Last updated: July 15, 2013 @ 06:03PM

Political Science

Master of Arts in Political Science

Fields of Specialization
Public Policy
International Relations
Canadian Politics
Comparative Politics
Political Theory

Dean
Thomas Dunk

Associate Dean
Ingrid Makus
Faculty of Social Sciences

Core Faculty

Professors
Leah Bradshaw (Political Science), David T. Siegel (Political Science)

Associate Professors
Charles Burton (Political Science), Charles Conteh (Political Science), Hevina S. Dashwood (Political Science), Juris Dreifelds (Political Science), Paul Hamilton (Political Science), Timothy Heinmiller (Political Science), Matthew Hennigar (Political Science), Pierre Lizée (Political Science), Ingrid Makus (Political Science), Livianna Tossutti (Political Science)

Assistant Professors
Stefan Dolgert (Political Science), Blayne Haggart (Political Science)

Seminar Coordinator
Diane Leon

Graduate Program Director
Charles Conteh
cconteh@brocku.ca

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Charles Burton
cburton@brocku.ca

Administrative Assistant
Dorothy Krynicki
905-688-5550, extension 3476
Plaza 328

Graduate Office Assistant
Darlene Berg
dberg@brocku.ca
905-688-5550, extension 5006
Plaza 327
https://brocku.ca/politicalscience

Program Description
However uncertain we are about the human good, it is clear, as Aristotle observed, that the pursuit of that good is the work of politics and the understanding of that good the aim of political science. Whether we regard politics as the pursuit of justice, the uses of power, or the securing of "peace, order, and good government," its study appeals to the politically ambitious and to those who want to understand the shaping of our political world. At Brock, the MA program in political science usually entails specialization in one of five fields of study: Canadian politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory or philosophy, and public policy. Our faculty and our students are joined in the common endeavour to see how their diverse interests can contribute to the political understanding of ourselves and our world. This aim is at the heart of our curriculum: It is reflected in the program requirements and in the design of our Core Seminars. Graduates of the program have proceeded to successful careers in government, politics, and business; many have pursued further study to become scholars and teachers.

Admission Requirements

Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a major average of 78 % and an overall average of not less than 75 %, during the last two years of undergraduate study. Students who do not have undergraduate degrees in Political Science may be asked to complete a minimum of seven half credit (one semester) courses in the discipline before applying to the program.

The Graduate Admissions Committee will review all applications and recommend admission for a limited number of suitable candidates.

Part-time study is available.

Graduate Courses/Degree Requirements
There are three types of courses in the Political Science MA program and all are one term in length. First, there are core courses, which are taught as seminars and are restricted to graduate students. These include POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P82, POLI 5P83, POLI 5P84, POLI 5P85 and POLI 5P86. These core seminars provide an opportunity for critical examination of some of the most significant writings in the various subfields of the discipline and constitute a key component in the Brock MA program. POLI 5P80 and POLI 5P81 are required in all programs in conjunction with one or two additional core courses, as specified below.

Second, there are specialized courses, most of which are taught in conjunction with 4(alpha)00 level honours courses. These are also seminar courses with small class sizes. Students in the graduate course have assignments and responsibilities different from those students in the 4(alpha)00 level honours course when the two meet as a combined class.

Third, there are tutorial courses. These are individualized reading courses approved for students who want to pursue a topic not covered in the graduate curriculum. The precise requirements and topics are a matter of agreement between instructor and student, subject to general departmental regulations.

A thesis or major research paper is also a part of all courses of study. In addition to the major research paper, students in the major research paper stream must complete six half credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, and two core seminars.

Acceptance into the thesis stream requires explicit departmental agreement that the candidate is prepared to pursue advanced scholarly research, and the preparation of an acceptable thesis proposal. In addition to the thesis, students in this stream must complete four half credit courses including POLI 5P80 and POLI 5P81 and at least one other core seminar.

