Governance (GOVN) 301

Governance, the Public Sector and Corporate Power (Revision 3)

GOVN 301 Course Cover

View previous syllabus

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None; however, a previous course in political science, public policy, or 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.

check availability


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 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 citizens into customers; and the increased threat to social cohesion. Finally, it 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
  • Unit 3: Free Trade, Globalization, and the Canadian State
  • Unit 4: Regulation, De-Regulation, and State Restructuring
  • Unit 5: Technology, the Media, and Democratic Governance in the Twenty-First Century
  • Unit 6: Public Sector Reform: The New Public Management and the Privatization of Social Responsibility
  • Unit 7: Civic Society, Partnerships, and the Voluntary Sector
  • Unit 8: Governance in a Global Era: Crisis Management and Social Cohesion in Canada


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 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Paper 1 10%
Midterm Test 20%
Paper 2 30%
Final Exam 40%
Total 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


McBride, Stephen, and Heather Whiteside. 2011. Private Affluence, Public Austerity: Economic Crises & Malaise in Canada. Halifax, Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.

Other materials

All other materials are online, including study guides, and electronic readings and videos.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about 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).

Activity Weighting
Written Assignment 1 10%
Written Assignment 2 10%
Written Assignment 3 10%
Exam 70%
Total 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 3, January 14, 2014.

View previous syllabus