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PUAD 6505: Interest Groups - Function and Management

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Dalhousie University - School of Public Administration

PUAD-6505: Interest Groups: Function and Management

DescriptionThis class will attempt a systematic examination of the function and management of interest groups in Canada and, to a lesser extent, other western countries. It will begin by considering the functions such groups perform for their supporters on the one hand and, on the other, the role they play in 1) maintaining political systems; 2) securing and modifying public policy, and 3) implementing programs. It will explore the ways in which their structures and behaviour patterns vary according to the resources of the groups themselves, the nature of their concerns and the demands of the political/bureaucratic systems in which they operate. An important feature of the class will be a discussion of the internal management of groups. This discussion will include a review of how membership is secured and retained and how group resources are obtained and applied; the role of professional staff in developing group positions and in interacting between the interest group and government officials. In conclusion, the class will examine the role of interest groups in policy processes and the relationship between that role and the prospects for democracy in western politics. Approved with Canadian Studies.

INSTRUCTOR(S): L. Turnbull

PREREQUISITE: Students must successfully complete all eight required classes of the first year of the MPA program prior to enroling 6000 level courses and MGMT 5000, or seek special permission from Graduate Coordinator. CROSS-LISTING: POLI 3228.03, POLI 5228.03.

Faculty: Lori Turnbull 

Source: Graduate Calendar at (accessed 6 January 2014), and downloaded to the Atlas at


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



Commentary by the Atlas editors: The 2010 syllabus for the course was provided to the PPG Atlas in 2010 and is attached. The class titles in this syllabus provide interesting candidates for teaching topics to be developed for the Atlas:

  • Approaches to Advocacy Group Politics in Canada
  • The Voluntary Sector and Think Tanks
  • Interest Groups and Elections
  • Interest Groups and the Courts
  • Class-based Advocacy

Page created by: Ian Clark, 11 January 2014. 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.



PUAD 6505 course outline 2010.pdfPUAD 6505 course outline 2010

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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance