St. F.X. Department of Political Science Courses

Department Regulations
Normally, all courses above the 100 level, except PSCI 241/242, require PSCI 101/2 (100) as a prerequisite. Students who wish to register in courses at the 300 level or above should have 12 credits in PSCI or permission of the instructor.

There are four areas within the discipline: Canadian Politics; Political Theory/Philosophy; Comparative Politics; and World Politics/International Relations. Students will normally concentrate in two of those areas. Additionally, the department offers, along with the Department of Philosophy, an optional concentration in ethics, politics and law. Minor and subsidiary programs are available for students majoring in another discipline.

Major and Joint Major Programs
See sections 4.2 and 4.3 for degree regulations. Candidates for the major degree should choose their courses in consultation with a member of the political science department, and they must have their major form approved by the department chair. Students will normally concentrate in two areas within the discipline, and have a minimum of 18 credits at the 300 level or above. Majors are encouraged to include PSCI 399 and/or a fourth year seminar in their course pattern.

Advanced Major Program
See section 4.4 for degree regulations. Candidates for a degree with advanced major in political science must choose their courses in consultation with the chair or with a supervisor assigned to them by the department. All students will take PSCI 100 (101 & 102), 399 and at least two three-credit seminars and a senior research paper as part of their program. Students will normally concentrate in two areas within the discipline, and have at least 18 credits at the 300 level or above, including PSCI 399 or 397, and two three-credit seminars. Joint advanced major candidates must complete all of the above requirements, including the senior paper if political science is the primary subject (major 1).

Honours Program
See section 4.6 for degree regulations. Candidates for the degree with honours in political science require credit for PSCI 100 (101 & 102), 399 or 397, a minimum of 12 credits from the following: 201, 202, 211, 212, 221, 222, 251, 252,, and two three-credit seminars, a thesis (490) and 24 other credits in PSCI. Students will normally have at least 24 credits at the 300 level or above, including PSCI 399, 490 and and two 3-credit seminars.

Honours with a Subsidiary Subject
See section 4.6.1 for program requirements. Note: Not all courses are offered every year. Most 300-level courses are offered in alternate years. To confirm course offerings students should check the timetable prior to registration.

 

100 Level Courses

101 Introduction to Power and Politics
This course provides a basic introduction to the study of politics by exploring key concepts, ideas and debates that are important for understanding political life. Topics covered include the nature of politics, varieties and dimensions of political power, political authority and the state. Students will be introducted to both traditional and contemporary political ideologies. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 101 or PSCI 100. Three credits.

102 Introduction to Comparative and Global Politics
International relations and national politics shape political life today. This course examines various forms of government and compares political systems and processes, electoral systems, and public policies. It introduces students to the international state system and relations among states, covering topics such as co-operation and conflict, alliances and international organizations, war and peace, the global economy and contemporary global issues. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 102 or PSCI 100. Three credits.

200 Level Courses

201 Ancient & Medieval Political Thought
A critical textual analysis of ancient and medieval thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Augustine, with emphasis on their political thought. This course will stress the continuing relevance of these thinkers to current politics and the search for the just society. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 200 or PSCI 201. Crosslisted as PHIL 201. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100).Three credits.

202 Modern Political Thought
A critical textual analysis of modern thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, and Marx, with emphasis on their political thought. This course will stress the continuing relevance of these thinkers to current politics and the search for the just society. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 200 or PSCI 202. Crosslisted as PHIL 202. Prerequisities: PSCI 101, 102 (100).Three credits.

211 Comparative Politics I
The course provides an introduction to comparative and/or regional politics as a field of study, and prepares students for upper level courses in this field. It will present the basic methodological and theoretical tools in the field and take a close look at three countries whose history, political institutions, polical culture, political processes and political outcomes are similar or closely related to Canada's. Great Britian, France and the United States among others. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 211 or 210. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100). Three credits.

