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Fall 2008 Political Science Courses

The following undergraduate courses are scheduled to be taught in Fall 2008. To help you decide what to sign up for, we’ve included some unofficial course summaries in our own words, and you can certainly contact a course instructor for more information. As well, please feel free to view archived course information and sample course outlines at (Note: rooms are subject to change)

1000 Introduction to Politics
- section 1 (D. Close, slot 3, M/W/F 10-10:50am, room ED-1014)
- section 2 (R. Williams, slot 7, M/W/F 2-2:50pm, room SN-2109)
- section 3 (A. Bittner, slot 4, M/W/F 11-11:50am, room C-3033)
- section 4 (M. Temelini, slot 8, M/W/F 3-3:50pm, room C-2010)
Everybody thinks they know something about politics. How much do you know? How do governments form? How do citizens get to express their opinions? Do politicians play the same kind of role in different countries, or is politics the same everywhere? This popular course is a basic introduction to politics, for students who have not taken any other courses in political science, for those who may want to major in the field, or for those who just want an interesting elective. We will focus on Canada, but also look at other countries and political systems to gain a broader understanding of what politics is all about. After this, you’ll be able to talk politics with your friends and family all day long. (Enrollment: up to 110 students)

1010 Canadian Political Problems (A. Marland, slot 16, Tu/Th 12-12:50pm & Fridays 1-1:50pm, room ED-2018B)
Canada’s got plenty of political troubles beyond Danny Williams being furious with “Steve” Harper. Can we trust political parties and politicians? What role should the government play in health care? How are we kept safe from terrorists? Just what does Quebec want, anyway? Whether this is your first Political Science course or you’re a poli sci guru, you’ll gain a better understanding of how flawed this great country is. (Enrollment: up to 130 students)

1020 World Political Problems
- section 1 (H. Simms, slot 20, Tu/Th 3:30-4:50pm, room ED-2018B)
- section 2 (J. Loder, slot 7, M/W/F 2-2:50pm, room C-2010)
This course will introduce you to some of the key problems and issues facing the world community today; including, but not limited to, questions of power, global governance, international trade, forms of globalization, and international interventions. The study of world political problems will begin to provide political science students with the intellectual tools necessary to embark upon their academic career, and will provide non-political science students with a nuanced and informed perspective on key world issues and events that are important to all of us as citizens of Canada and members of the world community. (Enrollment: up to 100 students)

2000 Introduction to Political Thought (M. Temelini, slot 3, M/W/F 10-10:50am, room C-2010)
Is the Prime Minister right wing? Is the NDP a socialist party? What does 'feminism' mean? This course will explore these and other such questions by examining the political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, socialism, Nazism/fascism, feminism, and environmentalism. We may also examine multiculturalism, as well as the political theory of non-violence. (Enrollment: up to 100 students)

2010 Power, Democracy & Politics (M. Kerby, slot 2, M/W/F 9-9:50am, room C-4036)
It’s a mad world out there. Do you ever wonder why politics seem so messed up and why, despite our best intentions, things go from bad to worse? Power, democracy and politics will teach you that getting what we want as individual citizens can result in less-than-desirable consequences for society as a whole. We will also discuss what modern democracies can do to resolve this conundrum. (RESEARCH/WRITING COURSE -- enrollment capped at 35 students)

2200 Introduction to International Politics (O. Croci, slot 18, Tu/Th 10:30-11:50am, room ED-2018A)
Why is it that a less active USA might not necessarily imply a more peaceful world? Why is military conflict more common in some parts of the world than in others? Under what conditions is peace more likely to be achieved? Why is the UN neither a supranational nor a democratic organization? These are just some of the questions to be examined in this course that you can discuss passionately with your peers. (Enrollment: up to 103 students)

2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics (J. Loder, slot 4, M/W/F 11-11:50am, room A-2071)
The goal of this course is to provide you with the fundamental conceptual tools required to conduct comparative research. We will examine the welfare state in an era of retrenchment focusing on the challenges welfare states face in maintaining high levels of welfare. Specifically, we’ll look at comparative health and child care policy in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and France. (Enrollment: up to 88 students)

2500 Introduction to Political Behaviour (A. Marland, slot 20, Tu/Th 3:30-4:50pm, room SN-4073)
When you use Facebook or Bluekaffee, you’re participating in your community, and building social capital. The Internet has loads of such political applications, from e-democracy and e-mobilization, to e-campaigning and e-government by political parties, interest groups and bureaucracies. Along the way we’ll also hone your research and writing skills, availing of resources such as RefWorks, Ingenta, JSTOR and—wait for it—the library bookstacks (horrors!) as you develop skills for use in other courses and in your post-university career. (RESEARCH/WRITING COURSE -- enrollment capped at 35 students)

