Graduate Course Offerings 2016/17
PO601: The Craft of Political Science
- Professor: Dr. Loren King
- Time: Thursdays, 2:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.
- Location: DAWB 3-103
In order to prepare students to deal intelligently with the practice of politics, this course encourages them to explore the theories on offer for understanding politics. This seminar has two primary aims. First, it examines social scientific ideas and debates which inform our judgements about practical questions on real-world politics, such as whether politicians act in voters’ interests or whether opinion polls play a role in formulating government policy. In applied settings, we typically assume a great deal about the interests of relevant political actors, yet these assumptions need to be tested. Second, the seminar reflects n what counts as a convincing explanation or valid knowledge about the political world.
PO602: Applied Political Analysis
- Professor: Dr. ndrea Perrella
- Time: Fridays, 9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
- Location: N1055
This course offers students an introduction to research methods/approaches commonly employed within the study of political science (and social science more generally). The course provides students with a solid understanding of the “science” in political science, the importance of research design, a range of research methodologies (quantitative and qualitative), as well as an introduction to basic statistical procedures and software used to assist the social scientist. The course is designed to support students as they prepare for the Major Research Project.
PO609: Interpreting and Understanding Elections
- Professor: Dr. Barry Kay
- Time: Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
- Location: DAWB 3-105
- Exclusions: PO466, PO632
This course will typically be taught in those years in which elections at various levels of government can be observed, as an advanced seminar in the electoral process, strategy and analysis. In addition to conceptual discussions of various theories that influence voting behaviour, students are expected to pursue an original research study that involves the design and analysis of campaign strategy.
PO650: International Human Rights, the Law and Governance
- Professor: Dr. Alistair Edgar
- Time: Mondays, 2:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.
- Location: BSI, room TBD
- Exclusions: PO491, GV760
This course addresses international and Canadian human rights policies. Topics of study normally include international human rights law; a brief history of human rights; the question of cultural relativism and human rights; the right to development; the role of civil society in human rights; and human rights in Canadian foreign policy. For their written assignment students are expected to pick one policy topic, explain its background, critique a major policy document such as an international human rights treaty, and make new policy proposals.
PO691u: International Organizations and Policy-Making
- Professor: Dr. Rianne Mahon
- Time: Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
- Location: BSIA, room TBD
At the macro level, this course explores international organisations' contributions to the complex field of transnational governance and the instruments to which they have recourse. At the micro and meso-levels, it assesses the role international organisations play in the transnational diffusion of public policy ideas and “best practices.” It introduces major international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the OECD, and then considers their role in the governance of key policy areas, tracing the relations of competition and cooperation with each other and with other actors, national and transnational.
PO604: Understanding and Applying Public Policy Analysis
- Professor: Dr. Chris Anderson
- Time: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
- Location: DAWB 3-106
This course explores the political and economic foundations of public policy making, in order that students understand the complexities involved in analyzing policy problems in a local, regional or international setting. The course then reviews methods for designing better policies (and the debates about these methods), as well as various tools used by analysts and policy makers. Students have an opportunity to apply these tools to the analysis of a particular public policy problem. This course is required for students interested in completing the Policy Analysis Project.
PO605: Applied Global Governance: Problems and Solutions
- Professor: Dr. Patricia Goff
- Time: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
- Location: BSIA, room TBD
Each year, this course focuses on a global governance challenge that a faculty member is engaged with (climate change, human security, conflict transformation, global development practices, etc.) Through a select case study, students explore how this particular global governance challenge has come to be framed as a problem, what actors are engaged, what solutions have been proposed, and what resources are available to support action. Students also examine the processes and institutions through which action can be taken. Finally, the course explores the constraints on action, and why global responses are often insufficient.
PO610: Social Advocacy
- Professor: Dr. Kim Rygiel
- Time: Tuesdays, 4 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.
- Location: Dr. Alvin Woods Building, room TBD
This course explores the ways in which different advocacy and civil society groups (such as non-governmental organizations, social movements, interest and community-based associations, lobbying firms, and pressure groups) seek to influence politics and the political system for social, political and economic change. The course will introduce students to various literatures that examine non-governmental actors and their role and affect on domestic and/or global politics and in relation to public policy processes. In this course students will learn advocacy skills (which may include oral and written communication, media, research and advocacy skills). The course adopts an applied politics approach, inviting ‘practitioners' to discuss different strategies and approaches to political organizing. Students are encouraged to put their learning into practice by designing their own advocacy project, strategy or campaign around an issue of interest to them.
PO611: Media Analysis for Politics and Policy in a Digital Age
- Professor: Dr. Andrea Perrella
- Time: Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
- Location: DAWB 3-105
The course offers students the means to analyze both conventional and digital media, and understand their impact on the political system and voter behavior. Using particular political controversies as a focus, the course traces the different narratives of contemporary political discourse offered by conventional vs. social media, using recent methodologies suited to analysis of “tweeting,” Facebook and other forms of online public sentiment. The course also offers insights into the ways that social media has changed the media footprint of organizations, issues and politicians.
PO633: Public Opinion and Survey Design
- Professor: Dr. Timothy Gravelle
- Time: Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. 11:20 a.m.
- Location: DAWB 2-104
- Exclusion: PO467
This course offers students an in-depth study of public opinion with special attention allotted to how public opinion can influence decision makers, public policy, and election outcomes. In addition to theoretical and practical aspects of public opinion, students also have an opportunity to develop "applied" knowledge by working with a client to design and implement a survey instrument. This course is required for students interested in completing the Public Opinion Project.
PO695: Major Research Project
The major research project provides students four options to pursue a specific area of interest: Journal Article Project (30-35 page piece of work in journal article format); Major Research Paper (approximately 50 pages in length); Policy Analysis Project (50-page project that provides students with the opportunity to carry out a professional policy analysis on an existing policy); Public Opinion Project Option (25-30 page paper (not including the required survey instruments) that provides students with an opportunity to undertake the design of a major public opinion project involving the administration of a survey). Admission to the Major Research Project will require the support of a faculty supervisor and the graduate coordinator. Students will apply for the Master Research Project at the end of their first semester of graduate studies.