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Political Science Courses

Political Science MA Courses

Description: The course is designed to familiarize students with the structures and processes of policy-making in Canadian government. Particular attention is given to theories of public policy, the role of key institutions and agencies in the formulation and analysis of policy, and recent organizational developments in the executive-bureaucratic arena.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course explores differing research philosophies, the principles of research design and research strategies. It also considers philosophical critiques of different approaches and practical aspects of conducting research.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 685 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores the major theories, approaches and contemporary debates within international relations theory. Topics include the development of realism, liberalism, constructivism and critical approaches. Major aspects of international relations theory, such as security, political economy, and international organization, are also explored.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course analyses policy development in industrialized countries. It focuses on various areas such as economic, education, fiscal and social policies. Moreover, this course examines contributions that address methodological issues related to comparative research.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: Students in this seminar course conduct a theoretical and empirical survey of contemporary approaches to environmental policy development and implementation at various levels of governance, including municipal, national and international. Case studies may include toxic waste, oceans management, the impact of trade agreements, biodiversity conservation, and climate change.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course focuses upon the American challenge to Canadian independence in the economic, cultural, defence and other spheres, and examines policy initiatives taken by Canadian governments and the various proposals advanced by nationalist groups to meet this challenge.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Substantial improvement in health, hygiene and working conditions combined with declining fertility rate is creating an important demographic shift. As a result, the number of individuals aged 65 and above is expected to double by 2031. This has multiple policy and political consequences across industrialized countries. The object of this course is to analyze this demographic shift from a comparative perspective.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 681 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: A study of the long range historical tendencies towards large and complex interdependent organizations in the post industrial world. These trends juxtapose the regional confederation of the European community as well as the rising trade blocs of North America and the Pacific, with the development of a single political economic and cultural super-system of global scope.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course introduces students to the controversy surrounding the economics of Keynes and the implications of his work for the current problems of unemployment and growth. Interpretations of Keynes are explored in the context of the current eclipse of Keynesianism in public policy circles.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course considers the increased policy-making functions of Supreme Courts in systems that have statutory and entrenched bills of rights. By focusing on the interaction between courts and legislatures, and the increasing use of litigation strategies by interest groups, the implications of public policy in a rights context are examined.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course explores the public policy of managing the business cycle. The emphasis is on both the theoretical literature associated with modern notions of managing the economic cycle and on applied case studies. The focus is both Canadian and comparative.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: The course presents an overview of the central concepts and theories used in political socialization research. Students learn about the major sources of political opinions, attitudes and values. This course also investigates how political socialization is used in practice in Canadian politics and within several other sub-disciplines of political science.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 683 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: The course provides an overview of the scholarly debate and research on political economy issues considered central to an examination of the political economy of advanced countries.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course examines key debates in the study and practice of citizenship in Canada. It explores the different forces which are transforming our understanding of citizenship, including globalization, nationalism, welfare state reform, international migration, and multiculturalism. Topics include citizenship and social exclusion; social rights and the welfare state; and economic citizenship, employment and social identity.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 685 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores the major international and domestic determinants of foreign policy. Principal topics include the influence of the international system, geography, leadership, regime-type, transnationalism and non-governmental organizations on foreign policy. Rather than focusing on any particular country, the course draws upon the experiences of a variety of Western democratic states utilizing case studies of American, British, French and Canadian foreign policy to illustrate and evaluate course themes.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course examines the creation and use of expertise in policy-making, including questions of knowledge construction, the sway of science versus norms on decision-makers, and the impact of bureaucratic processes on the quality of policy. Alternative conceptions of knowledge and its effects on decision-making from political science, sociology, economics, and psychology are applied to issues including national security, environmental politics and economics.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 687 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: Discussion is directed towards an understanding of public administration in the Canadian federal setting. Some of the main problems of public administration are related to important changes which have taken place over the last twenty years and which are continuing to take place.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course is a seminar on the theory and practice of multinational peace and stability operations. The course covers theoretical perspectives on peace operations; the origins and evolution of peace operations, with particular focus on the expansion and transformation of peace operations since the end of the Cold War; the organizational and international politics of peace operations; causes of peace operations’ success and failure; problems of managing and coordinating actors involved in peace operations; and prospects for organizational learning and reform. The course examines specific cases of peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peace enforcement.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 687 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course considers the ways political actors attempt policy and institutional changes through an examination of leadership skills and decision making styles. It considers the philosophical treatments by Plato and Machiavelli and the relationship between morality and leadership by analyzing modern leadership within a constrained constitutional context.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 687 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: A comparative study of the public administration systems in various western countries with emphasis on a comparison vis-à-vis the Canadian federal system.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course focuses on the essential political concepts of ethics, justice and morality which underlie and motivate almost all political activity. The course explores both ancient and contemporary perspectives on the meaning of these concepts and examines the problems and theoretical challenges that arise when a definitive notion of justice is used to assess or generate public policy.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 685 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course deals with intergovernmental affairs that have become a significant part of the policy process in many countries. An analysis of power relations in the federal state, both in institutional and societal terms, will be a primary focus of this course. The Canadian case will serve as the main area of inquiry.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course examines the philosophical, political, and theoretical counsel to policymakers and broader public discourse surrounding the development and implementation of new laws and regulations pertaining to issues in advanced biotechnology, such as cloning, stem cell research, and psychopharmacology.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 685 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course is a survey of the field of comparative politics. It examines major theories, concepts and methods of comparative political analysis.

