Instructor presentation of the course will involve the use of formal lectures, structured group work, and in-class discussion of assigned materials. Additional readings may be assigned for each course unit and placed on library reserve or via selected websites. Audio-visual and interactive materials may be used.
- Introduction to ethics and politics.
- The limits of political power.
- Debates over the role of ethics in politics.
- Conflicts of interest and patronage.
- Governance, public policy and ethical choices.
Upon conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the main ethical theories and approaches to assessing politics and government;
- address basic issues such as the proper role and place of ethics in politics, the nature and limits of political obligation, and under what circumstances individual or social interests should prevail;
- critically assess a selected range of governance and policy issues confronting local, regional, and national governments.
The course evaluation will be based on course objectives and in accordance with the policies of Douglas College and the Department of Political Science. A minimum of 40% of the student’s course grade will be assigned to examinations, a minimum of 30% will be assigned to the various components of a formal research essay, and a maximum of 30% will be based upon components such as quizzes, short essays, participation, and class presentations. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor in course outlines.
One example of an evaluation system:
Research-based position papers 30%
Mid-term exam 25%
Final exam 25%
Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:
Textbooks and readers will be selected based on instructor expertise and preference, and in consultation with the Department of Political Science. There are a range of textbooks and readers that can fulfill course objectives. Some examples include:
Carmichael, Don, Tom Pocklington and Greg Pyrcz. Democracy, Rights and Well-Being in Canada
(Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 1999).
Greene, Ian and David Shugarman. Honest Politics (Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 1998).
Hare, R. M. Essays on Political Morality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Klosko, George. Democratic Procedures and Liberal Consensus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Mancuso, Maureen et al. A Question of Ethics: Canadians Speak Out (New York: Oxford University
Skoropski, John. Ethical Explorations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).