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Winter 2009 Political Science Courses

The following undergraduate courses are scheduled to be taught in Winter 2009 (January-April). To help you decide what to sign up for, we've included some unofficial course summaries in our own words, and you can contact a course instructor for more information. You may also view archived course information and sample course outlines at

1000 Introduction to Politics
section 1 (M. Temelini, slot 3, M/W/F, 10-10:50am)
section 2 (A. Bittner, slot 19, Tu/Th, 2-3:15pm)
section 3 (K. Blidook, slot 16, Tu/Th 12-12:50pm & Fridays 1-1:50pm)
section 81 (R. Tremblay and M. Kerby, World Wide Web)
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 course, you’ll be able to talk politics with your friends and family all day long.

1010 Canadian Political Problems, section 81 (C. Dunn, World Wide Web)
Canada's got plenty of political troubles beyond Danny Williams being furious with “Steve” Harper. Just what does Quebec want, anyway? Is First Nations self-government workable? Are provincial power grabs getting out of hand? 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.

1020 World Political Problems

section 1 (H. Simms, slot 4, M/W/F, 11-11:50am)
section 2 (J. Loder, slot 18, Tu/Th, 10:30-11:45am)
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 an informed perspective on key world issues and events that are important to all of us.

2000 Introduction to Political Thought (M. Temelini, slot 8, M/W/F, 3-3:50pm)
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.

2010 Power, Democracy & Politics (M. Kerby, slot 2, M/W/F, 9-9:50am)
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.

2200 Introduction to International Politics (R. Williams, slot 18, Tu/Th , 10:30-11:45am)
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.

2350 Europe in the 20th Century (S. Wolinetz, slot 17, Tu/Th 9-10:15am)
Contemporary Europe is a product of its past. In this course we will examine how war and depression and social and economic change shaped European politics not only today, but throughout the 20th century. This course provides useful background for more advanced studies in international relations and comparative and European politics, as well as Political Science and European Studies programs offered at the Harlow campus. (Note: same as European Studies 2000 and History 2350)

2710 Introduction to Canadian Politics I (P. Boswell, Distance Education)
Ever wonder how the Canadian Parliament works or what all the fuss was about constitutional change and special status for Quebec? Want to know more about the role and power of the Prime Minister, federal-provincial relations, the federal bureaucracy, and the judicial system? Want to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home? Then this correspondence course may be right for you.

2711 Introduction to Canadian Politics II (A. Marland, slot 17, Tu/Th 9:00-10:15am)
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, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois? Not so much.

3011 Survey Techniques in Political Science (K. Blidook, slot 17, Tu/Th, 9:00-10:15am)
Opinion polls are everywhere. But what do they mean? How can we use them? And does the news media report them properly? On top of looking at how to organize public opinion surveys, this course discusses how to make a barrage of information useful in order to understand the world, not just to tell the stories we want to tell.

3110 Political Theory II (M. Wallack, slot 3, M/W/F, 10-10:50am)
Marx maintained that a new power was being created among the working class and de Tocqueville warned about majority tyranny. Mill argued for the tolerance of individualism. Kropotkin believed that law and authority were neither necessary nor legitimate. Conversely, Freud proposed that political discontents might reflect a conflict between eros and death. After this course, what will your political viewpoints be?

3200 Comparative Foreign Policy (M. Wallack, slot 19, Tu/Th, 2-3:15pm)
When there is an unexpected crisis—financial meltdown, genocide in a distant place, terrorist attack or nuclear threat—do you ever wonder if the people in charge are asleep at the switch? Why do these disasters happen? Are they the result of unavoidable features of world politics and a mismatch between goals and power, or can we do better? This course will use a case study approach to such events as the Cuban missile crisis, the British decision to join the Iraq War, and the negotiation of the Land mines Treaty to open up the black box of foreign policy decision making.

3210 International Law (F. O'Brien, slot 31, Tuesday, 7-9:30pm)
This course is an introduction to international law concerned with the interaction of the political and legal systems. Topics discussed are sources, agreements, membership, recognition, territory, jurisdiction, immunities, state responsibility, and force and war.

3310 American Politics (M. Wallack, slot 18, Tu/Th, 10:30-11:45am)
Looking at and beyond the 2008 presidential election campaign, this course will examine the unusually powerful role of the US Congress, the legal and political implications of the Constitution, and the politicized bureaucracy of the executive branch. Drawing on Web and television sources, we will examine the role of the media and interest groups in the struggle for power over the vast resources of the federal budget.

3511 Media and Politics (K. Mullins, slot 30, Monday, 7-9:30pm)
This course will examine the significance of communications in all aspects of the political process, from grassroots campaigns to international diplomacy. Specific attention will be given to Canadian politics and the role of the media in politics.