2710 Introduction to Canadian Politics I (C. Dunn, slot 19, Tu/Th 2-3:30pm, room ED-2018A)
This course is like lifting the hood up on an automobile and seeing how everything runs. Why is Cabinet so secretive? Why is Parliament so weak? Do bureaucrats really control everything? Why can’t governments “just get along”? After taking this course, you’ll understand why Canadian politics is less like a sports car and more like a minivan. (Enrollment: up to 133 students)

2711 Introduction to Canadian Politics II (A. Marland, slot 17, Tu/Th 9-10:30am, room ED-2018B)
Quick – how many Canadian Prime Ministers can you name? We’ll trace the major political challenges, key social accomplishments and important political actors during the administration of each of Canada’s PMs. If Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion were MUN students, they’d take this course. Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Québécois? Not so much. (Although helpful you do not need to have taken 2710 to do well in this course.) Enrollment: up to 130 students

3010 Qualitative Interview Techniques in Political Science
(K. Blidook, slot 16, Tu/Th 12-12:50pm and Fridays 1-1:50pm, room A-2065)
One person’s fact is another’s fiction. At some point, we have to ask the questions: what do we know? how do we know it? and how are all the things we know connected? Observing. Interviewing. Focus Groups. These are just some of the topics that we will explore as you become acquainted with basic concepts in the empirical approach to studying politics. Warning: this course teaches important skill sets that employers and academics look for! (Enrollment: up to 30 students)

3100 Political Theory I (M. Wallack, slot 6, Mon/Tu/Th 1-1:50pm, room A-1049)
In this course we’ll look at the six greatest books of political theory. What you think you know and what you need to know about the politics of money, sex and power—not necessarily in that order. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

3340 Women and Politics (K. Mullins, slot 30, Mondays 7-9:30pm, room SN-2036)
Why has half the Canadian population never held half the seats in Canada’s parliament? Why has Hillary Clinton received comparable media coverage to the first woman who was ever elected in the United States? Why does Rwanda have more women in government than any other place in the world? Women and Politics will examine the historical and contemporary inclusion of women in the political process, and look at the reasons why these questions really matter. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

3430 Latin American Politics (D. Close, slot 7, M/W/F 2-2:50pm, room ED-1014)
This is an introduction to Latin American politics which presumes that a student is completely new to the field. It looks at the effects of history, the formal and informal political institutions that shape the political systems of the twenty Latin American Republics, questions of domestic and international political economy, and the international relations of the region. The objective is to provide the background to let students make sense of stories about Latin America when these make the news. (Enrollment: up to 60 students)

3510 Public Opinion (A. Bittner, slot 14, M/W 3:30-4:50pm, room ED-2018B)
Danny Williams soars in the polls. Two thirds of "rich" Canadians think they’re poor. One quarter of New Democrat supporters say they’re voting for Stéphane Dion because they don’t like Jack Layton’s moustache. We read poll results in the news every day. Do we really believe them? Whose attitudes are being reported anyway? And why do people think the way they do? This course will look in-depth at public opinion: how it's measured, its origins, and its impact on society and government. You will never see polling results the same way again. (Enrollment: up to 60 students)

3521 Law and Society
- section 56 (F. O’Brien, slot 31, Tuesdays 7:00-9:30pm, room SN-2036)
- section 57 (F. O’Brien, slot 32, Wednesdays 7:00-9:30pm, room SN-2036)
Law. The court system. Dispute resolution. Civil liberties. Morality. Criminal activity. Damage compensation. Contract law. Private property. The legal profession. Suitable for all types of people studying Political Science, from aspiring lawyers to their future clients. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

3540 Principles of Public Administration (C. Dunn, slot 17, Tu/Th 9-10:30am, room SN-2036)
Why do people act the way they do in organizations? This course investigates a number of explanations and holds them up to critical investigation. It looks at organizational life from a number of standpoints: a Machiavellian quest for power, self-interest, altruism, and so forth. It investigates the essential literature in public administration and public policy. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

3710 Intergovernmental Relations in Canada (S. Tomblin, slot 19 Tu/Th 2-3:30pm, room SN-2105)
“Intergovernmental relations” deals with understanding the shaping of political integration and interaction. The course is designed to understand what intergovernmentalism is, the different historical-institutional, cultural, and economic forces that have shaped different intergovernmental initiatives, and what has been achieved. The course will be comparative and we will pay close attention to how classical federalism had to be reinvented to meet new policy problems. (Enrollment: up to 60 students)

3730 Introduction to Policy Analysis (M. Kerby, slot 1, M/W/F 8-8:50am, room SN-2033)
This course provides students with an overview of the different theories and approaches that are applied to the public policy making process. The theoretical aspect of the course is complemented by a practical, hands-on analysis of a contemporary policy “problem”. Students will adopt the role of “policy specialist” and present their findings to their peers in a simulated policy consultation. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

3741 Public Administration in Canada (C. Dunn, World Wide Web)
We will take a look at public administration in Canada from the point of view of the country’s leading public sector intellectuals. Expert analysis in the machinery of government, intergovernmental relations, new public management, budgeting and so forth are investigated. You will also get up to speed on new developments such as the Federal Accountability Act and current ethical dilemmas that affect federal-provincial governments. (Enrollment: up to 30 students)

