Political Science

Exciting courses

Exciting courses in Winter 2018 – with space for more students!

Peacebuilding After Civil War Can peace be "built"? How can nations recover from the traumas of war while developing new political institutions, fostering reconciliation, and seeking justice for war crimes? And what are productive ways of teaching the history of conflict to new generations of citizens? Emrah Keskin's POLS 354 course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the issues and dilemmas confronting post-conflict societies. 

Europe’s Populist Far Right Parties  How do we make sense of the electoral successes of the far-right parties in France, Austria and Hungary and the victory of the “leave” campaign in Britain? What about support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from the leaders of Europe’s populist far-right parties?  Laurie Adkin's POL S 486/580 identifies the key characteristics of far-right parties, and seeks to explain who supports them and why.

Prairie Politics What makes the three Prairie provinces - Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba -a region? Do they have a distinct political culture? What are the similarities and differences in their political economies, party systems, election outcomes, levels of political engagement and the political roles played women and Indigenous peoples? Jared Wesley's section of  POL S 421/520 uses active learning techniques like systematic design workshops, blog posts, digital assignments and research which gets to the bottom of Canada’s prairie paradox.

Trauma, Memory, Reconciliation, Recognition  How do we understand the political impacts of trauma, and memories of trauma? How can societies move past the memories of traumatic events to pursue recognition and reconciliation? Sevan Beukian's POL S 450 explores these questions by considering Canada's residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Armenian and Rwandan genocides, and other cases. 

Governance Experiments in Latin America   Julian Castro-Rea thinks Latin America has a bad rap. It's cast as a region rife with conflict and instability. But as POLS 445/540 (B2) demonstrates, Latin American nations are making important contributions to democracy and good government. Indeed, innovative governance "experiments" in the region offer useful models for countries transitioning to democracy. 

 US Politics in Fiction   Want to watch Netflix and iTunes for your PoliSci homework? Consider Judy Garber's POLS 484 B1 course, which analyzes fictional accounts of crucial elements of American politics – elections, presidents, legislatures – and issues like crime, culture, war, foreign policy, race, gender and class. Scholarly readings are a basis for understanding, analyzing, contextualizing, and critiquing both the fiction and reality of American politics. 

The Politics of Mexico    Are you following #borderwall or #trumpwall on Twitter? Wondering what's up with that infamous campaign promise? In POL S 488/571, Julian Castro-Rea looks at the challenges to Mexico posed by the Trump presidency, including the potential demise of NAFTA. Topics such as state building, nationalism and development are explored within the contest of Mexico's post-revolutionary politics and current political dynamics.

Governing Gambling     Can gambling be governed? Or are governments in need of rehab because they're addicted to gambling revenues? How does gambling differ from risky financial practices or other kinds of entertainment and play? What does gambling have to do with Indigenous sovereignty? InPOLS 470/551, Fiona Nicoll makes the politics of regulated gambling accessible to those without a political science background. Interactive classroom activities and interdisciplinary approaches help explain the politics of gaming industries in Alberta and beyond. As one student from last year's class exclaimed, "We had a field trip to a freaking casino!"  

Globalization, Anti-Globalization and Resistance     Is globalization like the Borg from Star Trek - resistance is futile? Or can the forces of globalization be challenged and even subverted with movements such as Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and Idle No More? Malinda Smith's section of POL S 445 explores anti-globalization efforts, from historical struggles against slavery and apartheid to modern contestations of neo-liberalism, racism and colonialism. 

European Union Politics    How will the European Union meet the greatest policy challenges that it faces today? What might the EU look like tomorrow?  Lori Thorlakson's POLS 487/580 B1 course looks at Brexit, borders and migration, the impact of the Macron Presidency and of the rise of the populist right on the EU, as well as the EU’s bold steps to regulate online privacy, Artificial Intelligence and digital monopolies.