This course serves as an introduction to the cross-national study of public policies in wealthy, industrialized democracies. Developed democracies face many similar policy challenges, including but not limited to the climate crisis, sustainable health care and social welfare services, quality education, and the development of systems that facilitate greater social equity, justice, and mobility. Despite similar challenges, national governments often respond in different ways. This course explores the varied ways in which policies address challenges in areas such as health care, social policy, immigration and citizenship, labour and employment, the environment, and education. Comparison enables us to explore the role of institutional structures, political ideologies, and interest groups in developing and sustaining public policy.
Brent Epperson has served as an ombudsman in research universities since 2014. He has worked for more than a decade in higher education governance, teaching, research, and advocacy. Combining his research background in issue framing with training in mediation and restorative practices, he helps to mitigate campus conflicts and maintain healthy and supportive work environments. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Montana, a PhD from the UofA, and certificates in mediation and best practices for ombudsman offices. Brent offers all ombudsman services in English or French.