Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics

 

In a global world, to understand our own nation better and to prepare for work outside of our own national context, it is instructive to consider the differences between and similarities among political systems. Courses in comparative politics study the political culture, processes and institutions of nations, political economies, and geographical areas, as well considering more thematic topics such as political (under) development, social movements, regimes in transition, and the role of women in politics.

POLS 2893 COMPARATIVE POLITICS
This course introduces students to the basic methodological concepts and theories used in the evaluation and comparison of political systems. Students will examine the similarities and differences in the political development of different states, focusing on issues of democracy, authoritarianism, revolution, social movements, and civil society. No prerequisites.

POLS 3973 COMPARATIVE POLITICS II
This course covers the new generation of global issues and problem-solving processes involving states and other actors beginning with the global economy: trade, development, aid and debt. We then study actors and processes in other global regimes including human security, the environment, gender and human rights.

POLS 3493 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
This course explores the structure of the American government, key policy issues, and aspects of American political culture that inform the practice of politicians at federal and state levels, as well as the political engagement of citizens. Prerequisite: POLS 2893.

POLS 3513 GENDER AMD DEVELOPMENT 
This course explores how ideas about gender have influenced the ways women participate economically, socially, and politically in countries of the developing world and how the women’s participation affects the development of these countries. Analysis of theoretical concepts is complemented by case studies from Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Prerequisite: Second-year standing (i.e. >24h completed).

POLS 3593 COLLECTIVE ACTION AND POLITICAL CHANGE
Drawing on current and historical cases from North America and around the world, as well as theoretical literature on civil society, social movements, and activism, this course explores the ways that individuals engage in collective action to pressure for political change. Attention is paid to the strategic, technological, cultural, and structural factors that facilitate and obstruct political change. Prereq: Pols 1403 or Pols 2893 or permission of the instructor.

POLS 3693 POLITICS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
This course explores contemporary politics in Latin America and the current trends, such as democratisation and economic reform, that are transforming the region today. Topics covered include the legacies of dictatorships and civil war, recurrent economic crises, indigenous movements, and hemispheric economic intergration. Prerequisite: Pols 2893 or Pols 3973 or or permission of the instructor.

POLS 3893 POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT IN WESTERN EUROPE 
This course explores the political systems of Western Europe in comparative perspective. Special emphasis will be placed on patterns of continuity and change in party systems, state-society relations, and economic and social policy.

POLS 4193 COMPARATIVE FEDERALISM
A comparative study of experiments in federalism in contemporary federations. Among the subjects considered are the nature of federal societies, the creation and operation of federal institutions, the changing balance between national and regional governments, and the effectiveness of the federal system. A seminar course. Prerequisite: POLS 2893 or POLS 2993 with a minimum grade of B, or permission of the instructor.

POLS 4293 POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT
This seminar course critically explores politics and economies of the Global South. Beginning with a discussion of the concept of "development", it subsequently explores legacies of colonialism, strategies of economic development and their political impact, political transitions, and factors mobilizing global and local civil society. Prerequisite: POLS 2993 with minimum grade of B, or permission of the instructor.

POLS 4393 APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF COMPARATIVE POLITICS
A survey of major changes and divisions in the field of comparative politics since the 1950s. A review of the logic and methods of the comparative approach and an introduction to a variety of contemporary debates, interdisciplinary models and issues. Prerequisite: POLS 2893 or POLS 2993 with a minimum grade of B, or permission of the instructor

POLS 4693 DEMOCRACY AND THE MARKET 
This seminar explores contemporary challenges to democratic and democratizing states in the contexts of globalization and multiculturalism. Theoretical analysis concentrates on the relationship between economic and democratic development and how this relationship has influenced the demands for and distribution of rights and material benefits. Theoretical analysis will be illustrated with case studies from the developed and developing worlds. Prerequisite: POLS 2893 or POLS 2993 with a minimum grade of B, or permission from instructor.

POLS 4793 STATE, POWER, ECONOMY, SOCIETY
A survey of theories and models which have sought to explain the interrelationships among the state, the society, and the economy of a nation, among political power and economic and social development and underdevelopment. Prerequisite: POLS 2893 or POLS 2993 with a minimum grade of B, or permission of the instructor.

POLS 4893 THEORY AND POLITICS OF CITIZENSHIP
This seminar course explores questions of what citizenship means, how it develops, and how it is practiced in societies influenced by globalization and multiculturalism. Theoretical debates about the meaning of citizenship will be complemented by case studies of issues such as migration/immigration, multiculturalism in advanced democracies, and national struggles for the rights of women and indigenous peoples. Prerequisite: POLS 2893 or POLS 2993 with a minimum grade of B, or permission of the instructor.

The course will focus on women's movements around the globe. Using historical and contemporary case studies, we will explore what leads women to mobilize, the resources that help or hinder these movements, and the conditions of women's lives that spark action for social change. Cases will cover a diversity of regions and issues (such as religion, politics, health, and labour).