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Fall 2010 Political Science Courses

~ These courses are suitable for students in all disciplines. There are no prerequisites. ~

1000 Introduction to Politics & Government
sec. 1 (A. Bittner, Tu/Th 15:30-16:45p.m.)
sec. 2 (S. Clark, M/W/F 10:00-10:50a.m.)
sec. 3 (S. Clark, M/W/F 14:00-14:50p.m.)
sec. 56 (S. Reid, Tuesdays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
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? POSC 1000 is a popular course that offers 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 look at a range of countries and political systems to gain a broad understanding of what politics is all about. After this, you’ll be able to talk politics with your friends and family all day long. (required for Political Science Honours, Majors & Minors)

1010 Issues in Canadian Politics (A. Marland, Tu/Th 14:00-15:15p.m.)
Canadians may be good at hockey, like maple syrup and perhaps be able to parle Francais, but this country has plenty of political troubles. Can we trust political parties and politicians? What role should the government play in health care? Are tax hikes and spending cuts looming after the economic crisis? 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, eh?

1020 Issues in World Politics (S. Pike, M, 19:00-21:30p.m.)
World politics make the headlines every day: “North Korea test fires missiles”; “Post-election protests turn violent in Iran”; “NATO warships hunt Somali pirates”; “G8 holds poverty summit”... POSC 1020 is an introductory course that looks at some of the key problems and issues facing the world community today. We’ll consider questions of power, global governance, international trade, forms of globalization, and international interventions. Should you be worried? Take 1020 to find out.

~ These courses are suitable for students who are seeking an introduction to an area of Political Science. We generally recommend that you complete POSC 1000 before taking these courses. ~

2010 Research & Writing in Political Science (M. Anderson, Tu/Th 9:00-10:15a.m.)
In this R/W course you’ll hone your research and writing skills, availing of resources such as RefWorks, Ingenta, JSTOR and—wait for it—even the library bookstacks (horrors!) as you develop skills for use in other courses and in your post-university career. This section of our research/writing course is an introduction to peace studies. We’ll examine the causes of violent conflict and the possibilities for world peace. Do countries fight because there is no world government, because of human nature, or because men (as opposed to women) are in charge? Is perpetual peace just a far-fetched idea, or something achievable in our lifetime? While trying to sort through the causes of war and prospects for peace, we’ll improve our research and writing abilities in Political Science—in a non-violent manner, of course. Prerequisite: POSC 1000.

2100 Introduction to Political Theory (D. Panagos, Tu/Th 14:00-15:15p.m.)
What do revolutions, dividing up a pie, and doing the laundry have in common? They are all examples of foundational concepts in political theory. By exploring the works of significant political thinkers like John Locke, Karl Marx, Catharine MacKinnon, and others, you will become familiar with the basic tenets of the most important political ideologies of our time. After POSC 2100, you will be able to decide when revolution is justified; how to best carve up a delicious blueberry pie (actually, you will be able to divide up any pastry-based item); and men and women will be able to settle who should do the laundry. [same as POSC 2000]

2200 Introduction to International Politics (R. Williams, Tu/Th 10:30-11:45a.m.)
Interested in issues like the “War on Terror”, international human rights abuses, economic development, trade disputes, and the causes of war? This course is an introduction to the field of international politics. It is intended to help you understand and analyze these issues by using the appropriate language and concepts.

2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics (S. Clark, M/W/F 9:00-9:50a.m.)
Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” The same can be said of politics! In this course we will explore how different “actors”, “stages,” “roles” and “scripts” inform and transform the “art” and “theatre” of politics around the world. We’ll look for similarities and differences among political systems while learning how we shape and are shaped by politics in our everyday lives. To take or not to take POSC 2300, that is the question…

2800 Introduction to Canadian Politics & Government (S. Tomblin, Tu/Th, 15:30-16:45p.m.)
This course is like lifting the hood up on an automobile and seeing how everything runs. Why is the Cabinet so secretive in Canada? Why is Parliament so weak? Do bureaucrats really control everything? Why can’t governments “just get along”? After taking POSC 2800, you’ll understand why Canadian politics is less like a sports car and more like a minivan. [same as POSC 2710] (required for POSC Honours, Majors & Minors)

~ These courses are suitable for students who are seeking deeper knowledge in an area of Political Science. We generally recommend that before taking these that you complete the corresponding 2000-level course (i.e., the same second digit in the course number). ~

3010 Empirical Methods in Political Science (K. Blidook, M/Tu/Th 13:00-13:50p.m.)
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. Surveying. Analyzing. 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: POSC 3010 teaches important skill sets that employers and academics look for! Prerequisite: POSC 2010 or another R/W course, and enrollment as a POSC Honours, Major or Minor.

3100 Political Theory: Plato to Rousseau (M. Wallack, M/Tu/Th 13:00-13:50p.m.)
In POSC 3100 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.

3220 International Organizations (M. Anderson, Tuesdays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
AU, OIC, UN, OSCE, ICJ, EU, MNCs. Like OMG, what on earth do those acronyms stand for? If you don’t know then, FYI, you need to take this course to get the 411. We’ll examine the origins, structures and roles of international organizations. We’ll look at their significance in security, trade, the environment, in human rights, and in development. What R U w8ting 4? Sign up 2dae.

