale, G. (2004). Responsible Government: Clarifying Essentials, Dispelling Myths and Exploring Change. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Management Development. Available online: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/SC94-107-2004E.pdf

Johnson, D. (2011). Chapter 3. “Institutions of Governance”, pp.105-156 in Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Griffith, A. (June, 2013). Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism. Optimum Online. Vol. 43, Issue 2.

Skogstad, G. (2003). Who Governs? Who Should Govern?: Political Authority and Legitimacy in Canada in the Twenty-First Century. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 36(5): 955-973.

Kernaghan, K. (2000). The Post-Bureaucratic Organization and Public Service Values. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 66(1): 91-104.

David Zussman (2010). “The Precarious State of the Federal Public Service: Prospects for Renewal”, in G. Bruce Doern and Christopher Stoney (eds.), How Ottawa Spends 2010-2011: Recession, Realignment and the New Deficit Era, Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 219-242.

Savoie, D. (2010). “Revisiting Governing From The Centre”, pp. 129-151, In Power Where Is It? Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Johnson, chapter 9: “Acco untability: Responsibility, Responsiveness, and Ethics,” pp. 423—466.

Thomas, Paul G. (2008). “The Swirling Meanings and Practices of Accountability in Canadian Government” in David Siegel and Ken Rasmussen, editors, Professionalism and Public Service: Essays in Honour of Kenneth Kernaghan. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp.34—62. JL 75 .P758 2008

Aucoin, Peter and Mark Jarvis (2005). Modernizing Government Accountability: A Framework for Reform, Ottawa, Canada School of Public Service. http://www.csps-efpc.gc.ca/pbp/pub/pdfs/P131_e.pdf 

Sample Assessment Questions:

1a) In no more than one paragraph each, define the following terms: Agenda Setting; Brokerage Politics; Deliberative Democracy; Democracy; Direct vs. Indirect Democracy; Interest Aggregation; Issue-Attention Cycle; Issue Framing; Legislature; Political Parties; Venue Shopping. 1b) How do political pressures influence the choices facing politicians and other policymakers? 1c) It is sometimes said that political pressure is a constraint on rational policymaking. Explain why you think this is or is not true, using examples. 1d) Given the complexities of contemporary governance, would citizens be better served if more decisions were placed in the hands of unelected, professional public servants who are more insulated from political pressure than elected politicians? Why or why not?

2a) What is meant by the terms policy cycle and policy window and why are they important concepts for students of public administration and practitioners to understand? 2b) What is meant by the terms policy feedback and policy learning in the policy cycle and how do they relate to the collection of performance information?

3a) Using examples, describe what a federal state is and how does it differ from a unitary state. 3b) Describe the key responsibilities of the federal government and the state-level governments in the USA, Canada and Germany. 3c) What are the major federal-state fiscal transfers in these three countries?

4a) Describe some of the responsibilities of elected officials in a government. 4b) What is the politics-administration dichotomy and what are some of the principal criticisms of this dichotomy as a theory of government?

5a) Define the terms "policy diffusion" and "policy convergence," using an example in each case. 5b) Critics of trade liberalization sometimes argue that free trade agreements weaken the autonomy of domestic lawmakers and thereby reduce democratic accountability. In two pages, explain whether you think these concerns are well-founded, making use of real-world evidence from recent years. 5c) What is the Washington Consensus and why is this an important concept for students of public management to be familiar with? 

6a) What does the term "inherent right to self-government" mean, and what is its importance in the context of Aboriginal governance in Canada? 6b) Explain the “Crown's Fiduciary Relationship with Aboriginal Peoples" in and the importance of this concept for public policy in Canada. 

7a) What is the role of the Prime Minister in the Westminster parliamentary system and what is meant by the term "primus inter pares”? 7b) What is the cabinet and its role in the Westminster parliamentary system? 7c) Explain the meaning of the term "responsible government" with reference to the relationship between the cabinet and the legislature.

8a) There is a general consensus that power in Westminster democracies is becoming more concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister and his or her office. Suggest, in five pages, the factors that may be contributing to this concentration and the extent to which they apply to Presidential and other non-Westminster forms of government.

9a) Explain the process of Judicial Review using at least one example of a case where the judicial review process resulted in the overturning of a law that was enacted by the elected branches of government. 9b) Some have argued that the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms “Americanized” Canada’s constitutional order and the role of judicial review. Explain what is meant by this claim.

10a) Explain the nature of a government business enterprise and why governments choose to own and operate them. 10b) What are the potential risks and benefits associated with governments encouraging civil servants, corporations and non-profits to compete with one another for the opportunity to deliver public services?

11a) Some scholars and commentators have posited that a “democratic deficit” exists in many advanced democracies. 11b) Describe in 2 pages the most important differences between the Canadian and American electoral systems and how can these difference influence the policy process. 11c) What is a “brokerage” party and explain the importance of this concept in the context of advanced democracies.

12a) How does public opinion influence policymaking in between elections? 12b) Do differences in their governing institutions effect the extent to which popular opinion influences policymaking in the short-term in Canada and the United States and, if so, how? 12c) What is Ministerial Responsibility and why is this an important element of accountability in the Westminster parliamentary system? 12d) What is the issue-attention cycle and why is this an important concept?

Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 15 June 2015.

 


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