212 Comparative Politics II [DEVS]
This course provides an introduction to comparative politics and/or regional politics as a field of study, and prepares students for upper level courses in the field. It examines the evolution and diversity of governments in countries whose history, political institutions political culture, political processes, and political outcomes differ from Canada's. These countries may include Russia, China, Brazil, Japan, Iran, India or Nigeria, among others. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 212 and 210. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100); PSCI 211 recommended. Three credits.

221 Canadian Politics I
This course covers the key political structures and institutions of the Canadian state (The Constitution, the political executive, parliament, federalism and intergovernmental relations, the public service and the courts) which constrain, shape and give impetus to Canadian politics, governance and decision-making. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 221 and 220. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100).Three credits.

222 Canadian Politics II
This course will cover the cultural and regional how citizens interact with the Canadian state. Topics covered include political parties, elections, advocacy groups, and other forms of political participation, the role of the media, and the implications for the political process of key social divisions such as gender, language, and race. Language politics, multicultural groups, the women's movement and aboriginal peoples will receive attention. The course concludes with a discussion of Canada's place in the world. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 222 and 220.Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100). Three credits.

231 United States Politics
This course introduces U.S. government with a focus on historical development of American political institutions. It examines the U.S. federal system and constitutional development, as well as executive, legislative, and judicial powers with particular attention to the founding and its enduring legacy in American political culture. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 231 or PSCI 230. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100).Three credits.

241 Political Power & Business in Canada [AR] [DEVS]
The course examines the historical roots and the current contours of the business-government relationship. While the focus is on Canada, conditions in other advanced capitalist states are also considered. Topics include the mechanisms of business power, the micro-politics of industries and case studies of corporate-state relations. Credit will be grantef for only one fo PSCI 240 or PSCI 241.PSCI 101, 102 (100). Three credits.

251 Foundations of Global Politics
This course examines international relations as a field of study, offering a comprehensive survey of a wide range of contending conceptual, theoretical and historical foundations of global politics. It provides students with a wide range of analytical and interpretive tools to make sense of global politics and prepare them for more advanced courses in international relations. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 251 and PSCI 250. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 (100). Three credits.

252 Contemporary Global Politics
This course examines a set of contemporary problems and issues in global politics, focusing primarily on security-related questions, the politics of international economic relations, and transnationalism. Among the topics examined are: international security, nuclear deterrence and proliferation, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, economic globalization and its consequences, the problem of poverty and development for the global South, planetary environmental challenges, new transnational actors, and global governance. Credit will be be granted for only one of PSCI 252 and PSCI 250. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 (100); 251 recommended. Three credits.

291 Violence, Conflict and Politics [DEVS]
A introduction to the comparative study of types of collective political violence; war, terrorism, ethnic or identity-based conflicts, coup d'état, revolution, civil war, and genocide. Specific case studies are examined along with the main theoretical approaches in the field. Prereqiuisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100). Three credits.

300 Level Courses

301 Liberalism and Its Critics
A critical study of the liberal political theory, its basic concepts and its limitations in a multicultural age. Theorists considered: John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Joseph Raz, Charles Taylor, John Gray and Wendy Brown. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (201/202 recommended). Three credits.

303 Contemporary Political Arguments
Critical study of the major ideas and issues in contemporary political theory, focused on assessing and engaging central moral debates in domestic and global politics. Emphasis will be placed on applying political theories and concepts to examine real-world cases. Main themes: political authority and obligation, democracy, multiculturalism, human rights, global justice, war and intervention, environment, gender and power. Prerequistes: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (201/202 recommended). Three credits.

306 Theory and Politics of Human Rights
This course critically examines the theory and politics of human rights, including conceptual, historical, legal, and practical controverses surrounding human rights and the institutions that have been designed to protect them. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (201/202 recommended). Three credits.

