Department of Political Science

Course Descriptions

1201 Politics: Contemporary Issues
3 credit hours
 
This course explores the multi-faceted nature of contemporary politics, and, in so doing, introduces students to various aspects of the Political Science discipline. The aim of the course is to convey how ideas, frameworks, institutions and actors relate to current political debates and ongoing democratic challenges, both locally and globally.  Through a critical examination of significant political theories and practices students will develop a broad and general understanding of the nature, scope and range of political action in the contemporary world.

1210 Political Ideas: “Isms” and Beliefs
3 credit hours

An introduction to political ideologies (including liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism, feminism, anti-racism and green ideology) and their role in shaping modern political life. Particular attention is given to the meaning of “ideology” in general and its place in contemporary politics, as well as to the emergence of new ideologies and their relationship to social, economic and cultural forces.


1220 Political Analysis
3 credit hours

An introduction to the theoretical approaches and techniques used in analyzing political events and claims. Emphasis is placed on critical and institutional perspectives, as well as on debates over various approaches to political analysis and to the question of the interpretation of political issues and conflicts.


1230 Law and Politics
3 credit hours

An examination of the practical and theoretical connections between law and politics.  The course will concentrate on contemporary public law issues and constitutional reform in liberal-democracies.


1240 Politics and Business
3 credit hours

An introduction to the relationship between politics and business.  This course is based on developing an understanding of the dynamics of business-government relations, with special emphasis on Canada from a comparative perspective.  Special attention is given to business organization and lobbying, government regulation, and selected public policy issues and agencies.


1250 Politics and Globalization
3 credit hours

This course will introduce student to the political, economic, social and cultural processes which commonly fall under the term globalization.  The objective is to introduce students to some of the central global forces that are shaping our contemporary political world.


2304 Canadian Politics in the 21st Century
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course introduces students to the institutions, ideas and identities which structure and shape Canadian governance in the 21st century.  Political features and forces are outlined, grounded historically and considered in light of current developments.  Shifting political as well as economic, social and cultural climates are examined.  Throughout, fundamental representational and democratic challenges are evaluated.


2305 International Relations
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course is an introduction to the study of world politics.  It will explore the traditional and alternative schools of thought in the field of international relations in order to provide students with the analytical tools necessary to gain a better understanding of a world in transformation.


2307 Provincial Government and Politics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

An analysis of the dynamics and structure of selected provincial government in Canada.  Provincial political parties, voting behaviour, legislatures, bureaucracies and policy formulation constitute the core of this course.  Inter-provincial and federal-provincial relations are examined.


2335 History of Political Thought
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A survey of significant developments in Western political thought from the classical period of Athens to the 20th century through a focus on major Western political theorists.  Key thinkers may include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Marx, Goldman and Nietzsche.


2380 Comparative Politics
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course is designed as an introduction to the field of Comparative Politics, which will emphasize the comparative analysis of both political institutions and political processes.


3205 Politics and Sex
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course introduces students to the interconnections between gender and sexual practices, including an examination of prostitution and international sex trafficking. It will examine such matters as morality, liberation, and exploitation, drawing from multiple understandings of female sexuality.


3245 Public Policy I
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

Students examines the theories of public policy analysis by addressing key concepts, problem definition, policy instruments and design, and policy implementation within the context of modern governance.


3246 Public Policy II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: POLI 3245

This course is a critical analysis of selected public policies, associated policy communities and networks, and their impacts upon society. A case study approach is used to examine selected public policies, apply theories and models of public policy analysis, and contextualize them in terms of political, economic and social forces.


3302 Democratic Theory and Cosmopolitanism
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

An examination of such fundamental concepts in democratic theory as ‘rights’, ‘equality’, ‘liberty’, ‘reciprocity’, ‘deliberation’, and ‘cosmopolitanism’ from the modern era to the present.  Special emphasis is placed on the shift of both theoretical and practical focus:  from questions of the equality of citizens in a nation-state to those of human diversity and difference in a cosmopolitan, global arena.  


3310 Government and the Media
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI 

An examination of the influence of the media, and the impact of government policy, especially as set out in federal and provincial legislation, on the growth and operation of the mass media in Canada.  Particular attention will be given to the continuing debate over television and radio regulation and ownership, restraints on film and the press, and issues raised by new technology.


3312 American Government
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

An analysis of the American political system, its political culture, social base, constitutional order, governmental structure and policymaking processes. Special emphasis is placed on the party system, voting behaviour, and the Presidency.


3314 Politics of the Developing Areas
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

An examination of political development in selected states in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or the Middle East.


3315  Canadian Foreign Policy
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course is an introduction to the study of Canadian foreign policy.  Straddling the subfields of Canadian politics and international relations, this course provides students with tools to analyze Canada’s role in the global and globalizing context.