3760 Canadian Foreign Policy (O. Croci, slot 20, Tu/Th 3:30-4:50pm, room SN-2067)
Everybody still thinks that Canada's main activity on the international scene is peacekeeping. But do you know how many Canadian soldiers and civilians are currently serving in peacekeeping missions around the world? Does the US affect Canada's foreign policy and if so why? Does Canadian foreign policy change when a Conservative government replaces a Liberal one, and vice versa? Do provinces have a say in foreign policy? How has 9/11 changed Canadian security policies? These are some of the topics you will read about and discuss with your fellow students. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

3780 Introduction to Newfoundland Politics (P. Boswell, Distance Education)
Why did the citizens of the country of Newfoundland decide to join Canada as its 10th province? Was Newfoundland’s first premier, Joey Smallwood, a real ‘man of the people’ or a power-hungry despot? Is the current state of federal-provincial relations unusually tense or have there been similar stresses in the past? These issues and many others will be dealt with as this course explores the province’s post-confederation political parties, leaders, elections, interest groups, economy, and government structures. (Enrollment: up to 100 students)

3791 NF Corrections: Policy & Practice (T. Carlson, slot 20, Tu/Th 3:30-4:50pm, room SN-3042)
Is crime out of control? Are we too easy on criminals? Should we return to a time when justice was swift and harsh? How have factors such as politics, religion, the press and public opinion influenced how we have treated criminals in Newfoundland over time? What does current research show to be the most effective way to deal with crime and criminals? We will trace Newfoundland and Labrador's penal policy from earliest times, concentrate on current, often controversial, correctional issues and examine the political factors that influence correctional policy-making. (Enrollment: up to 44 students)

4000 Internship (A. Marland, some Wednesday 1pm meetings)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some career-related work experience to highlight on your résumé? This course includes a part-time job placement with government, a voluntary organization, a political party, a union, or another institution involved in public affairs. Considerable information is available online at and by speaking with the course administrator. (Enrollment: up to 20 students)

4113 Contemporary Democratic Theory (M. Temelini, slot 12, M/W 12:30-1:50, room SN-2033)
In this course we’ll look at the major schools of thought that dominate debates on liberal democracy. This includes the politics of citizenship and the challenges of federalism, nationalism and multiculturalism. (Enrollment: up to 20 students)

4210 Special Topic in International Politics: "Arms Control and Proliferation"
(M. Wallack, slot 19, Tu/Th 2-3:30pm, room SN-2033)
You’ve heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Now think of what the world faces with new arms races in almost every region of the world. Can arms control contain the spread of weapons of mass destruction, or is it another example of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? (Enrollment: up to 20 students)

4230 Theories in International Relations (R. Williams, slot 32, W 7:00-9:30pm, room SN-2018)
When the Bush Administration launched its 2003 war in Iraq, it did so based on wisdom drawn from 2,000 years of international relations theory. Indeed, the modern study of international politics is dominated by debate between a series of irreconcilable theories - but theories that nonetheless have often led policymakers into horrific blunders. Understanding these theories and their implications is essential for all students interested in world affairs. This course provides a critical examination of international relations’ main theoretical approaches. The course will break the discipline into three broad theoretical traditions (realism, liberalism and critical approaches) and weekly units will focus on specific theoretical approaches within each of those traditions. (Enrollment: up to 20 students)

4731 Political Economy of Newfoundland (H. Simms, slot 14, M/W 3:30-4:50pm, room SN-2033)
This course will carefully examine the development of the political economy of Newfoundland and Labrador through a critical analysis of various schools of thought and their application to the province. Does the case of Newfoundland and Labrador highlight any weaknesses or strengths of the theory? How have different schools of thought affected the development of its economy? What does the future hold for Newfoundland and Labrador? This course will be shaped by an active learning process and students are encouraged to bring in their own life experiences to make the study of political economy more complete. (Enrollment: up to 20 students)

4750 Regionalism in Canadian Politics (S. Tomblin, slot 17, Tu/Th 9-10:30am, room SN-2033)
Regionalism is hotly contested in the 21st Century. It is a conceptual and theoretical framework that is having a major impact on different policy debates and trends at the community, sub-national, national, and even continental levels. This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to examine and explore various determinants of regionalism and regional development, and speculate on how these have been shaped by different social, economic, and political forces. The first part of the course deals with major theoretical and conceptual issues: past and present. The second part is more hands-on and will be devoted to case-studies and the challenges associated with putting theory into practice. The course is designed to respect diversity and encourage interdisciplinary and cross-jurisdictional discussions of regionalism. (Enrollment: up to 20 students)

4950 Honours Essay I and 4951 Honours Essay II (R. Levy)
More information about our Honours program is available at

5999 Exchange Program – Limerick, Ireland or Uppsala, Sweden
More information about our exchange programs is available at