Political Science

Political Science is the study of power, authority and governance in human affairs.

Our students and faculty examine the social, economic, cultural, historical, geographical and other forces that generate conflict within, and between, societies. Students will also gain knowledge of how decisions are made at different levels of government.

Political Science Electives

Below is a list of all Poltical Science electives that anyone can register for, because they have no or just 1 prerequisite. For a complete list of ourPoltical Science courses, see the university calendar

Note:
Courses at the 3000-level usually assume that students have successfully completed at least two courses in Political Science including the corresponding 2000-level introductory course.


Introduction to Politics and Government
(POSC 1000)

An introduction to basic concepts in 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.


Critical Reading and Writing:
Politics and Governance
(POSC 1001)

Provides an overview of foundational knowledge and skills to enable critical reading and critical writing at the university level. Students learn the elements of academic assessment of literature and information that is available in the library and/or online, and about the mechanics of analytical writing. The “politics and governance” content varies by instructor and is not repeated in any other Political Science course. All sections of this course follow the Critical Reading and Writing Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/crw.

Note: Same as the former POSC 2010


Issues in Canadian Politics and Policy
(POSC 1010)

Explores some of Canada’s most pressing and interesting political and public policy issues. This course profiles important political problems facing federal and provincial politicians and society. Open to all students interested in Canadian politics, government and domestic public policy.


Issues in World Politics
(POSC 1020)

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.


Introduction to Political Theory
(POSC 2100)

A survey of the most important political thinkers and schools of political thought. The course will ordinarily cover major political thinkers and include a selection of contemporary political ideologies.

Note: Same as the former POSC 2000


Introduction to International Politics
(POSC 2200)

An examination of the "building blocks" of international politics including determinants, means, processes and ends. Emphasis is on the post-1945 period. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


Introduction to Comparative Politics
(POSC 2300)

An introduction to comparative politics and techniques of comparative analysis across political jurisdictions. This course focuses on the differences between, and similarities among, a variety of countries and systems of government.


Introduction to Public Policy and Administration
(POSC 2600)

Outlines major concepts in, and issues relating to, the fields of public policy and administration. Introduces students to major conceptual issues that shape public policy and government, such as agenda setting, types of public policy models and public management processes. Open to all students interested in the study of public policy and public administration.


Introduction to Canadian Politics and Government
(POSC 2800)

An introduction to the structure and operations of institutions of Canadian government and the nature of political actors. Topics to be examined may include the constitution, federalism, parliament, political parties, political culture and elections.

Note: Same as the former POSC 2710


Empirical Methods in Political Science
(POSC 3010)

An introduction to basic concepts in the scientific approach to studying politics, and provides students with the fundamental skills for conducting empirical research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. These skills include how to construct a research project, and how to collect and analyze information. All sections of this course follow Quantitative Reasoning Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/qr.

Prerequisites: 6 credit hours in Political Science at any level or the instructor's permission.


Political Theory from Plato to Rousseau
(POSC 3100)

Examines selected political theory from Plato to Rousseau. The theme of the course is the development of liberal democratic theory.


Political Theory from Tocqueville to Present
(POSC 3110)

Examines selected political theory from Tocqueville to the present. The theme of the course is the crisis in liberal democratic theory.


Feminist Political Theory
(POSC 3140)

Examines feminist scholarship that has challenged previously accepted notions in political theory, including definitions of politics itself, the distinctions between public and private, the nature of citizenship, and the roles of women in civil society. This course considers different ways of looking at power and political culture in modern societies, examining theses such as gender and democracy, race and class, poverty and welfare, sexuality and morality.


