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PADM 5228 Social Policy

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PPGPortal > Home > Illustrative Courses > Carleton (SPPA) > PADM 5228 Social Policy

PADM 5115: Introduction to State and Society
PADM 5116: Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
PADM 5117: Public Sector Management and the Canadian Political System
PADM 5211: Canadian Intergovernmental Relations
PADM 5212: Public Policy and Civil Society - Options and Issues in Financing the Third Sector
PADM 5213: Gender and Public Policy
PADM 5214 Budgetary Policy in the Public Sector
PADM 5215 Benefit-Cost Analysis
PADM 5220 Regulation and Public Policy
PADM 5221: Health Policy in Canada
PADM 5223: Economic Policy in Canada
PADM 5224 Aboriginal Policy - The North
PADM 5225: Trade Policy
PADM 5228 Social Policy
PADM 5229: The Health of Populations
PADM 5272: Risk Assessment and Management
PADM 5411 Organization Theory
PADM 5412 Ethics and Accountability in the Public Sector
PADM 5415 Strategic Management in the Public Sector
PADM 5416: Budget Management for the Public Sector
PADM 5417 Principles of Finance
PADM 5418 Human Resource Management
PADM 5420: Policy & Program Evaluation
PADM 5421: Globalizing Public Management - Measuring and Monitoring Governance
PADM 5422 Urban and Local Government Management
PADM 5423: Third Sector Governance and Management
PADM 5472: Managing Policy and Process in a Federal Government Policy Organization
PADM 5472: Technology and Public Administratin
PADM 5472: The Politics of Management: Thinking like a Manager
PADM 5510: Energy Economics
PADM 5515: Sustainable Energy Policy
PADM 5614: Natural Resource Management
PADM 5615: Policy and Politics of Energy in Canada
PADM 5618: Environmental and Ecological Economics
PADM 5672: Innovation Policy
PADM 5813 The Evolution of World Bank/IMF Policy
PADM 5814 Program and Project Management
PADM 5815: Civil Society Organizations and Development
PADM 5816 Program Evaluation in Developing Countries
PADM 5818 Theories of Development


PADM 5228  - 
Social Policy 

Carleton University 



Social Policy is not an academic discipline. It is not a branch of sociology, social work or political science. It is neither the study of dismal social problems. Social Policy is a subject area: the study of human well-being and the ways in which a society attempts to achieve this well-being. Social Policy borrows on many social science disciplines including sociology, social work, psychology, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy and law.

The term "social policy" can be used to designate the policies which governments use for welfare and social protection. Nevertheless, as an academic topic, social policy has a huge scope since it relates to the ways in which well-being is promoted and provided in a society. It extends far beyond the actions of government, and includes social, cultural and economic conditions and interactions shaping the development of welfare.

Social Policy normally includes policies about education, health, social security and housing, all understood in their broadest meaning. It can include as well policies to provide full-employment, to protect the environment, to redress social deviants, to provide recreational activities or personal services.

Social policy can be achieved not only through government, but also through, family, non-profit organizations, local communities and churches or through the market, for example with mandatory private insurance coverage. Social policy also represents big bucks: in Canada and the UK, social policy represents around two-thirds of public spending (See Table on next page), and a quarter of gross domestic product. In the United States, Americans spend more on healthcare than on durable goods. It is not surprising that debates about the organization of social policy are often making the headlines.

Who gets what? Under which principles? Who is in control? Who pays? This course aims at answering these critical questions in a critical way. This course aims at providing a basic understanding of the debates about social policy by focusing on the context of the neo-liberal restructuring since the 1980s. Social policy is shifting from a dominant paradigm promoting universal social rights through the welfare state to a new dominant paradigm criticizing the waste of public funds and promoting individual responsibility.

This course is not a beginner’s course on social policy and will not simply discuss the workings of social programs in a catalogue form. Instead, the course will focus on some specific issues in order to analyze in greater depth the socio-political and economic debates surrounding the issues.

Source: Carleton syllabus below downloaded from (accessed 7 January 2014).

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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance