Academic Calendar

POLS – Political Science

POLS 101
Introduction to Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course provides an introduction to a systematic study of the primary institutions and processes of modern government and the discipline of political science. Students explore the significant concepts, methods, approaches, and issues of the discipline, considered necessary for the study of politics. Topics include political power, political authority, sovereignty and the state, the nation, constitutionalism, international relations, political ideology, elections, and electoral systems, democracy, and totalitarianism. Note: this course is the prerequisite for most second year Political Science courses.

POLS 200
Comparative Political Systems
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces the concepts, methods and substance of the field of comparative politics, covering selected developed and developing countries. Contemporary politics of the selected countries will be studied in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. Political and governmental institutions and public policies of the selected countries will be examined in relation to their responses to changing domestic and global environments. This is a core course in the field of comparative politics and a prerequisite for most 300- and 400-level courses in the field.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 101.

POLS 214
History of Political Thought I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to classical and medieval political thought through the careful reading of primary texts. Authors studied may vary from year to year and section to section, but each is considered somehow representative or thematically significant to the period in question. Names typically examined include Homer, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. Note: This is a core course in the field of political philosophy.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 101.

POLS 215
History of Political Thought II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Building upon the skills and knowledge acquired in POLS 214, this course introduces students to modern political thought through the careful reading of primary texts. Authors typically include some of the following: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, and Nietzsche. Authors may vary from year to year and section to section, but each is considered somehow representative or thematically significant to the period in question. Note: This is a core course in the field of political philosophy.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 214.

POLS 221
Canadian Political Realities
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is an introductory course in Canadian politics designed for students who do not intend to take more senior courses in the field of Canadian politics. The course involves study of the politics of institutions and the processes of the government of Canada. Students  demonstrate understanding of the major challenges facing Canada in its political development. Note:This course does not count toward the senior level credit requirement for the major/minor or honours.

POLS 224
Canadian National Government I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

POLS 224 and 225 are the core courses in the field of Canadian politics, introducing students to the institutions, processes, concepts and important issues of this subject area. Topics include the Constitution and federalism, region and province, French Canada and Quebec, Indigenous peoples, ethnicity, immigration and multiculturalism, gender, class, and Canada's role in the world.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 101.

POLS 225
Canadian National Government II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

POLS 224 and 225 are the core courses in the field of Canadian politics, introducing students to the institutions, processes, concepts and important issues of this subject area. Topics include the political process, political parties, elections and representation, Parliament, the executive, bureaucracy, the judiciary, and fiscal, economic and other policy issues in Canada.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 224.

POLS 261
Asia Pacific Political Systems
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

The purpose of this survey course is to introduce students to the political systems of ten Asia-Pacific countries: China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, Brunei; Indonesia; Singapore; Malaysia; The Philippines; Japan; South Korea; Thailand; and Vietnam. This dynamic region of the world exhibits a range of political systems, from constitutional monarchies to one-party dominant states. This course emphasizes the linkages between the economic and political development and the cultural catalysts and obstacles to both processes. The processes of regional and global economic integration of the countries in the region are discussed. The course explores other topics such as the following: constitutional development, legislature, political executive, judiciary, political culture and socialization, political parties and pressure groups, public opinion and the mass media, public enterprises and bureaucracy; and foreign policy. Note: This course does not count toward the senior level credit requirement for the major/minor or honours.

POLS 264
Introduction to Global Politics I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to the study of global politics. Topics include the theories of international relations, the dynamics of interaction among states and non-state actors, the nature of power, globalization, foreign policy, war and peace, international political economy, international organizations and, international law.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 101, or second year standing.

POLS 265
Introduction to Global Politics II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines major issues in the global political economy and global governance. Topics include the theoretical approaches to international political economy, international trade, global finance, multinational corporations, international development assistance, North-South relations, migration, the UN and global governance, international law, regional integration, the environment, international terrorism, and human rights.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 304
Topics in European Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course focuses on the analysis of selected issues in European Politics. It includes theoretical, empirical, institutional, and policy analysis, as well as a research component. For detailed information concerning the current course offering please consult the department. Note: This course can be taken up to two times, provided the course topic is different.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 200.

POLS 307
Continental Political Thought
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course carefully examines the major themes that develop within the tradition of 19th and 20th century Continental Political Thought beginning with German Idealism and ending with Existentialism. Authors to be studied may include Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger.

Prerequisites: minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and 215, or consent of the department.

POLS 308
Political Thought of the Enlightenment
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to the central works in political philosophy of the Enlightenment. In studying classic texts from the French, British, and American Enlightenments, the course further aims to discern, within these texts, the intellectual sources of liberal modernity. Students study the work of some of the following: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, Benjamin Constant, The Federalist, Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and POLS 215.

POLS 309
Ancient Political Philosophy
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course carefully examines one or more of the classic texts of ancient political philosophy. The course is organized around a major concern of ancient political philosophy. Potential topics include the nature of political community, sources of civic virtue, rhetoric, classic natural right, and the relationship of philosophy to politics. Addressing these topics entails the careful study of major texts by some of the following: Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Cicero, Lucretius and St. Augustine.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and 215, or consent of the department.

POLS 315
Contemporary Liberal Thought
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is devoted to the exploration of contemporary liberal political thought. It covers selected readings from recent liberal philosophers and their critics, as well as considering debates about the values of liberalism in their application to public issues such as distributive justice, multiculturalism, and religion in society.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and 215, or consent of the department.

POLS 316
Political Thought After Nietzsche
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course focuses on the close reading of selected texts in 20th century thought that attempt to come to grips with Nietzsche’s fundamental criticism of enlightenment rationality as the foundation for a democratic political order. Special attention is paid to those authors, largely German, who chart an alternative course to French postmodernism. Authors to be discussed may include: Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Leo Strauss, Hans-georg Gadamer, Hannah Arendt, Reinhold Neibuhr, Emmanuel Levinas, and Alasdair MacIntyre.

Prerequisites: C- in POLS 214 and POLS 215 or consent of the department.

POLS 321
Introduction to Public Administration
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course explores the theoretical foundations and contemporary practice of public management and governance in Canada. This includes identifying institutions and processes through which public administration is conducted and assessing how public servants contribute to democratic governance. Major themes and debates within the field are discussed as well as the practical issues public servants face and the changing environment within which they work. The course primarily focuses on the federal government, but includes discussion of public administration in provincial, municipal and Indigenous governments.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and POLS 225 or consent of the department.

POLS 324
Topics in Canadian Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is devoted to the detailed study of a single topic area in Canadian politics. Examples of topic areas include democracy and democratic reform, electoral politics and political parties, Canadian political thought, the Charter of Rights and judicial review, public policy, political cleavages in Canada, the politics of environmentalism, local government, and media and politics. Students may take this course up to two times provided the topic is different.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and 225, or consent of the department.

POLS 326
The Canadian Constitution
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is devoted to the exploration of Canada's legal and constitutional system and the role and impact of Canada's constitution in our politics and culture.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and 225, or consent of the department.

POLS 327
Politics of Identity in Canada
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is devoted to the exploration of the role of identities in Canadian politics. Among the core areas of interest in this area are questions about the relationship of indigenous peoples to the state, the role and cultural influence of the country's earliest settlement groups, regional and provincial sources of identity, ethnicity, immigration and multiculturalism, gender, socio-economic class and emergent forms of politically salient identity, and Canadian national identity.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and POLS 225.

POLS 329
Canadian Federalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is devoted to the systematic study of the evolution, institutions, challenges, and theoretical underpinnings of the Canadian Federal system.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and POLS 225.

POLS 345
Issues in Globalization and Governance
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course offers a comprehensive study of some of the major issues in the areas of Globalization and Global Governance. Topics include: Global Governance theory, the Global Political Economy, Global Security Challenges, the Global Financial System, the Global Civic Ethic, Poverty and Globalization, UN Reform, and the Global Environmental Challenge.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 349
Topics in Global Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

The course covers current controversial issues in global politics. Selected topics include the international political economy, the international strategic system, global challenges, and international relations theory.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 357
The Third World in Global Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course assesses challenges facing the Third World in the global economy. Students focus on the specific constraints faced by the developing countries in the era of globalization, while assessing opportunities and options for overcoming the structural constraints. The institutional underpinnings of the Third World movement - the non-aligned movement and the group of 77 - as well as the specific regional and interregional responses to globalization are analyzed.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200 or POLS 264.

POLS 361
Conflicts and Civil Wars in International Relations
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Large-scale violence associated with interstate and intrastate conflict and war continues to have undeniable relevance for all of humanity. Given the rise of ethnic conflicts in Europe and proliferation of advanced weapons technology worldwide, providing answers to pressing questions about the onset and escalation of war is imperative in the aftermath of the Cold War. This course examines the theoretical and empirical knowledge on the causes of interstate wars and civil wars.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 362
Pursuit of Peace in Global Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

A dominant feature of the post-World War II international system is the willingness of states and international organizations to intervene, often forcefully, to manage conflicts. This course examines the theoretical and empirical foundations of the study of conflict management since the end of the Second World War.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 364
International Political Economy
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This is a critical examination of the conjunction of a series of market and political issues in international affairs, including the major facets of globalization. The course uses major theoretical perspectives to explain the intersection of states and markets in the global economy. Topics include: the global trading system, foreign direct investment, foreign portfolio investment, international debt problems, the impact of the international financial institutions, North-South relations, and balancing development with environmental protection.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 365
Canadian Foreign Policy
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This is an overview of the significant post-Second World War developments in Canadian foreign policy. This course assesses Canada's foreign policy priorities, orientations and sources. Topics addressed include the following: Canadian security, development assistance, role in international organizations, Canada and the global economy, the human security agenda, and the role of non-governmental organizations in shaping Canadian foreign policy.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 264.

POLS 368
International Organization
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the theoretical and empirical evolution of International Organizations. The course includes an active learning component, using simulation of the United Nations and/or other intergovernmental organizations. It deals with global governance as well as specific issue-areas such as human rights, peace, disarmament, development, and the environment. Students cannot receive credit for both POLS 368 and POLS 468.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 264 or consent of the department.

POLS 370
American Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the American political system through the study of the institutional framework of the three separate federal branches, the motivation behind its organization, and the way political actors’ and political institutions’ interaction are shaped by this organizational structure. This course is appropriate for political science majors who wish to gain a foundation and a better understanding of American politics.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 200 or consent of the department.

POLS 371
Politics in China
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines Chinese politics in its historical, cultural, social, and global settings. The focus of this course is on the responses of China's political system to its domestic and international challenges in the modern time.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200 or POLS 261 or POLS 263.

POLS 373
Politics in India
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the Indian political system in its historical, cultural, social, and global settings. The responses of India's contemporary political system to its domestic and international challenges are studied in combination with the impact of India's colonial experience.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200 or POLS 261 or POLS 263.

POLS 375
Politics of East Asia
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course provides comparative studies and analyses of politics of East Asia. Focused topics include politics of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. Comparisons and analyses cover a variety of subjects such as political institutions and processes, ideologies, and public policies.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200 or consent of the department.

POLS 376
Issues in Development Studies
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course provides an understanding of the core theoretical and practical development-related issues confronting countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It presents the contending development theories, while focusing on the significant development challenges facing the developing countries - both domestic and global.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200 or POLS 264.

POLS 398
Independent Study
3 Credits          Total (0-0-45)

This course permits an intermediate-level student to work with an instructor to explore a specific topic in depth through research or directed reading in primary and secondary sources. The student plans, executes and reports the results of their independent research or study project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. To be granted enrollment in the course, the student must have made prior arrangements with a faculty member willing to supervise the student’s project.

POLS 399
Empirical Research Methods in Political Science
3 Credits          Weekly (2-1-0)

This course is a general introduction to empirical research methods in Political Science.  Students learn the logic and working assumptions behind empirical research in Political Science, and gain practice with those methods to ask and answer specific research questions in Political Science using a statistical software.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 101 and 6 credits of 200-level POLS courses.

POLS 410
Topics in Political Philosophy
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This is a seminar course for students interested in advanced study of specialized areas of political philosophy. This course is devoted to the detailed study of a single topic. Examples of topics include the following: virtue and politics, theories of the State, the limits of reason, and problems of political community. Students may take this course up to two times provided the topic is different.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and POLS 215, or consent of the department.

POLS 422
Environmental Politics and Policy
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This course offers an exploration of environmental issues in Canada, the politics that have emerged around them and how government has responded. A range of issues from local environmental concerns, such as air and water quality, to complex global challenges, such as climate change, are covered. The course focuses on salient actors in environmental politics, the institutions and processes used to develop environmental policies, and how environmental issues are defined and understood by different political ideologies.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and POLS 225 or consent of the department.

POLS 424
Advanced Topics in Canadian Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This is a seminar course for students interested in advanced study of specialized areas of Canadian politics. This course is devoted to the detailed study of a single topic area. Examples of topic areas include democracy and democratic reform, electoral politics and political parties, Canadian political thought, the Charter of Rights and judicial review, political cleavages in Canada, the politics of environmentalism, and the media and politics in Canada.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 225.

POLS 426
Canadian Law and Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This course is devoted to the systematic study of the issues, history, and scholarly commentary associated with law, politics, and the judicial process in Canada. The course includes consideration of topics such as legal theory, judicial politics and issues of judicial selection and appointment, the implications of rights review for democracy, and core cases in constitutional litigation. The course concludes with student participation in a simulated legal case on a constitutional issue.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 326 or POLS 329 or consent of the department.

POLS 461
Selected Topics in International Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This course focuses on selected contemporary topics in the sub-fields of international relations. Students undertake a detailed analysis of a specific topic. The topic studied is determined by faculty expertise and changes from year to year.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 260 or POLS 264 and POLS 265.

POLS 470
Selected Topics in Comparative Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This course focuses on the analysis of advanced topics in Comparative Politics. It includes theoretical, empirical, institutional, and policy analysis, as well as a research component. For detailed information concerning the current course offering please consult the department. Note: This course can be taken up to two times, provided the course topic is different.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200.

POLS 471
Comparative Development
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This seminar compares politics of two developing countries: China and India. The course addresses the distinctive developmental issues and common political challenges facing both countries and distinctive developmental issues in each of these countries. Theoretical perspectives on political development are examined.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in any of POLS 371,373, 375 and 376.

POLS 490
Advanced Study in Political Science
3 Credits          Weekly (0-0-3)

This course focuses on the analysis of selected issues in the fields of Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations or Political Philosophy. It includes a detailed research component. This is a required course in the Political Science major. Note: This course may be taken up to two times provided the course topic is different.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and 215, POLS 224 and 225, and POLS 264 and POLS 265; or consent of the department.

POLS 498
Advanced Independent Study
3 Credits          Total (0-0-45)

This course permits a senior-level student to work with an instructor to explore a specific topic in depth through research or directed reading in primary and secondary sources. The student plans, executes and reports the results of their independent research or study project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. To be granted enrollment in the course, the student must have made prior arrangements with a faculty member willing to supervise the student’s project.

Prerequisites: Consent of the Department.

POLS 499
Honours Thesis
3 Credits          Total (0-0-45)

Under the direction of a faculty supervisor registered students  conduct a research project culminating in a written Honours Thesis with oral defense.  This course is restricted to students in the Honours Political Science Program and may only be taken in their final year of the program.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department.