HOWLETT, Michael |

HOWLETT, Michael

Michael Howlett

Phd Queen's University at Kingston; MA University of British Columbia; B.Soc.Sci. University of Ottawa 

Michael Howlett
Contact Details

DID: +65 6601 1180

Office Location

469B Bukit Timah Road
Level 2, Li Ka Shing Building
Singapore 259771


Michael Howlett (Professor) BSocSci.(Hon)(Ott), MA(Br Col), PhD (Queen’s) is Burnaby Mountain Chair in the Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University and Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He specializes in public policy analysis, political economy, and resource and environmental policy.

Professor Howlett taught at Queen’s University (1986-1988) and the University of Victoria (1988-1989) before coming to SFU and was Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore (2009-2010). He is the author of Canadian Public Policy (2013) and Designing Public Policy (2011), and co-author of The Public Policy Primer (2010), Integrated Policymaking for Sustainable Development (2009), Studying Public Policy (2009, 2003 & 1995), In Search of Sustainability (2001), The Political Economy of Canada (1999 & 1992) and Canadian Natural Resource and Environmental Policy (1997 & 2005). He has edited Canadian Forest Policy (2001) and coedited Regulating Next Generation Agri-Food Bio-Technologies (2012), The Routledge Handbook of Public Policy (2013), British Columbia Politics and Government (2009), European and North American Policy Change (2009); Canada’s Resource Economy in Transition (2008); Policy Analysis in Canada (2007); Deregulation and Its Discontents (2006); Executive Styles in Canada (2005); Designing Government (2005); The Real Worlds of Canadian Politics (2004); The Provincial State In Canada (1992 & 2000); Innovation Systems in a Global Context (1998); Policy Studies in Canada (1996), and The Puzzles of Power (1994 & 1998). His articles have been published in numerous professional journals in Canada, the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Howlett was founding member and Secretary-Treasurer (1995-2006) of the British Columbia Political Studies Association and co-editor of its Proceedings. He was editor of the POLCAN listserver (1995-1997) and currently edits the CAN-POL Maillist (2008-present). He was also English language co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Political Science (2002-2006) and administrative editor of the Canadian Political Science Review (2007-2010), and is currently co-editor of the World Political Science Review, the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (Book Review Editor 2001-2006), Policy & Society, the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, the University of Toronto Press Series in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy and the Policy Press International Library of Policy Analysis. He served on the Editorial Boards of Canadian Public Administration (1996-2003); Policy Studies Journal (1992-2003), Canadian Journal of Political Science (2006-2010) and State and Local Government Review (2007-2010), and currently sits on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Public Policy, BC Studies, Policy Sciences, Canadian Political Science Review, Public Administration Review and Palgrave Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy. He is the current chair of Research Committee 30 (Comparative Public Policy) of the International Political Science Association.

Michael Howlett - CV

Research Areas

  • Administrative and public sector reform
  • Climate change
  • Decentralisation and federalism
  • Policy design and implementation
  • Regulatory policy
  • Social policy
  • Water management, governance and policy

Media Expertise

  • Environmental policy
  • Natural resource policy



  • Craft, Jonathan, Michael Howlett, Mark Crawford, and Kathleen McNutt. “Assessing Policy Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation: Governance Arrangements, Resource Deployments, and Analytical Skills in Canadian Infrastructure Policy Making.” Review of Policy Research 30, no. 1 (2013): 42–65. doi:10.1111/ropr.12002.
  • Craft, Jonathan, and Michael Howlett. “Policy Capacity and the Ability to Adapt to Climate Change: Canadian and U.S. Case Studies.” Review of Policy Research 30, no. 1 (2013): 1–18. doi:10.1111/ropr.12000.
  • Howlett, M. “The Lessons of Failure: Learning and Blame Avoidance in Public Policy-making.” International Political Science Review 33, no. 5 (October 24, 2012): 539–555. doi:10.1177/0192512112453603.
  • Howlett, Michael, and Richard M Walker. “Public Managers in the Policy Process: More Evidence on the Missing Variable?” Policy Studies Journal 40, no. 2 (May 1, 2012): 211–233. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0072.2012.00450.x.
  • Howlett, Michael, and Adam Wellstead. “Professional Policy Work in Federal States: Institutional Autonomy and Canadian Policy Analysis.” Canadian Public Administration55, no. 1 (2012): 53–68.
  • Craft, Jonathan, and Michael Howlett. “Policy Formulation, Governance Shifts and Policy Influence: Location and Content in Policy Advisory Systems.” Journal of Public Policy 32, no. 02 (2012): 79–98. doi:10.1017/S0143814X12000049.


  • Canadian Public Policy: Studies in Process and Style Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013
  • Designing Public Policy: Principles and Instruments (New York: Routledge, 2011)

Edited Books

  • Regulating Next Generation Agri-Food Bio-Technologies: Lessons from European, North American and Asian
  • Experiences Routledge Series in Genetics and Society (London, Routledge 2012), with David Laycock
  • The Routledge Handbook of Public Policy eds. A. Araral, S. Fritzen, M. Howlett, M. Ramesh and X.Wu

Recent Presentations or Conference Papers

  • January 2013 Australian Public Policy Network (PPN) Annual Meeting, Brisbane “Reconciling Streams and Cycles: Avoiding Mixed Metaphors in the Characterization of Policy Processes” with Allan McConnell and Anthony Perl
  • September 2012 Prairie Political Science Annual General Meeting, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sept 25, 2012 “Users of Consultants among Canadian Federal Departments: A Database Analysis” with Andrea Migone
  • September 2012 LIAISE Workshop on Policy Tools, London UK September 10-11 2012 “Closing Comments: Policy Formulation Tools and Policy Venues”
  • August 2012 The Evolution of Evidence-Based Policy Making in Canada Workshop August 8-9, 2012 School of Public Policy and Governance University of Toronto “Policy Advisory Systems and Evidence-Based Policy: The Location and Content of Evidentiary Policy Advice” with Jonathan Craft
  • July 2012 Prepared for Visiting Professor Workshop University of Cagliari Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy July 3, 2012 The Lessons of Failure: Learning and Blame Avoidance in Public Policy-Making
  • July 2012 International Political Science Association, World Congress, Madrid July 8-12, 2012 “Regulation and Time: Temporal Patterns in Regulatory Development” with Josh Newman
  • June 2012 Prepared for the Workshop on Climate Policy Innovation , Cambridge UK June 24-25 2012 Andy Jordan – University of East Anglia, UK Dave Huitema – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. “Learning the Lessons of Failure: Deep and Shallow Learning in Climate Change Policy-Making”


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