Component(s): Lecture; Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 681 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course provokes critical thinking on value judgements underlying policy-making and familiarizes students with practical measures available for promoting integrity in public institutions. Students examine the principles underlying ethical standards, various professional codes of ethics, issues such as potential conflicts between personal convictions and public duties, and the ethical responsibility of public officials and civil servants in democratic societies.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course examines key debates surrounding the concept and the politics of development in the ‘less developed’ world with a particular emphasis on institutional structures, such as the state, the market and non-governmental organizations, through which development has been pursued.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 687 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This is a seminar in organization theory, an interdisciplinary field concerned with the sources, determinants, functions, and effects of complex organizations. The course focuses on political organizations and the political effects of organizations by reviewing the historical development of organization theory and considering how current debates help us understand the nature and functions of organizations in the twenty-first century. Topics include the nature and sources of formal organizations; organizational structure; organizational decision-making; organizational culture; organizational reliability and failure; and the interaction between organizations and their environments.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: The course is an intensive study of a text by a major author such as Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, or Nietzsche. Students systematically explore the issues and problems raised by the text and the interpretive traditions that follow from it.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 685 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course is a survey of leading research in and approaches to political theory and political philosophy, including the history of political thought, normative political theory and contemporary political thought.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 685 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course focuses upon methods of assessing consequences of public policies. The main purpose of the course is to allow students to survey evaluation research in political science and to present research designs that will enable them to make plausible assumptions about the outcome of governmental programs in the absence of experimental control.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: The purpose of this course is to explore the ethical and policy dilemmas that rapid scientific and technological advances in biotechnology pose for issues of agriculture and food security. The course focuses on Canadian policy within a comparative perspective and examines alternative policy responses, such as found in the US, EU and developing countries.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 685 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: The course explores the diverse intellectual and ideological origins of Public Administration and Public Policy. The focus is on the comparative and critical analysis of the theoretical models under study. Students are encouraged to think analytically and to apply theoretical frameworks to their own empirical enquiries.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This seminar examines the various definitions and understandings of democratic and authoritarian regimes and the principal moments of regime change (breakdown, transition, post-transition, and consolidation). It focuses on institution-building, the actors involved in the process of regime change and the political economy of transitions.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 687 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course is a survey of the field at an advanced level. It presents a discussion of contemporary issues and controversies in Canadian and Quebec Politics.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 683 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course deals with understanding the micro-analytical foundations of individual and group behaviour in political life. It introduces students to the main concepts, theorems and their applications in positive analytical politics including game theory, spatial modeling and institutional analysis.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 687 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course introduces students to the logic and methodology of Political Science research and public policy analysis.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course examines the political and administrative context in which Indigenous Peoples and the state coexist as well as the tensions between European and Indigenous modes of governance. It focuses on the evolution of institutions and policies regulating this relationship, and the governance strategies developed consistent with Indigenous traditions. The Canadian case serves as the focus but other countries may be considered.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 683 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course presents a survey of the major ideas which have shaped the various approaches to political economy from the classical theorists to twentieth century thinkers. The historical and contemporary influence of these ideas on public policy is evaluated.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: An introduction to the growing literature and controversies surrounding the concept of ‘human security’ in international politics, applied specifically to the Canadian foreign policy context. Examined actors include states, non-governmental organizations, international institutions, and ‘civil society’.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 687 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course provides an in-depth examination of feminist and critical perspectives of public policy and administration. The course seeks to examine the ways in which social location is implicated in (and mediated by) public policy theory and practice. Specific topics may include the state of bureaucracy, state-society relations, public policy discourses, structures, processes and outcomes, and substantive issue areas, such as body politics, social and economic policy, and the labour market.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 683 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This seminar focuses on the intersection of the global and the local through different methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of gender. Drawing from texts from the fields of comparative politics, international relations and sociology, the course exposes class participants to different scholarly treatments of gender and politics especially as these treatments have evolved in a post-Cold War era of increasing globalization.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course introduces students to the growing field of science policy analysis. It provides an overview of the theoretical approaches and analytical tools used in the area and critically discusses various policy mechanisms now in place as well as current and emerging issues.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course examines several of the most significant attempts made by modern political thinkers to answer the question, “What is the modern state?” It addresses both the historical emergence of the modern state and the various ways that this emergence has been theorized. Special emphasis is placed on the differences and interconnections between historical, theoretical, and practical questions.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This seminar discusses the nature, dynamics and consequences of nationalism. The emphasis is placed on presenting and discussing various theoretical understandings of identity and nationalist mobilization. It examines conceptual issues relating to the study of nationalism, namely the nature, origins and characterizations of nations and nationalism and the strategies for regulation of nationalist conflict.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under POLI 687 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines a broad range of literary and non-literary genres for their potential to inform and redirect the political imagination. The seminar adopts a broadly comparative perspective on literature, culture, politics and individual motivation.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course explores the role of international organizations, institutions and regimes in world politics. The course covers intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as well as informal institutional arrangements. It surveys theoretical debates regarding the origins, dynamics, and significance of international organizations, and examines their role in areas such as international security, international political economy, and regional integration. The course also considers debates over democratic accountability within international organizations and the efficacy of global governance.

