What does a political scientist do?
Politics is about power, and political science understands the processes, ideas, and institutions through which power is structured, as well as power's effects. Thus, we look at subjects that range from Canadian elections and political parties to the ethics of war and post-conflict management, from the political economy of the global South to theories of justice and citizenship, and from environmental movements to gender relations. In the Department of Political Science, our research and teaching engage with the big questions and with the critical events that shape politics around the world.
What do you study in political science?
As a base, you study power – where does it come from, how is it organized, what can it do, how can it be limited or expanded, who has it, why does it work, does it change over time and why? At the University of Alberta, our faculty members ask these questions in a variety of contexts and locales. Some of these include:
- climate change
- social policy
- globalization and governance
- international trade and finance
- North American politics
- European Union studies
- the politics of China
- contemporary Islamic studies
- foreign and public policies
- peace and post-conflict studies
- the politics of gender and of indigenous peoples
- media representation of politics
- critical theory
What can you do with a degree in political science?
Our alumni include the current premier of Alberta, and the current Minister of Health for the Federal government. Many of our former students work as policy makers, analysts and researchers in the public, not-for-profit and private sectors, in international institutions and in local government. Journalism and communications are also popular pursuits. An undergraduate degree in politics offers excellent preparation for the study of law, journalism and for advanced study in public policy and, of course, political science.
In political science we are fortunate to study, teach and research in an area that is perpetually new and endlessly fascinating. When, indeed, has politics not been interesting?
To learn more about Political Science at the University of Alberta, please watch our video or contact us directly.