Power, Liberty & Public Policy – From Ideas to Practice
Institution: Carleton University
Category: Faculty of Public Affairs
Course DescriptionWith political polarization quickly becoming the defining issue of our time, there is a pressing
need to generate a more precise understanding of government actions and the intentions that
determine such actions. In this class, we will develop an in-depth understanding of what public
policy is and why we sometimes justify government involvement in solving social problems.
This course will explore many of the paradoxes inherent in public policy research by focusing on
the highly controversial topics that inspire today’s most meaningful public debates, such as gun
ownership, policing /prisons, healthcare (childcare etc.), social assistance and environmental
As this course is a first-year seminar, you will get to explore the course content in a small group.
This means you will get the chance to discuss the course material and readings with your peers,
take part in hands-on learning activities, and tailor certain elements of the course to suit your
interests and career goals.
Together, we will explore the role of power in politics and examine the delicate balance that
policymakers must strike between promoting the public good and protecting individual liberty.