Political Science

Course List

Code Course Description
INST 1100

Introduction to International Studies

To understand the political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of globalization is vital in an increasingly complex and integrated world. This course provides an introduction to key concepts and approaches in international studies using an interdisciplinary approach. The course examines patterns of conflict and cooperation between nations, states, and social and cultural groups within the global system, and focuses on ethnic and religious conflict, human security, the environment, and global economic inequalities. INST 1100 is a core course in the Intercultural and International Studies Associate of Arts Degree.

POLI 1101

Introduction to Political Science

This course provides an introductory overview of the nature of politics and government, how to create good governments, and how best to structure political institutions (and limit their powers). The course examines basic political concepts, theories and ideologies, institutions of government, and the structures and processes of politics and policy-making. The course also prepares students for further study in political science by providing conceptual and analytical tools appropriate to the field.

POLI 1102

Introduction to Canadian Government

This course explores the structure and functions of the main institutions of Canadian government. Students will examine Canada’s constitutional history and modern constitutional challenges, Canadian federalism, the prime minister, the Cabinet, the Parliament, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary. The course provides the basis for understanding Canada’s parliamentary system and more advanced study of Canadian governments. Students are encouraged to enroll in both POLI 1102 (Introduction to Canadian Government) and POLI 2202 (Introduction to Canadian Politics) to enhance their university transfer if majoring in political science.

POLI 1103

Introduction to World Politics

Why war? What is the role of the United Nations in resolving conflict? How does politics affect the nature of global economic relations? These and other central questions about the nature of global political relations are examined in this course. Students will review fundamental concepts and theoretical approaches to the study of world politics, examine the structure of the contemporary international system, and explore current issues in international security and economic relations. This course will help students recognize the importance of world politics and to develop the tools to analyze and understand current events.

POLI 2200

Politics and Ethics

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 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, for example, the limits of political power, the rule of law, conflict of interest, minority cultural rights, health care, and debate over the welfare state.

POLI 2201

Introduction to Political Theory

This course introduces students to selected great thinkers of Western political theory who inspired others to critically assess their political thinking and understanding of citizenship. Their ideas will serve as the starting point for appraising the relationship between politics and philosophy and the search for justice and the good life. What makes authority legitimate? What freedoms can citizens claim? What are rights? What does justice require? This course is intended for students without any formal background in political theory or philosophy.

POLI 2202

Introduction to Canadian Politics

This course introduces students to Canada’s political traditions and culture, political socialization and participation, class and ethnic politics, the Quebec question, the electoral process, and political parties and advocacy groups in the Canadian governing system. Students are encouraged to enroll in both POLI 1102 (Introduction to Canadian Government) and POLI 2202 (Introduction to Canadian Politics) to enhance their university transfer if majoring in political science.

POLI 2203

Current International Issues

The media almost daily reports on humanitarian disasters arising someplace in the world. This course examines contemporary issues in world politics including war, genocide, human security, the environment and global economic inequality. The course will assess attempts within the international system to manage conflict and the challenges posed by economic globalization and the environment.

POLI 2205

B.C. Politics and Government

British Columbia’s politics is the Wild West of Canadian politics. This course examines the evolution of the province’s politics and government. This examination will be considered from both descriptive and comparative perspectives, with a focus on the structural approach to exploring the ideas, institutions, and
political actors that have played a role in the development of British Columbia. The focus of the course will be on current political issues facing the province, its future development, and on the provincial legislature, First Nations, cities, towns and villages, and regional districts.

POLI 2209

U.S. Government and Politics

American politics continually fascinates and occasionally appalls foreign observers yet is often oversimplified or misunderstood. This course provides students with an introduction to American political culture, the U.S. constitution and the main institutions and processes of the U.S. political system including the Presidency, the Congress, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, federalism, political parties, interest groups, and the electoral system. Throughout the course students examine both enduring and new issues in American politics.

POLI 2210

Introduction to Comparative Politics

Why are some countries democratic and others authoritarian? How and in what ways do different political systems affect citizen welfare? How do we assess competing and rival political systems? This course explores key questions, issues, methods, and developments in the study of comparative politics and government. The nature of politics and governance across different political regimes will be compared using analytical methods that will deepen students’ knowledge of governing and policy alternatives.

POLI 3300

The Politics of Utopias and Dystopias

Literary utopias and dystopias are critical mirrors of governments and societies. Such writings reflect cultural responses to changing values and beliefs, the desire for a better future, or fear of great dysfunction -- but they are all intrinsically political. This course will examine how utopian and dystopian works are powerful commentaries on political and social relationships. It will show how such works can enhance students' abilities to discuss and assess current political issues and to formulate and reflect on their own ideas of what constitute a good society.