3316 Politics in the European Union
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A study of the institutions and policy-making processes of the European Union.


3318 A Politics of the Middle East
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

The politics of the Middle East Region are addressed, including a survey of the regional states and non-state actors, the international dynamics of politics within and among the Arab states, Turkey, Israel, and Iran, as well as the impact of Western interactions with the region.


3321 International Organizations
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course examines the concept of international organizations.  It will focus on the tensions between emerging forms of global governance and existing structures of inter-governmentalism.  The course explores current trends and debates within organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and may examine areas such as peace and security, human rights, gender, economic development, environmental protection, and civil society.


3322 Global Political Economy
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course explores the theory and practice underlying the political forces structuring the global economy.  Particular attention will be paid to interactions between the global economy and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


3330 Public Administration
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A study of the structure and operation of the administrative branch of government, both in theory and practice.  Included will be an examination of the evolution of the Canadian federal public administration and public service, with some attention for comparative purposes to related experiences in other nations.  The administrative responsibilities and powers of the modern state will be assessed and a sampling of recent organizational theories will be undertaken.


3418 International Law
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A study of the features of public international law as they have developed and have been invoked in diplomatic practice, international law adjudication, and national courts.


3419 Comparative Constitutional Law
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A comparative analysis of constitutional systems, this course focuses upon the theory and exercise of judicial review, in the context of Canadian, American, European, or other constitutions. It combines lectures, readings, and the case method.


3425 Spying and International Politics
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

An analysis of the development, role, techniques, and impact of spying on the conduct of international relations.


3440 Canadian-American Relations
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course focuses on Canadian-American relations since 1945.  The course examines different theoretical approaches to the relationship, as well as a variety of case studies to analyze the nature and extent of Canada-U.S. relations both in the bilateral context and in the multilateral context.


3447 Canadian Political Parties
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

The purpose of this course is to identify and explain continuity or change in Canadian party politics.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the ability of political parties to adapt to new challenges posed by Canada’s rapidly transforming economic, social and political context.


3450 Women and Canadian Politics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

Students explore various dimensions of women‘s participation in Canadian politics, which is broadly conceived and includes women‘s activism outside traditional political institutions. Studies of the political participation of women in other countries may also be examined as points of comparison.


3454 Issues in Canadian Defence
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course examines Canadian defence policy and arms procurement strategies. Particular emphasis will be placed on political, economic, and technological challenges to contemporary Canadian defence policy-making.


3456 Issues in International Security
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course examines issues such as international conflict, transnational crime, environmental change and terrorism, taking such perspectives as national security, common security, cooperative security and human security.


3457 Politics and Government in Ireland [IRST 3457]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A survey of Irish history will lead to more detailed consideration of British administration in Ireland, and of government in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland.


3462 Political Ideas of the Enlightenment
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A critical examination of the political ideas and theories that grew out of the modern European Enlightenment.  Special attention is paid to Immanuel Kant’s understanding of the nature, role and effects of “public reason” and to his assessment of the conditions necessary for international cooperation and peace.  Other thinkers to be discussed may include John Locke, the Baron of Montesquieu, David Hume, G.W.F. Hegel, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill.


3463 Counter-Enlightenment Thought
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A survey and critical investigation of modern responses to liberal Enlightenment thought, from the analyses first undertaken by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke, through to the crucial contributions to this tradition made by Friedrich Nietzsche,  Karl Marx, and the critical theorists who followed in their wake.  Special attention is paid to the critique of individualism and to alternative ideals of community and civil society.


3470 Empirical Democratic Theory
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: six (6) credit hours in POLI

An examination of the findings and impact of modern behavioral research and their impact on the theory and practice of democratic government.  Particular attention will be given to the interplay between classical democratic theory and current political science research.


3501 Research Methods
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course is an exmination of contemporary methodologies in political science.  Included is a discussion of theories and approaches developed by the empirical school of political scientiests. Emphasis is placed on the selection of methods as related to theory and research questions.


3546 Political Parties and Democratic Change
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

The historical evolution, as well as the contemporary promises and pitfalls of political parties are critically examined.  The party ideal is appraised in relation to changing political and representational realities.  Given growing public dissatisfaction with political parties as democratic vehicles, representational alternatives are examined. The focus is on Canada, but party politics and democratic change in other countries will provide comparative insights.


4150 Comparative Immigration Politics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI at the 1000 level in addition to the Department`s Policy for 4000-level courses.

Students consider the dynamics driving the politics of immigration in liberal-democratic states. They examine the factors that impact immigration and the politics of immigrant integration in each national context. They will debate the normative challenges that international migration poses for liberal democracies.


4311 Nations & Nationalism: Identities, Orders, Borders
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course provides a survey of the theories of and approaches to the study of nationalist thought and practice.  Phenomena of nations, nation-states, and nationalist ideologies and nationalist movements are explored.


4317 Charter Politics and Constitutional Change
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A comparative examination of selected sources and authorities respecting fundamental law in democratic countries.  The course will provide students of constitutional law with a theoretical basis for the analysis of constitutions and relevant judicial decisions.


4402 Model United Nations
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: POLI 3321

The objective of this course is to foster a greater understanding of the United Nations (UN) and its role within world politics.  The course will revolve around the possible participation in a Model UN Conference either within Canada or abroad.  Students will be given an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the UN’s activities and procedures.  Students will be required to engage in activities outside of the classroom.  The pedagogical base of this course is experiential learning.


4449 Public Policy Challenges: Gender, Race and Class [WMST 4449]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course examines a number of contemporary public policy debates and dilemmas in light of gender, race and class dynamics. The aim is to gain a better appreciation of the complexity of approaches to, and experiences of, various policy areas. The course begins by unpacking the nature and effects of the state and state policies and then moves to explore a range of economic, social, political and legal policy concerns. 


4451 Gender and International Relations [WMST 4451]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: POLI 2305

Students course explores theoretical and empirical issues raised by a “gender-based analysis” of international relations.


4465 Modern Theories of the State
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

An investigation of modern thought concerning the roles, scope, and limits of the state in society.  This course emphasizes the historical roots of state theory through the study of such essential theorists as Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes, GWF Hegel, Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.


4466 Contemporary Theories of the State
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

A survey of contemporary theories concerning the nature of the state in the present global, ‘transnational’ moment.  The diversity of the theoretical field will be emphasized through an examination of liberal, Marxist, structuralist, feminist and continental approaches to state theory.


4470 Marx and Marxism I
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course examines Karl Marx’s early political and philosophical writings to explore how he reinterprets and transforms the liberal democratic values of rights, freedom and equality. The focus on primary and selected secondary texts is intended to provide students with an introduction to Marx’s political-philosophical thought.


4471 Marx and Marxism II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course is an examination of the later writings of Karl Marx, including his advanced political economic theories.  Close readings of primary texts, along with an introduction to 20th century developments in Marxist political theory, will provide students with an understanding of how Marx’s political, philosophical and economic thought fundamentally challenges the liberal democratic tradition.


4480: Human Rights, Modern Perplexities
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI at the 1000 level in addition to the Department`s Policy for 4000-level courses.

Students examine the historical and philosophical context in which human rights emerged as a modern political concept. Students consider the evolution of human rights from early modern natural law theory, through the French Revolution of 1789, to the aftermath of 20th century totalitarianism, focusing in particular on the intersections between nature, politics, philosophy and the law.


4481 Human Rights, Contemporary Paradoxes
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: 3 credit hours in POLI at the 1000 level in addition to the Department`s Policy for 4000-level courses.

Students examine recent debates in critical political and legal theory, particularly regarding the issue of international interventions and humanitarian aid.


4493 Global Social Movements
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course examines global social movements as new political forces within world politics.  It will explore the main theoretical perspectives in the field of international relations that have addressed the political significance of global social movements.  The course will also examine the forms of interaction between the constituents of global social movements (e.g. non-governmental organizations) and the institutions of global governance.


4494 UK Politics in Transition
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

This course explores current political debates in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).  It evaluates the contemporary status of longstanding political structures, processes and discourses in the UK.  It questions whether traditional state forms, institutions, ideas, and identities are being challenged and changed.


4500 Honours Thesis
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: open to honours students in political science.

Through regular meetings with their Honours Supervisor, students will use this course to prepare an honours essay in their major area of study.


4510 Honours Seminar
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: open to honours students in political science.

The Honours Seminar will examine selected aspects of one of the fields of the discipline: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Thought.


4520 Honours Colloquium
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: open to honours students in political science.

The Honours Colloquium will expose honours students to specialized dimensions of the discipline of Political Science, and offer opportunities to develop advanced research and writing skills.


4826 – 4849 Selected Topics in Political Science
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in POLI

The subject matter of particular half-credit courses will be announced from time to time by the Department.  These courses will analyze specialized areas of political science not normally covered in our regular Departmental offerings.


4850 – 4875 Directed Reading in Political Science
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of Department.

These courses, with the department’s approval, are organized by an individual faculty member in agreement with the department as a whole, and are designed to supplement or provide an alternative to regular courses in political science, according to the special needs and interests of individual students and faculty members.


4876 – 4899 Directed Reading in Political Science
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of Department.

These courses, with the department’s approval, are organized by an individual faculty member in agreement with the department as a whole, and are designed to supplement or provide an alternative to regular courses in political science, according to the special needs and interests of individual students and faculty members.