308 Global Justice
This course critically explores political theories of global justice that fall in both the statist or nationalist camp and the cosmopolitian camp; along with rights-based approaches that address pressing global concerns through the lens of political philosophy, including global gender justice, world poverty and global responsibility, democracy and global governance, the ethics and politics of global migration, animal rights, climate change and intergenerational justice, and indigenous struggles. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 308 and PSCI 394 offered in 2018-19. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (201/202 recommended). Three credits.

311 The European Union
The course examines European integration since World War II, with emphasis on the European Community (EC) and European Union (EU), their institutions and policy processes, and the consequences of European unity for the political process in European societies. Prerequisite: PSCI 101m 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended). Three credits.

312 Art and Politics
This course introduces students to what modern artists have to say about politics and what governments do and say about art. It provides some of the historical and theoretical tools needed to analyze the political role of art in our time. Students will examine literary works, painting, music, and architecture, and discuss specific policies on art. Cross-listed as ART 312. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

314 Topics in European Politics
This course examines themes and issues relevant to European politics and societies, ranging from political institutional arrangements, state-society relations, and the role of civil society and social capital to public policy, immigration, church-state relations, security, the EU Eastern enlargement, and the EU Neighbourhood Policy. By examining different European countries, Europe as a whole and the European Union, students are encouraged to develop their own project to understand politics in that part of the world. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 314 or PSCI 310. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

315 Democratization Around the World
This course investigates the problems facing countries from different parts of the world that have sought to move from non-democratic political systems to democracy. Students will learn the social, cultural and economic conditions necessary for the process of democratization; analyze the institutional structures and constitutional designs most conducive to the transition from authoritarianism to democracy; and consider the consequences of democratization for development. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended).. Three credits.

316 Dictatorships
This course introduces students to the nature and varieties of dictatorships in our time by examining their causes of emergence, what sustains them, and why they (sometimes) fall. This comparative politics course covers cases of dictatorial rule in countries such as China, Cuba, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, and Rwanda. Students will examine the political institutions and the public policies (e.g. economic, cultural, human rights) of dictatorships. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended).Three credits.

321 Federalism
This course examines the theory and practice of federalism, with a focus on Canadian federalism. Topics include theories of federalism, comparative federal systems, inter-governmental relations, fiscal arrangements, federal-provincial diplomacy and constitutional reform. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended)..Three credits.

322 Atlantic Canada
A course on modern government and politics in the four Atlantic provinces. Regional development and dependence are the themes within which students will explore federal-provincial relations, fiscal and administrative changes, development policies, political culture, and party systems. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended).. Three credits.

323 Parties and Elections
This course is concerned with parties and elections in Canada. Topics include party and electoral systems, intra-party politics and political personnel, party financing, representation and policy development, the political marketing, campaign and voting behaviour. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended). Three credits.

324 Provincial Politics
The comparative study of the differing political cultures, institutions, behavior and public policies of the Canadian provinces. Students will seek explanations for the similarities and differences in the social and economic structures and political histories of the provinces. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended). Three credits.

325 Indigenous Politics in Canada
An introductory course to indigenous politics and governance, this course will cover the history of Aboriginal-Crown relations, the political mobilization of Aboriginal Peoples and the constitutional entrenchment of their rights, key court decisions and political struggles, and the governance challenges of the contemporary era. Topics to be covered include the treaty process, the Indian Act, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal perspectives, citizenship and sovereignty, land claims and modern treaties, and forms of self-government. Cross-listed as DEVS 325. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended).Three credits.

331 Comparative Nationalism
An analysis of the historical origins of nationalism and of its central concepts and justifications. Both western and non-western nationalism (focusing on four or five cases) will be examined in a comparative context. Evidence for the recent decline of the nation state will be explored. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 331 and PSCI 330. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

335 Human Rights and International Justice [DEVS]
Human rights and international justice are important components of politics. This course examines the theoretical and practical concerns shaping the study and promotion of human rights today. Using a variety of material and case studies, we examine the debate over whether rights are universal; the institutions and organizations enforcing human rights; and the role states play in protecting human rights. A strong component of this class are state responses to massive human rights violations. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended).Three credits.