International Law
(POSC 3210)

Concerned with the interaction of international political and legal systems. Topics discussed are sources, agreements, membership, recognition, territory, jurisdiction, immunities, state responsibility, and force and war. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


International Human Rights
(POSC 3215)

Introduces students to international human rights, in theory and practice. Course topics include: history; philosophy; and international and Canadian structures and provisions. The course includes an examination of selected areas of international human rights, such as children’s rights, women’s rights, and humanitarian intervention. It explores current and future applications of human rights. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Note: Same as Law and Society 3215, the former Law and Society 3300, the former POSC 4215


International Organizations
(POSC 3220)

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. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


The Global Politics of the End of the World (As We Know It) (POSC 3230)

Explores how human societies have imagined, predicted, and faced the prospects of the end of their world. Students will study recorded collapses of societies, the threat of modern and thermonuclear war, and current scholarship on planet politics and the Anthropocene. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


The First World War in International Politics
(POSC 3235)

Explores the place of the First World War in International Relations. Topics to be reviewed are the international relations of the war, the place of the First World War in causes of war debates, and the effects of the war on International Relations and global politics. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


International Political Economy
(POSC 3250)

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. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


Global Food Politics
(POSC 3260)

Examines the global governance of agriculture and food, and explores how new global actors, institutions, and regulations shape the politics of food production, distribution, and consumption. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


Foreign Policy
(POSC 3280)

An introduction to the analysis of foreign policy, with special reference to domestic and international constraints, capabilities and ideology.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3200, the former POSC 3760


Sport and Politics in the Age of Globalization
(POSC 3285)

Focuses on three points of interaction between sport and politics: the politics of sport, the use of sport by political actors, and the national and international aspects of sport governance i.e. the national and international regulation of sport by sport organizations, stakeholders and political authorities. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


Human Security
(POSC 3290)

Examines political concepts and government policies related to international security contexts, such as the displacement of citizens, food supply issues, energy, information flows, war and/or the environment. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3391


Migration and Security
(POSC 3295)

Explores how population movements, both within and across borders, impact international, national and human security. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.


European Politics
(POSC 3300)

A comparative study of government and politics in selected states of Western Europe. Emphasis will be on parties, institutions, and policy-making, particularly the ways in which states manage their economies.


Irish Politics
(POSC 3305)

Introduces students to the politics of the Republic of Ireland. Topics covered include the historical origins of the state, the political influence of the Roman Catholic Church, the evolution of political institutions, as well as the evolving relationship with Northern Ireland, Europe and the world.


American Politics
(POSC 3310)

Examines the governmental process in the United States including the role of parties and interest groups. This course will also consider select contemporary problems.


Women and Politics
(POSC 3340)

Examines the role of women in the political process in comparative context. Topics may include the political socialization, organization, and recruitment of women; voting behaviour; and the organization of governmental institutions as a response to the concerns of women.


Public Opinion and Voting
(POSC 3350)

Looks at the measurement and formation of political attitudes, factors affecting attitude stability and change, and the distribution of opinion in society. Emphasizes public opinion and voting behaviour in the United States and Canada during campaigns and interelection periods. All sections of this course follow Quantitative Reasoning Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/qr.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3510


Sex, Scandals, and Elections
(POSC 3355)

Considers questions related to political scandal and corruption in elections, focusing on voters’ perceptions, media coverage, and party and candidate strategies to deal with corruption and scandals, in an effort to understand the impact of past scandals and the potential impact of future scandals for voters and electoral democracy.


Political Parties
(POSC 3390)

A study of political parties in liberal democracies. Attention is given to the origin and development of parties, how they organize, multiparty competition and what difference parties make. Political parties in Europe, the United States, and Canada are considered in a comparative context.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3531


Public Policy Fields
(POSC 3600)

An examination of the relationship between public policy development and changes in the social and economic policy environment. Applies theories and models of public policy to a variety of topical case studies.

Prerequisite: prior successful completion of POSC 2600 is recommended but not required


Public Administration in Canada
(POSC 3610)

An introduction to public administration, history of the public service in Canada, an examination of the structure and functioning of contemporary federal and provincial governments. Topics covered include cabinet organization, financial and personnel management, collective bargaining, and bilingualism.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3741


Law, Governance and Public Policy
(POSC 3620)

Reviews traditional theories about law, discuss their inadequacies, and consider the benefits of a policy-oriented approach to the study of the role of law and governance in society. The concept of law as a process of authoritative decision will be used to examine the function of the judicial authority.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3521


Canadian Political Economy
(POSC 3650)

Introduces students to major debates about the role of the state in Canadian economic development and public policy. Topics may include: the challenges of natural resource dependency, regionalism, globalization, and the relationship between Canada and the United States.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3751


Federalism in Canada
(POSC 3900)

Examines relationships between government in the Canadian federation ranging from high-profile disputes to efficient diplomacy. This course reviews longstanding intergovernmental stresses such as the constitution, legislative powers, legal matters, sub-state nationalism (e.g., Quebec, Newfoundland, Labrador) and wealth distribution.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3710


Executive-Level Governance in Canada
(POSC 3810)

Explores the roles of political elites, such as prime ministers, premiers and ministers, and executive institutions in government such as the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office, in addressing and shaping important political issues in Canada.


Newfoundland and Labrador Government and Politics (POSC 3880) 

Astudy of the government and political process in Newfoundland and Labrador. Topics may include electoral behaviour and attitudes, the party system, leadership styles, the consequences of federalism, and public administration.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3780


Constitutional Law in Canada
(POSC 3920)

Uses 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, are examined in detail.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3720


Indigenous Governance in Canada
(POSC 3930)

An introductory course in Indigenous governance. It examines Indigenous culture and traditions, the variety of Indigenous governments and governing traditions, and Indigenous and treaty rights. Public policy issues and processes surrounding categories of Indigenous peoples, intergovernmental relations affecting them, and the role and significance of Indigenous political organizations and actions are explored.


Media and Politics in Canada
(POSC 3860)

Draws upon communications theory to analyze major political problems and processes. Specific attention is given to Canadian politics in the news and to various print, broadcast and online media.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3511


Provincial Government and Politics
(POSC 3870)

A comparative study of government and politics in selected Canadian provinces and territories. Consequences of varying historical and cultural contexts will be examined with special attention to government processes, parties and movements, leadership styles, and orientations to the Canadian federation.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3770


Newfoundland and Labrador Government and Politics (POSC 3880)

A study of the government and political process in Newfoundland and Labrador. Topics may include electoral behaviour and attitudes, the party system, leadership styles, the consequences of federalism, and public administration.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3780


Municipal Government and Politics in Canada
(POSC 3890)

An examination of the theory, structure and operation of local governments in Canada, with particular emphasis on Newfoundland and Labrador. Recent proposals for reform and the politics of implementing regional government and financial reorganization will be examined.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3790


Special Topics in Political Science
(POSC 3900-3979)

Will have topics announced by the Department.

Note: credit restrictions will be designated on a course-by-course basis


Approaches to Political Theory
(POSC 4100)

An introduction to the interpretation of political texts. Features historical and hermeneutical approaches to the study of Political Science.


Multicultural Citizenship
(POSC 4110)

Examines discourses on multiculturalism in contemporary political theory from a normative perspective. Focuses on the justice and equality frameworks within which multiculturalism is understood, and the challenges arising from pluralism in democratic societies.


Contemporary Democratic Theory
(POSC 4120)

Examines significant debates in the contemporary scholarship on democratic theory, such as the relationship between democratic decision-making and individual liberty; who "the people” are in democratic states and how they make their will known; whether democracy depends upon a sense of collective identity; and whether democracy is inherently exclusionary.


International Law and Politics
(POSC 4200)

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.

Prerequisites: POSC 2200 and a POSC 32xx course, or POSC 3210, or the instructor’s permission


Arms Control and Proliferation
(POSC 4210)

Examines the evolution of arms control within the context of global security and international public policy. It considers the consequences of success and failure. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Prerequisite: POSC 2200 and a POSC 32xx course, or the instructor’s permission


Human Rights and International Politics
(POSC 4215)

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. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Prerequisite: POSC 2200 and a POSC 32xx course, or the instructor’s permission


Theories of International Relations
(POSC 4230)

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. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Prerequisite: POSC 2200 and a POSC 32xx course, or the instructor’s permission


The European Union
(POSC 4250)

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.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3291

Prerequisite: POSC 2200 and a POSC 32xx course, or POSC 3300, or the instructor’s permission 


Controversies in Political Economy
(POSC 4255)

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. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4350

Prerequisites: POSC 2200 and a POSC 32xx course, or the instructor’s permission


American Foreign Policy
(POSC 4280)

Reviews the structures, process and major foreign policy perspectives of the United States of America in a global context.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3200

Prerequisites: POSC 2200 or a POSC 31xx course, or POSC 3310, or the instructor’s permission


The Developing World
(POSC 4290)

Considers the practical and theoretical issues that affect the chances of the over five billion inhabitants of the developing world to secure democratic governance and material well-being. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/IS.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4380, the former POSC 4450

Prerequisites: POSC 2300 and a POSC 33xx course, or the instructor’s permission


Comparative Federalism
(POSC 4310)

Examines theories of federalism along with the development and operation of federalism in selected nation states.

Prerequisite: POSC 2300 and a POSC 33xx course, or POSC 3800, or the instructor’s permission.


Democracy and the Phantom Public
(POSC 4320)

Considers the relationship between public opinion and representative government through a comprehensive review of theoretical perspectives and empirical debates in the study of mass political attitudes.


Asian Politics
(POSC 4325)

Analyses the history and development of political change in a selection of Asian states, with a focus on contemporary challenges that they face in a globalized political environment.


Women and Mass Politics
(POSC 4330)

Focuses on the gender gap in both political behaviour and participation. Focusing primarily on Canada and the United States, this course assesses patterns of involvement in political institutions, and examines differences between men’s and women’s political attitudes.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4503


Contentious Politics - Protest, Violence and Terrorism (POSC 4360)

Examines protest and movement politics, insurgent and counter-insurgent politics, terrorism, and revolution.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4740

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Political Science, or the instructor's permission


Democracy and Democratization
(POSC 4370)

A comparative study of the conditions necessary to develop and sustain democratic regimes and the circumstances under which transitions to democracy succeed or fail. The course will examine theoretical materials and apply them to recent and historical transitions to democratic rule.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4301

Prerequisite: POSC 2300 and a POSC 33xx course, or the instructor’s permission


Politics of State-Making and State-Breaking
(POSC 4375)

Examines how nationalism interacts with the creation and breakup of modern states. It explores the processes of national homogenization, and the political dynamics of multinational states, from nationalist challenges to constitutional change and successful and unsuccessful secession. It combines theoretical and conceptual materials with case studies from around the world.


Policy Analysis
(POSC 4630)

Reviews the variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques used in the analysis of public policy and in program evaluation. Students work on a major project to gain experience applying public policy models and analysis techniques as they attempt to improve a real-world existing public policy within the constraints of finite resources and political realities. Features practitioners as guest speakers who explain the role of policy analysts in the public policy process and the types of analysis practices.

Prerequisites: POSC 2600 or POSC 3600, or the instructor’s permission


Public Policy in Resource Dependent Economies
(POSC 4650)

Examines the political economy of Canada’s human and natural resources, such as labour, energy, fisheries, forestry, mining, and water. The political consequences of natural resource dependency on the environment and Indigenouss are also discussed.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4731

Prerequisites: POSC 2600 or POSC 3600, or the instructor’s permission


Public Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador
(POSC 4680)

A study of public policy in Newfoundland and Labrador. Examines the formation, implementation and impact of policies in one or more of the following areas: fisheries, resources, industrial development, agriculture, social policy.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4730

Prerequisites: POSC 2600 or POSC 3600, or the instructor’s permission


Elections in Canada
(POSC 4860)

An examination of election campaigns and electoral systems in the Canadian political system, with an emphasis on candidates, parties, voters, electioneering activities and campaign regulations.

Note: Same as the former POSC 3700

Prerequisites: POSC 2800 or the instructor's permission


Regionalism in Canada
(POSC 4870)

An examination of the economic, social, and institutional determinants of regionalism and the ways in which these forces have shaped decision-making in Canada. Emphasis on the various models and frameworks used to study regionalism.

Note: Same as the former POSC 4750

Prerequisites: POSC 2800, or the instructor's permission


Special Topics in Political Science (POSC 4900-4990, excluding 4950 and 4951)

Will have a seminar topic announced by the Department.

Prerequisites: will be designated on a course-by-course basis