From distant lands to your own backyard
Our classes give you the opportunity to discover and pursue the aspect of political science that most interests you. Whether you’re passionate about local politics, foreign relations, or the politicization of social issues, there is a class for you. First-year classes provide a great overview of political theory and history and serve as a solid foundation for more specialization in the upper years. While our professors use their own unique teaching methods, all our classes focus on developing strong research, critical thinking, and writing skills.
POLI 1025Ideas, Politics, and People
Should governments spend more or less on health care? Is globalization good or bad for Canada? A central theme of political science is the clash of ideas in contemporary society. This class explores, through current issues, some of the key concepts of liberalism, socialism, conservatism, feminism, and other ideas about politics. It also focuses on political parties, interest groups and social movements, elections and the media, with emphasis on politics in Canada and the United States.
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.
Exclusions: POLI 1100, POLI 1103, POLI 1015, POLI 1035
POLI 2230Local Government
Most Canadians live in cities, yet local government is the weakest unit in our federal system. What accounts for this? In Canada, local governments have many unique characteristics, from their constitutional status to the council system and a tradition of non-partisan government. This class explores the character of local government and the issues related to local governance, including regional and metropolitan restructuring and citizen participation, municipal finance, provincial-local relations, and the role of the federal government.
Prerequisites: An introductory class in political science.
Exclusions: POLI 3216
POLI 2520World Politics
Why do states fight wars? Commit genocide? Sign treaties? Acquire and sell ballistic missile and nuclear technologies? Join economic and military alliances? Enforce and/or dismantle sanctions against states like Iraq, Iran or North Korea? Why can’t we enforce international law as effectively as we enforce domestic law? Can we identify (and enforce) an objective set of universal moral values to guide relations between states and peoples? Is the U.N. a useful institution or is it destined to fail? This class delves into these questions by examining the historical roots of different components of the international political system, and analyzing topical issues in world politics.
Prerequisites: An introductory class in Political Science is recommended.
Exclusions: POLI 2500
POLI 3591Pirates, Profiteers and Protectors of the Sea
While the world is focused on the terrorist threat on land, piracy and other criminal activities are spreading rapidly on the seas. Youths in small boats with simple weapons are embarrassing the most powerful navies in the world, hijacking merchant ships off the coast of Somalia, and getting multi-million dollar ransoms for their hostages. Meanwhile, illegal immigration and smuggling are also increasing dramatically. Natural disasters are also on the rise. Is Canada ready for these challenges? Are our maritime forces properly structured for the new security era or should they be changed radically? Tens of billions will be spent soon on new ships to either perpetuate the status quo or launch in a new direction. This course shows the full range of policy and capability options available and explains the logic behind the choices that need to be made. What would you recommend?
Prerequisites: POLI 2520 or permission of instructor
POLI 3380Politics of Climate Change
This class examines the interactions between politics and a changing climate. Core questions include: What lies behind political disagreements over how to respond to climate change? What does climate change mean for various political, social, and economic projects? Topics include: the role of science and economics in climate politics; the new 'climate capitalism'; non-capitalist alternatives that question growth and consumerism while emphasizing 'climate justice'; Canada's particular difficulties in addressing climate change; climate politics at the personal level; international climate negotiations; and climate as a security issue.
Prerequisites: POLI 3585 or permission of instructor
POLI 3311Sport and Politics
This class examines the role of sport in domestic, transnational, and international politics. It addresses the gap in much of mainstream political science concerning the pervasive influence of popular cultural trends and practices on political life. Some topics include: the role of sport in political socialization and the creation of national identity; the politics of the Olympic Games; sport and globalization; and sport and the politics of gender and wealth accumulation.
Prerequisites: POLI 2300 or POLI 2520 or permission of instructor