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International Politics Courses

International politics involves the study of global governance such as international organizations, international trade and human rights. Political Science courses with a "2" as the second number have been designated as delivering primarily international politics content. (note: applicable credit restrictions and prerequisites not shown -- see courses page for detailed information)

Political Science Honours and Majors candidates may wish to apply international politics courses towards an optional concentration in Global Studies. A recommended course sequencing for students interested in international politics is as follows:

  • Begin with 1000 Introduction to Politics and Government and 1020 Issues in World Politics
  • Next, take 2200 Introduction to International Politics
  • Then, take some 32xx courses (more specialized international content)
  • Finally, take 42xx courses (advanced seminars in international relations)


1000 Introduction to Politics and Government: An introduction to the study of politics, power, law, public policy and government, touching on major areas of political ideologies, institutions, and current domestic and international political issues. Suitable for students in all disciplines seeking an introduction to political science.

1020 Issues in World Politics: Explores some of the world's most pressing and interesting political issues. This course profiles important political problems, such as a power struggle within a particular country, a controversial topic that affects an entire continent, or a major crisis that has implications for inhabitants around the world. Suitable for students in all disciplines who have an interest in international politics.

2200 Introduction to International Politics: An examination of the "building blocks" of international politics including determinants, means, processes and ends. Emphasis is on the post-1945 period.

3210 International Law: 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.

3220 International Organizations: Examines the origins, structures and roles of international organizations as both 'arenas' in which states pursue their interests and 'evidence' of an embryonic international society. The focus will be primarily on the workings of the United Nations, especially its 'collective security' function, and other regional security organizations.

3250 International Political Economy: Studies the interaction between world politics and international economics. Major theoretical debates regarding globalization and multinational corporations are covered, as well as current topics such as: the politics of the global monetary and financial order, international trade, foreign investment and debt, international development, and environmental issues.

3280 Canadian Foreign Policy: An introduction to the analysis of foreign policy, with special reference to domestic and international constraints, capabilities and ideology.

3290 Human Security: Examines political concepts and government policies related to security contexts, such as the displacement of citizens, food supply issues, energy, information flows, and the environment.

4200 International Law and Politics: A research seminar on contemporary Canadian legal problems. Each semester will focus on one problem, such as Northern sovereignty, pollution, fishing zones or control of the sea.

4210 Arms Control and Proliferation: Examines the evolution of arms control and considers the consequences of success and failure.

4215 Human Rights and International Politics: Examines the evolution of global norms of human rights and consequences for the structures of the international system, international civil society, and the international political process.

4230 Theories of International Relations: Examines the major theories used to understand world politics and international conflict, such as constructivism, feminism, game theory, historical structuralism, liberalism, and realism. These are explored through classic readings in international relations and case studies.

4250 The European Union: An examination of the European Community as an emergent transnational form of governance. The course will consider the origins of the Community, the operation of its institutions, its transformation from Common Market to European Union, and the ways in which EC politics impinges on national-level politics.

4255 Controversies in Political Economy: Examines current political and public policy challenges from a political economy perspective. Topics may include globalization, major trade disputes, currency and debt crises, economic development and global environmental problems.

4280 American Foreign Policy: Reviews the structures, process and major foreign policy perspectives of the United States of America in a global context.

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