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Dr. Boothe supervises PhD and MA students in Political Science, and PhD students in the Health Policy PhD program. She currently supervises PhD students studying home care policy in Canada and mental health policy in Canada, Australia, and the UK. She sits on supervisory committees for students studying policy divergence and flexicurity, ethnic minority rights, and technical assistance in health policy reform.



POL S 2M03:

Governance, Representation, and Participation in Democracies

The course begins with an introduction to the state and democratic institutions, with a particular focus on the formation of settler-colonial states and their implications for politics. We ask how different political systems assign power over the political agenda, the policy process, and relationships between different groups. The second component of the course focuses on institutions of participation and representation. We study voting, electoral systems, political parties, and interest groups and social movements to ask how different democracies affect the types of voices that are heard in politics, and the way those voices get heard. Next, the course turns to problems of representation and participation. We consider the effect of issue framing on our political ideas, and questions of equality, inclusion, and recognition as they relate to gender, ethnicity, and race, recognizing that there are many other axes of identity and discrimination that are relevant to these discussions. The course concludes by considering the relationship of democratic governments and capitalist markets as they relate to public policy.


Health Policy in the Industrialized World

This course challenges students to take a critical view of health policy in Canada and other industrialized countries. This policy area is a significant and sometimes contentious component of public expenditures and often citizens’ main point of contact with government. As Katherine Fierlbeck argues, health care “rightfully ought to be debated widely in the public realm. We cannot debate health care, however, if we do not understand how health care works” (2011, ix). This course aims to provide the necessary foundation of knowledge for engaged citizenship with regards to health policy, and possible future employment or graduate work related to health. It seeks to develop skills of critical evaluation of policy that will transfer to other areas of study by focusing on the identification of policy problems and possible solutions, and then the often more difficult task of adjudicating between solutions and understanding roadblocks to reform.

POL S 783:

Comparative Public Policy

This course surveys a range of approaches to comparative public policy. It provides a basis for the PhD comprehensive exams in public policy (both major and teaching fields), and is strongly recommended for MA students planning Major Research Papers related to public policy. It begins by providing context regarding place and the discipline, and then addresses different explanations for policy variation, stability and change. The intent is to both learn how these explanatory approaches work, and to understand them in the context of who is included or excluded from participation in public policy and the study of public policy. Any week’s required readings may include pieces devoted primarily to describing a particular approach to public policy, critiques of that approach, and illustrative applications of that approach, particularly when used in a comparative research design.

POL S 706:

Comparative Politics of Health Policy

This course focuses on health care systems in established welfare states and asks how we can understand and classify types of variation in health systems, and what are the causes and consequences of these variations. It will provide a basis in research into comparative health policy, in order to answer questions about why governments make the choices they do. Although much of the course is focused on causal explanation, it is attentive to the practical and normative implications of health policy research. An understanding of the forces that lead governments to adopt particular courses of action is fundamental to crafting feasible policy options and plans for their adoption.  Moreover, it is presumably an interest in good governance that leads most of us to study public policy in the first place. So while the primary focus of this course will be on explaining “why?” the intent is that we will also return regularly to the question of “so what?”.







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