3531 Political Parties (S. Wolinetz, slot 19, Tu/Th, 2-3:15pm)
Political parties occupy an unusual position in political life. Asked what they think of different institutions and offices, citizens invariably rate parties and the politicians who run them at the bottom of the heap. Political scientists insist not only that they are necessary, but that liberal democracy would be impossible without them. Examining parties and party systems in Canada, the United States and Europe, in this course we’ll investigate how parties operate, what they do, and why they are held in low esteem.

3700 Elections in Canada (A. Marland, slot 20, Tu/Th, 3:30-4:45pm)
Ever thought about getting involved with a political party’s or candidate’s election campaign? This course will help you develop electioneering knowledge and skills as part of a team that researches, writes and presents a plan to get a Canadian celebrity elected. Special guests will join us and we will also identify election trends from attack ads to blogs.

3720 Canadian Constitutional Law (F. O'Brien, slot, 32, Wednesday, 7-9:30pm)
In this course we’ll use a casebook approach to examine critical issues of Canadian Constitutional Law. The development of the Canadian Constitution and processes of judicial review, as well as the legal development of federalism and protection of civil rights, will be examined in detail.

3741 Public Administration in Canada (C. Dunn, slot 17, Tu/Th, 9-10:15am)
If working for government is in your future, this is the course for you. We deal with questions like: Is the Prime Minister too autocratic? How can we ensure peace between federal and provincial governments? Are Royal Commissions a waste of money? Why is it said that the Canadian civil service has been a “story of orgies of reform punctuated by even briefer periods of routine”? Even if you’re not thinking of working in the public sector, and in fact if you don’t particularly like the notion of modern governance, you’ll find plenty to mull over in this course.

3770 Provincial Politics (C. Dunn, slot 18, Tu/Th, 10:30-11:45am)
Nova Scotia. Ontario. Quebec. British Columbia. These and other provinces have an interesting story to tell and that’s what we’ll examine in this course. We’ll look at their cultures, their political parties, their issues with Ottawa, and their demographics. We’ll question whether provinces are becoming more alike or more dissimilar. It’s like visiting other provinces without actually leaving your own.

4000 Internship (A. Marland)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some career-related work experience to highlight on your CV? 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 Still not convinced? Nearly half of Political Science graduates in Canada with previous work experience find a job within a month of graduation (source:

4200 Special Topics in International Law (P. McCarter, slot 30, Monday, 7-9:30pm)
This is a research seminar on contemporary Canadian legal problems that will focus on one particular problem, such as Northern sovereignty, fishing zones, pollution, or control of the sea.

4350 Controversies in Political Economy (R. Williams, slot 20, Tu/Th, 3:30-4:45pm)
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. (Note: offered jointly with 6350 Political Economy).

4503 Women in Mass Politics: Behavior and Participation (A. Bittner, slot 33, Thursday, 7-9:30pm)
For centuries women have been excluded from mainstream politics, and the legacy of this exclusion remains. To this day women are missing from the highest administrative posts, and they continue to participate in lower numbers than men. We will look at women’s efforts to secure political rights from the mid-19thcentury onward, as well as assessing women’s attitudes towards politics, participation, and public policy. Over the course of the semester we will address systemic and institutional barriers to participation, as well as looking at the effects of women’s participation in politics, both in conventional institutional settings as well as non-conventional forms of activism. How big a problem is it if women don’t vote, don’t run for office, and don’t legislate? We will explore these and other normative questions.
(Note: offered jointly with 6500 Political Behaviour)

4611 The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: The Historical Approach and its Critics (M. Temelini, slot 12, M/W, 12:30-1:45pm)
This course is a survey of early modern political theory, as well as an examination of an influential historical approach to the interpretation of political texts. The focus of the course will be Quentin Skinner's masterpiece The Foundations of Modern Political Thought which has won several international prizes and was named by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the 100 most influential books of the past 50 years. (Note: offered jointly with 6100 Political Philosophy)

4780 Research Seminar in Newfoundland and Labrador Politics (C. Dunn, slot 19, Tu/Th, 2-3:15pm)
While this course will undoubtedly appeal to anyone interested in the politics of Newfoundland and Labrador, it is not for the faint of heart. It deals with the essentials of the government and politics of the province, and then gets down to the business of finding your own private Newfoundland. You will establish your own research project on an aspect of provincial politics that to date has not had much academic coverage, and you will present it to the class. You will grow.

4790 Public Policy in Canada (M. Kerby, slot, 11, M/W, 10:30-11:45am)
This course will bridge the gap between theory and practice when it comes to the public policy process in Canada. We will spend time examining current public policy debates that affect us as Newfoundlanders, Labradorians and Canadians. We will ask a lot of questions and come up with some solutions of our own.

4950 Honours Essay I and 4951 Honours Essay II (Head of Department)
More information about our Honours program is available online at

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