336 Religion and Politics
An examination of the impact of religion on politics and politics on religion. Students will consider the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, India and Pakistan, Eastern Europe and North America. Case studies will demonstrate interactions between the state and Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism, as well as the influence of religion on citizenship, education, the party system, and social issues. Credit will be grated for only one of PSCI 336, PSCI 295, RELS 295. Cross-listed as RELS 336. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

343 Law and Politics
The course explores the role of the courts in politics, particularly in Canada. Possible topics include: recent constitutional developments, the impact of the Charter of Rights, the judicialization of politics, philosophy of law, and strategic litigation. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended).. Three credits.

344 Citizenship and Identity
This course examines various aspect of Canadian citizenship and identity. Topics include citizenship theory, the evolution of the Canadian citizenship regime, processes of citizenization, majority and minority nationalism, Aboriginal citizenship and multiculturalism. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222 recommended). Three credits.

345 Women and Politics
An introduction to the study of women and politics. This course has three parts: feminist political thought and the women’s movement; political participation and representation; and public policy. Topics include feminist political thought in the Western political tradition, the evolution and politics of the women’s movement, political parties and legislatures, women and work, and women and the welfare state. Cross-listed as WMNS 345. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

351 Canadian Foreign Policy [AR]
This course is designed as a general historical survey of Canadian external interests, external policy-making processes, and contemporary themes and issues. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended).. Three credits.

352 American Foreign Policy
This course introduces students to the study of US foreign policy, examining major political, economic,and social forces that shape and constrain the making of American foreign policy. Among the issues examined are the historical and doctrinal context of US foreign policy, actors and institutions in the American foreign policymaking process, and contemporary external security and foreign economic policies of the US. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended).. Three credits.

353 International Organizations
A study of the development and role of international organizations in world politics. Topics include: the history and evolution of the United Nations, the effects of international law on state behavior, and the extent to which international cooperation has been effective in resolving global problems. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended).Three credits.

354 International Political Economy
This course examines the politics of international economic relations: international trade, the international monetary system, multinational corporations and international development. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended).. Three credits.

355 Global Issues
This course examines the state’s supremacy and its capacity to manage such global issues as: transnational flows of goods, services, money, and ideas; the continuing problem of poverty in the developing world; the phenomenon of failed states in the post-Cold War period; global environmental issues; international concerns with human rights; weapons proliferation; terrorism and other forms of transnational crime; and the rise of transnational social activist groups. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended).Three credits.

356 Arab-Israeli Conflict
This course examines the multifaceted dimenstions of the Arab-Israel conflict. In addition to exploring various historical, polical, societal, economic, and religious cleavages behind the conflict, the course also examines peace initiatives and the prospects for their success in the region. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended). Three credits.

357 Model United Nations
Introduction to the structures, activities, and operations of the UN, the protocols and procedures of UN deliberations, and contemporary international issues and agenda faced by the UN and its member states. The course is built around student preparation for and participation in, simulated UN deliberations at the four-day annual Harvard National Model UN Conference in Boston scheduled for February. Conference attendance is mandatory; there are additional travel-related costs, and fund raising is required. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 357 or PSCI 392 offered in 2014-15, 2016-17. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended). Three credits.

358 International Security
This course examines both the causes of war and the various strategies and tactics pertaining to how war has been-and is presently-conducted, as well exploring conflict mitigation and peacemaking strategies. Taking a pluralistic view of security studies, the course uses various frameworks of analysis drawing from classical works, rationalist approaches, structuralist accounts, normative works and constructivist explanations for war and peace. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 358, 392 offered in 2018-19, 394 offered in 2017-18, or 392 offered in 2016-17. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended).

363 International Relations of East Asia
An examination of contemporary international relations and foreign policies of major regional actors in East Asia including China, Japan, North and South Koreas, and the US. Topics include the political economy of East Asian regionalism, institution-building, the regional security complex, the rise fo China, and the ongoing nuclear crisis in the Korean Peninsula. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (251/252 recommended). Three credits.

