York University
Department of Political Science

POLS 6155.03
 DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION HOME PAGE
Fall-Winter, 2004-05

The study of democratic administration is premised on a commitment to the progressive extension of people's capacities to govern themselves collectively. However, many of the principles of public administration were developed prior to the democratization of the state, and one result has been public administration and public policy-making procedures that are unnecessarily hierarchical, inflexible, and inefficient.  During the 1990s, citizen political apathy, cynicism and alienation from the state was met with a neo-liberal response that has drastically altered the state public service through downsizing, out-sourcing, privatization, and "new public management" approaches that apply business administration tools to public administration.  Currently, however, there is increased citizen demand for participation in the policy-making process, a higher standard of public service ethics and accountability, and there have been some innovative responses from the state to address important public policy issues.  If the challenges created by the dynamics of the past two decades are to be met successfully, it will be necessary to transcend the real factors that produce apathy and alienation from the state. This seminar addresses these issues through:

     •an investigation of the bureaucratic impediments to increased democracy
     •an examination of the promise and limits of recent attempts by governments to overcome such impediments
     •an historical and comparative focus to better understand the possibilities of citizen empowerment and the way in which social and political contexts shape those possibilities.

The seminar will include readings on both the theory and practice of democratic administration.

Course Outline

Class Presentations

Richard Phidd's notes (sorry for the formatting difficulties, which represent Ian Greene's difficulties with html.)

Andrew Stark.  "What is the new public management?"

Daniel Drache and Marc Froese, The WTO:  A Report Card on Trade and The Diversity Deficit in Development

Ian Greene and David Shugarman, Honest Politics (Toronto:  Lorimer, 1997), penultimate version of Chapters 1 & 2

Ian Greene, Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Program Evaluation in Canada

United Nations Human Development Report, 2002

Lorne Sossin, Human Development, Law & Democratic Administration.  Here is another interesting link.

Institute of Public Administration of Canada

"Ethics and SARS: Learning Lessons from the Toronto Experience", A report by a working group of The University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics
 
 
The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) (December 2001)