3280 Canadian Foreign Policy (O. Croci, Tu/Th 1530-1645p.m.)
Do you think, as most other Canadians seem to, that Canada has some kind of natural predisposition to play the role of international mediator and peacekeeper? Does the US affect Canada’s foreign policy and, if so, how? Does Canadian foreign policy change when a Conservative government replaces a Liberal one, and vice versa? Do provinces or does the public in general 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 in class and across the country. [same as POSC 3200]

3300 European Politics (J. Loder, Mondays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
So near yet so far away. The history and evolution of European political institutions continues to inform our own understanding politics, whether in Canada or closer to home in Newfoundland and Labrador. Are you interested in the switch to proportional representation, the role of the courts in our daily lives or the relationship between leaders and followers? Our European neighbours have been tackling these subjects for some time with intensity and controversy. We might learn a thing or two from them.

3315 Latin American Politics (D. Close, M/W/F 12:00-12:50p.m.)
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. [same as POSC 3430]

3350 Public Opinion & Voting (A. Bittner, Tu/Th 14:00-15:15p.m.)
Danny Williams soars in the polls. Two thirds of "rich" Canadians think they’re poor. One quarter of NDP supporters say they’re voting Liberal because of Jack Layton’s moustache. We read poll results in the news every day. Do we believe them? Whose attitudes are being reported anyway? And why do people think the way they do? POSC 3350 will look in-depth at public opinion: how it's measured, its origins, and its impact on society and government. Survey says you will never see polling results the same way again. [same as POSC 3510]

3650 Law & Society
sec. 56 (F. O’Brien Tuesdays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
sec. 57(F. O’Brien Wednesdays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
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. [same as POSC 3521]

3810 Political Executive in Canada (A. Marland, Tu/Th, 9:00-10:15a.m.)
Quick – how many Canadian Prime Ministers can you name? We’ll look at the role of the political executive and then trace the major political challenges, key social accomplishments and important political actors during the administration of each of Canada’s PMs. If Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton were MUN students, they’d take POSC 3810. Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Québécois? Not so much. [same as POSC 2711]

3860 Media and Politics in Canada (K. Blidook, Tu/Th, 10:30-11:45a.m.)
We will draw upon communications theory to analyze major political problems and processes. Specific attention will be given to Canadian politics in the news and to various print, broadcast and online media.

3880 Newfoundland & Labrador Politics (P. Boswell, Distance)
Why did the citizens of the country of Newfoundland decide to join Canada as its 10th province? Was Newfoundland and Labrador’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? In POSC 3880 we will explore the province’s post-confederation political parties, leaders, elections, interest groups, economy, and government structures. [same as POSC 3780]

~ These are advanced Political Science seminars suitable for students who have completed at least four courses in Political Science, including two at the 3000-level. There are specific prerequisites to help ensure that only those students with appropriate background knowledge are enrolled. ~

4010/4011 Honours Essay I & II (Head of Department)
Write a research essay on the topic of your choice and be better prepared for graduate studies. Sound interesting? More information about our Honours program, including our “Guidelines Governing Honours Essays”, is available at [same as POSC 4950/4951]

4230 Theories in International Relations (M. Anderson, Thursdays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
Are states the main actors in international politics? Are international relations necessarily amoral or can we speak of international ethics? What does a post-colonial lens reveal to us regarding relations between the Global North and South? In 4230, we will examine the major theories used to understand world politics, such as constructivism, feminism, historical structuralism, liberalism, post-structuralism and realism. These will be explored through classic readings in international relations and case studies. Prerequisites apply.

4255 Controversies in Political Economy (R. Williams, Mondays 19:00-21:30p.m.)
Interested in the impact of globalization on public policy and economic development? This course covers a series of contemporary controversies in international political economy, including Canada/US trade disputes, international financial crises, US-Chinese relations, the politics of European integration, the politics of natural resource industries, and contemporary challenges to economic development. It is intended for students interested in pursuing in-depth research on one of these areas. [same as POSC 4350] Prerequisites apply.

4280 American Foreign Policy (M. Wallack, Tu/Th 14:00-15:15p.m.)
Over extended would-be global hegemony or reinvigorated smart-power supporter of international cooperation? Is Obama more of the same or something different? The debates rage. This course examines the past, present and future of U.S. foreign policy processes, policies and results. Prerequisites apply.

4360 Contentious Politics: Protest, Violence & Terrorism (D. Close, M/W 14:00-15:15p.m.)
We will examine protest and movement politics, insurgent and counter-insurgent politics, terrorism, and revolution. “Viva la revolucion!” [same as POSC 4740] Prerequisites apply.

4600 Public Policy Work Internship (A. Marland) – max. 10 students
Wouldn’t it be great to have career-related work experience on your résumé and to apply your political science knowledge to the real world? This three credit hour course includes a part-time internship placement (8hrs/week) with an organization related to governance, politics, and/or advocacy. There is also reflective writing about what you have learned in university as well as skills-based assignments such as a briefing note and a cabinet submission. Interested? Your first job is to visit and to contact the course administrator before the registration period begins. [same as POSC 4000] Prerequisites apply, including a 70% minimum average.

4860 Elections in Canada (A. Marland, Tu/Th 15:30-16:45p.m.)
Ever thought about getting involved with a political party during an election campaign? This course will help you develop electioneering skills as part of a team that researches, writes and presents a plan to get a Canadian celebrity elected. Special guests will join us as we discuss campaigning by political parties and candidates across Canada, identify election trends and review the rules of the game. [same as POSC 3700] Prerequisites apply.

4870 Regionalism in Canada (S. Tomblin, Tu/Th 10:30-11:45a.m.)
We will examine the economic, social, and institutional determinants of regionalism and the ways in which these forces have shaped decision-making in Canada. Prerequisites apply.