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Governance (GOVN) 450

Public Budgeting and Financial Management in a Globalized World (Revision 2)

GOVN 450 course cover

Revision 2 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study. Online-enhanced

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. Successful completion of introductory courses in economics, accounting and Canadian political science is recommended. Students are expected to have university-level analytical and writing skills.

Precluded Course: GOVN 450 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under two different disciplines—GLST 450. GOVN 450 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for GLST 450.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Governance, Law & Management home page

GOVN 450 has a Challenge for Credit option.
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Governance 450: Public Budgeting and Financial Management in a Globalized World, a senior-level, three-credit course that examines, from a multidisciplinary perspective, the theory and practice of public budgeting and financial management in an era of globalization. The course conveys an understanding of the purposes and roles of budgeting in public organization and examines the major trends and the political, economic, and financial considerations involved in budgeting. One such consideration is globalization. You will explore the impact of globalization on the governance capacity of governments and discuss what globalization means for budgeting.

The course examines the various theories, practices, challenges, and reforms of budgeting and financial management in governments and government agencies. You will learn what public budgeting and its related theories are; how budgeting is formulated; what are the roles of politics, economics, and management in public budgeting; how public resources should be allocated efficiently; the impact of globalization on the governance capacity of governments; what globalization means for budgeting; and how feasible the recent public sector reform initiatives are. The content deals primarily with budgets and budgeting in Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Canadian and some international research on budgeting, governance, and globalization is reviewed.


The course consists of the following 12 units.

Unit 1: Introduction to Budgeting and Financial Management in an Era of Globalization.

Unit 2: Overview and Trends in Public Budgeting in Canada.

Unit 3: Theories of Budgeting.

Unit 4: Theory Continued-Politics and Bureaucracy in Public Budgeting.

Unit 5: Budgeting in the Federal Government.

Unit 6: Budgeting in the Provincial Governments.

Unit 7: Budgeting in Municipal Governments.

Unit 8: Macro-Economic Issues and Public Budgeting.

Unit 9: The Tax System, Tax Expenditures, and Tax Reform.

Unit 10: Accountability, Management, and Efficiency of Resource Allocation.

Unit 11: Public Sector Reform: Developments in Industrialized Countries.

Unit 12: Reform Initiatives and the Realities of Budgeting.


To receive credit for GOVN 450, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade “D” (50 percent) or more. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

3 Written Assignments Final Examination Total
60% 40% 100%

The final examination 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


G. Bruce Doern, Allan M. Maslove, and Michael J. Prince. 1988. Public Budgeting in Canada: Politics, Economics and Management. Ottawa: Carleton University Press. Reprint 2003, Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University.

John C. Strick. 1999. The Public Sector in Canada: Programs, Finance and Policy. Toronto: Thompson.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a student manual, a 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 450 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 Exam Total
10% 15% 75% 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, July 10, 2006.

View previous syllabus


Last updated by SAS  07/07/2014 16:42:09