Governance (GOVN) 301

Governance, the Public Sector and Corporate Power (Revision 2)

GOVN 301 Course website

Revision 2 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version.

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study or grouped study. Online-enhanced.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None; however, a previous course in political science, public policy, public administration/management is recommended. This is a senior course and as such students are expected to have advanced analytical and writing skills.

Precluded Course: POLI 301. GOVN 301 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—with POLI 301. (GOVN 301 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for POLI 301).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Governance, Law & Management Home Page

GOVN 301 has a Challenge for Credit option.
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GOVN 301: Governance, the Public Sector and Corporate Power explores the changing relationships between business, society and government in contemporary Canada. It examines the changing patterns of governance; the privileged position of corporate Canada in society's power structure; the phenomenon of globalization and the international extension of business power; the role of the mass media in shaping culture and dominant ideas within society; the restructuring of economic and social policy; constitutional change; the marketization of the state; the transformation of citizen into customer; the increased threat to social cohesion and also considers the future of the public sector in Canada.


The course consists of the following eight units.

Unit 1: Introduction to Changing Patterns of Governance: Exploring the Course Themes

Unit 2: The Business-Government-Society Relationship: The Foundations of Business Power and Influence

Unit 3: Free Trade, Globalization, and the Internationalization of Corporate Domination

Unit 4: The Mass Media and the Shaping of Ruling Ideas: Does Ownership Matter?

Unit 5: Regulation, De-regulation, and State Restructuring

Unit 6: Marketization of the State: The New Public Management and the Citizen as Consumer

Unit 7: Civic Society, Partnerships, and the Third Sector

Unit 8: Governance in a Global Era: The Future of the Canadian Public Sector and the Threat to Social Cohesion


To receive credit for GOVN 301, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 per cent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least “D“ (50 per cent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

TME 1 Mid-term Test TME 2 Final exam Total
10% 20% 30% 40% 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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

Course Materials


Stephen McBride and John Shields. Dismantling a Nation:
The Transition to Corporate Rule in Canada
. Halifax: Fernwood, 1997.

Jamie Brownlee. 2005. Ruling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy. Halifax: Fernwood.

Other materials

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

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GOVN 301 challenge registration, you must complete all required components, and achieve an overall grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Written Assignment 1 Written Assignment 2 Written Assignment 3 Exam Total
10% 10% 10% 70% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, May 23, 2008.

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