Fall 2024 - POL 854 G100

Conflict and Controversy in Public Policy (5)

Class Number: 4238

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Mon, 1:00–3:50 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Michael Howlett



This course provides students an opportunity to examine the complex role of ideas/ideals in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy. Too often, fundamental contention that characterizes many policy processes goes unexamined. The substance of this contention is usually normative, having to do with political, social, economic, and environmental values. How are these conflicts and controversies articulated? How are they resolved? How are they best understood? How are they best analyzed? The overarching objectives of this course include enabling students to understand the disciplinary issues, and address the practical concerns, that are associated with research in and analysis of public policy characterized by conflict and controversy.



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.