365 Russian Politics
This course explores the reasons for the collapse and the pursuit of political and economic alternatives to state socialism in the Russian Federation. Students are encouraged to develop their own project, examining the manner in which forms of ownership, constitutional developments, party formation, political personalities, and domestic and international pressure influence events in post-communist Russia. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

371 Political Economy of Development
Countries in the developing world face a distinct set of political challenges, particularly as they relate to fostering economic growth and providing effective public services. This course will explore the political determinants of deveopment as well as the effect of economic conditions on political outcomes. Key issues include the origins of state weakness, the relationship between political institutions and economic growth, the causes of corruption, and the effect of diversity on governance outcomes. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 371 and PSCI 370. Crosslisted as DEVS 371. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

372 Politics in the Muslim World
A comparative examination of politics in Muslim-majority countries. This course will focus on the interaction of religion with issues of political order and development. We will consider the prospects of democracy, the strategies of religious political parties, the interplay of religious and national identities, and the constitutional status of religion across cases. Particular attention will be paid to politics of the largest Muslim countries. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

373 Irish Politics and Society
This course emphasizes the major factors that contributed to the making of modern Ireland. The topics to be covered include: the role of the Great Famine in altering both the social structure of Ireland and claims to Irish identity, the Irish diaspora and Irish emigrants to Atlantic Canada, social and political changes in the Republic of Ireland from independence to the 'Celtic Tiger' phenomenon and continuity and change in the conflict in Northern Ireland. Cross-listed as SOCI 373. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

391 Democratization and Development in Latin America
This course examines issues related to the challenges of development and democracy in the region. It provides historical background as well as discussions of theoretical approaches and specific public policies. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 391 and PSCI 390. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

395 Mexican Politics
This course looks at Mexico’s distinct political tradition. It presents and discusses Mexico’s main political actors (political parties, groups, social movements) and institutions (democratic, republican, federal, presidential), and examines the political challenges of democratization and liberalization. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

397 Research Design in Political Science
This course is all about asking interesting questions in political science and then coming up with ways to answer these questions. We will introduce the concept of variance and causality, units of analysis, and strategies for case selection. At the end of the course, students will be able to formulate research questions, generate a research design, and discuss a range of methodological approaches that can be used to explore the world of politics. Cross-listed as PGOV 304. Credit will be granted for only one of PSCI 397 or PSCI 399 offered up until 2019-20. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 (100) and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level. Three credits.

399 Research Methods and Statistics
This course introduces students to the use of quantitative analysis in political science. While studying the logic of statistical inference, students will learn practical skills, including survey questionnaire design, dataset management, and data presentation. By the end of the course students will be able to critically assess quantitative political science research and apply quantitative tools to pursue their own research questions. Cross-listed as PGOV 303. Prerequisites: PSCI 101, 102 and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200 level. Three credits.

400 Level Courses

401 Political Theory I (Seminar)
This seminar will critically analyze selected political thinkers, themes, issues and or controversies in political theoury and their current relevance to the discipline of political science and politics. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (201/202 recommended). Three credits.

421 Canadian Politics I (Seminar)
This seminar deals with the analysis of power in Canada, through the study of selected institutions, policy fields and cases. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 and 6 credits of PSCI at the 200-level (221/222/241 recommended). Three credits.

451 International Relations (Seminar)
This seminar examines advanced theories of Inernational Relations and contemporary issues in global politics. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102, and 6 credits at the 200-level (251/252 recommended). Three credits.

452 Comparative Politics (Seminar)
This seminar discusses major issues in comparative politics and examines the advanced theories, methods, and concepts in the field. Prerequisite: PSCI 101, 102 and 6 credits at the 200-level (211/212 recommended). Three credits.

490 Thesis Six credits
Restricted to students in the BA Honours program. Six credits.

499 Directed Study
See section 3.5