Component(s): Seminar

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a POLI 687 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course covers theories from macroeconomics and international relations and their application to major historical and contemporary events in the evolution of the global political economy. Topics include international trade and finance, economic development, regional integration and globalization, North-South relations, the emergence of multinational corporations, and international organizations such as the World Bank, IMF, WTO, OECD, and UNCTAD.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: The Extended Research Essay is a directed study supervised by a faculty member with whom a student completed a course in their area of concentration. Requiring additional research, this degree requirement builds on a term paper submitted at the graduate level in a concentration course and is considered to be a significant revision and extension of that paper, with an extensive bibliography.

Component(s): Independent Study

Description: The Internship is a four-month job placement in either the public or private sector. Under the direction of a faculty supervisor, the student prepares an original, theoretical work that comprises a series of policy recommendations that contribute to the policy process in Canada.

Component(s): Practicum/Internship/Work Term; Research

Description: This course is a directed study involving a comprehensive understanding of the literature in the area of research directly relevant to the thesis topic under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The written assignments involve a comprehensive literature review, annotated bibliography and research design that culminate in a thesis proposal presented in an oral defence before the thesis supervisor and two faculty members in the graduate program.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Description: Independent study in the area of concentration.

Component(s): Tutorial

Description: Students are required to demonstrate their ability to carry out original, independent research. The thesis, which is researched and written under the direction of a supervisor and thesis committee, is defended before the student’s thesis committee.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Political Science PhD Courses

Core Courses

Description: This course is a survey of the field of comparative politics at an advanced level. It examines major theories, concepts and methods of comparative political analysis.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course is a survey of core concepts of international politics at an advanced level. It examines major theoretical perspectives and their application to historical and contemporary international issues.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course is a survey of the field at an advanced level. It presents a discussion of contemporary issues and controversies in Canadian and Québec politics.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course is a survey of leading research in political theory and political philosophy, including the history of political thought, normative political theory and contemporary political thought.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course surveys several theoretical models and paradigms of public policy and public administration. It examines critically the intellectual and ideological traditions of policy analysis.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course explores differing research philosophies, the principles of research design and research strategies. It also considers philosophical critiques of different approaches and practical aspects of conducting research.

Component(s): Seminar

Elective Courses

Description: Topics vary from year to year.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: Topics vary from year to year.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: Topics vary from year to year.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: Topics vary from year to year.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: Topics vary from year to year.

Component(s): Seminar

Prerequisite/Corequisite: Permission of the PhD Committee is required.

Description: This special reading course is designed to explore topics and themes relevant to a student’s doctoral research.

Component(s): Tutorial

Comprehensive Examination Courses

Description: All candidates are required to write two 6-credit comprehensive exams in their two areas of specialization, so that they are deemed competent to teach at the university level in these two areas. For each area of specialization there will be a written exam and an oral defence of the exam within three weeks of writing the former. Students must pass the written exam to move forward to the oral exam, but can still fail an exam with an incompetent oral performance. If either part (written or oral) is failed, the student will be permitted one re-take of the entire exam both oral and written. If the student then fails either the written or oral part, the second failure will result in the student being withdrawn from the program.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Description: All candidates are required to write two 6-credit comprehensive exams in their two areas of specialization, so that they are deemed competent to teach at the university level in these two areas. For each area of specialization there will be a written exam and an oral defence of the exam within three weeks of writing the former. Students must pass the written exam to move forward to the oral exam, but can still fail an exam with an incompetent oral performance. If either part (written or oral) is failed, the student will be permitted one re-take of the entire exam both oral and written. If the student then fails either the written or oral part, the second failure will result in the student being withdrawn from the program.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Thesis Courses

Description: After completion of the course work and comprehensive exams, the candidate with the concurrence and assistance of the Graduate Program Director finalizes the supervisory committee, consisting of the principal supervisor(s) and at least two other members of the department. Students are required to complete and defend their thesis proposal before the supervisory committee in a meeting chaired by the Graduate Program Director. The thesis proposal will include a literature review and a fully justified research agenda. In cases where the supervisory committee is not satisfied with the proposal, the student can resubmit and re-defend. A second unsatisfactory proposal would result in the student being withdrawn from the program.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Description: Doctoral students must submit a thesis based on their research and defend it in an oral examination. A doctoral thesis should be based on extensive research in primary sources, make an original contribution to knowledge, and be presented in acceptable scholarly form.

Component(s): Thesis Research

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