Curriculum Guideline


Effective Date:
Course Code
POLI 1100
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hrs. per week/semester Seminar: 2 hrs. per week/semester
Methods Of Instruction

Presentation of the course will involve the use of formal lectures and group work by students. Additional readings may be assigned for each unit of the course and placed on reserve in the library. Where appropriate, audio-visual materials will be used.

Course Description
This course will examine political controversies that raise fundamental ethical issues in contemporary public life and the political choices of public officials. The course will analyse the ethical dimensions of public policy and will examine basic questions such as the proper place of ethics in politics, the difference in ethical behaviour in the public and private spheres, and whether the state should be neutral with respect to moral beliefs. Specific topics and issues will include the limits of political power, the rule of law, conflict of interest, minority cultural rights, health care, and debate over the welfare state.
Course Content

1.    Introduction to Ethics and Politics


  1. The Limits of Political Power


  1. The Role of Ethics in Politics


  1. Conflicts of Interest and Patronage


  1. Public Policy and Ethical Choices
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the main ethical theories and approaches to assessing liberal-democratic politics and government.


  1. Explain and assess a selected range of policy issues confronting local, regional, and national governments in Canada.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be based on the course objectives in accordance with Douglas College policy and the policies of the Department of Political Science. A minimum of 50% of the students’ grades will be assigned to the mid-term and end of term examinations. A minimum of 30% of the students’ grades will be assigned to a formal research paper(s).  A maximum of 20% of students’ grades will be based on a series of components, including, but not limited to: quizzes, short essays, attendance, participation, and class presentations. The specific evaluative criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course.


One example of an evaluation scheme:


Mid-term exam                                                    25%

Research paper(s)                                                30%

Participation                                                         20%

Final Exam                                                          25%


Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Text and course readings will be selected after consultation with the department.  Examples of texts to be used include:


Greene, I. & Shugarman, D.  (1998).  Honest Politics.  Toronto: James Lorimer and Company.


Carmichael, D., Pocklington, T. & Pyrcz, G.  (1999).  Democracy, Rights and Well-Being in Canada.

         Toronto:  Harcourt Canada.