If the content you are seeing is presented as unstyled HTML your browser is an older version that cannot support cascading style sheets. If you wish to upgrade your browser you may download Mozilla or Internet Explorer for Windows.

Global Studies (GLST) 403
Public Policy in a Global Era (Revision 1)

Revision 1 closed, replaced by current version.

Delivery mode: Individualized study or grouped study.

Credits: 3 - Social Sciences

Prerequisite: None. A previous course in public policy, public administration/management or political science is recommended.

Precluded course: GLST 403 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—GOVN 403. GLST 403 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for GOVN 403. This is a senior course and as such students are expected to have advanced analytical and writing skills.

Centre: Centre for State and Legal Studies

GLST 403 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Course website


Welcome to Global Studies 403: Public Policy in a Global Era, a 3-credit senior level course that is designed for students interested in the impact of globalization on public policy. In particular, the course examines the forces shaping the character and content of Canadian public policy in this era of globalization. It provides students with the conceptual, theoretical and analytical tools required to study and to critically assess Canadian public policy. Students will also explore the dominant policy trend of this era—that is, the “internationalization” or globalization of public policy.

The focus of Global Studies 403 is theoretical. As such, students will spend considerable time exploring alternative answers to the question: How are we to understand and explain the character and content of Canadian public policy in this global era? The course is designed on the assumption that to answer this question students need to be exposed to readings that discuss the content of concrete policies. Thus, virtually every unit of the course includes theoretical readings and at least one case study reading that examines the changing character of Canadian public policy. Moreover, to ensure an appropriate balance between developing the depth and breadth of students’ policy knowledge, all the policy-focused readings concentrate on exploring trends in that field of public policy known as social policy. Students will have an opportunity to develop the analytical skills that are essential to advanced policy studies, while also becoming sufficiently knowledgeable of the changing character of Canadian social policy that they will feel confident assessing and commenting on the social policy decisions of our governments.


Unit 1: Public Policy and the Policy-making Process in Canada

Unit 2: The New, Globalized Context of Canadian Public Policy

Unit 3: Interests, Power and Policy: Society-centred Theories

Unit 4: Institutions and Policy: State-centred Theories

Unit 5: Feminist Critiques and Contributions

Unit 6: Understanding the Importance of Ideas

Unit 7: Globalization as Explanation: The Internationalization of Public Policy


Your final grade in GLST 403 will be based on the grades you achieve on the mid-course test, two essays and final examination. To receive credit for the course you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 per cent on the final examination, and obtain an overall course grade of “D“ (50 per cent) or better.  The following indicates the assignments for credit and their weighting toward your final grade.

Mid-course Test Course Essay Research Essay Final Exam Total
20% 20% 30% 30% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide, student manual, reading file, and the online enhancements.