Students are required to consult with the Graduate Program Director, who will assist students in choosing among the various program options.

For full-time students the program is normally a three term or one year program.

Fields of Specialization
Students may opt for a general Political Science MA or for an MA with a designated specialization in one of the subfields of political science as listed below.

Canadian Politics
Several areas of Canadian politics are of particular concern to Brock faculty. Areas of special interest include Canadian political economy, the constitution and judicial review, elections and voting behaviour, federal-provincial relations, Quebec nationalism, and the politics of diversity. Canadian phenomena can also be studied within the field of public administration. The two fields work closely together at Brock.

Thesis Stream: Four half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P82, one POLI half-credit course selected from the course offerings in Canadian politics and POLI 5F99 a thesis in Canadian politics.

Major Research Paper Stream: six half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P82, and one of POLI 5P83, POLI 5P84, 5P85 and 5P86, two POLI half-credit courses selected from the course offerings in Canadian politics (and Public Policy provided all Canadian politics options have been exhausted) and POLI 5F90 a major essay in Canadian politics.

Comparative Politics
The Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa are areas of focus for members of the department. Subjects of special interest are federalism, nationalism, the integration and disintegration of political communities, elites and mass media, civil society and development, and the impact of multilateral political and economic organizations on domestic political institutions.

Thesis Stream: Four half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P85, and one POLI half-credit course selected from the course offerings in comparative politics and POLI 5F99 a thesis in Comparative politics.

Major Research Paper Stream: six half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P85, one half-credit selected from POLI 5P82, POLI 5P83, POLI 5P84 or POLI 5P86, and one or two POLI half-credits selected from the course offerings in comparative politics, with any remaining POLI credit selected from its offerings in international relations and POLI 5F90 a major essay in comparative politics.

International Relations
The specialization in international relations encompasses the diversity of conceptual insights and theoretical perspectives that reflect the complexity of global relations today. Subjects of special interest include traditional and new sources of threats to security, global economic relations, international theory, problems of global economic and political governance, and issues pertaining to international ethics.

Thesis Stream: Four half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P86, one POLI half-credit selected from the course offerings in international relations and POLI 5F99 a thesis in international relations.

Major Research Paper Stream: six half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P86, and one half-credit selected from POLI 5P82, POLI 5P83, POLI 5P84 or POLI 5P85, one or two POLI half-credits selected from the course offerings in international relations; and any remaining POLI credit selected from its offerings in comparative politics and POLI 5F90 a major essay in international relations.

Political Theory
Political theory addresses the perennial questions posed by conflicting accounts of how the political community should be organized and by the tension between the requirements of political life and the pursuit of truth. This concentration pays particular attention to the distinctive features of ancient and modern political theory, to such themes as justice, law and the theory of rights and to the close study of major political philosophers.

Thesis Stream: Four half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P83, with the remaining POLI course selected from the course offerings in political theory and POLI 5F99 a thesis in political theory.

Major Research Paper Stream: six half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P83, and at least one POLI half-credit selected from POLI 5P82, 5P84, 5P85, and 5P86, with the remaining POLI courses selected from the course offerings in political theory and POLI 5F90 a major essay in political theory.

Public Policy
This specialization provides a distinctive blend of the political, legal and administrative dimensions of public policy at the federal, provincial and local levels. Special areas of focus are business-government relations, public policy theory and policy making.

Thesis Stream: Four half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, and 5P84, with the remaining POLI credit selected from the course offerings in public policy and POLI 5F99 a thesis in public policy.

Major Research Paper Stream: six half-credit courses including POLI 5P80, POLI 5P81, POLI 5P84, and one of POLI 5P82, POLI 5P83, 5P85 and 5P86, with the remaining POLI credits selected from the course offerings in public policy (and Canadian politics provided all public policy options have been exhausted) and POLI 5F90 a major essay in public policy.

Course Descriptions

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5F90
MA Major Research Paper
A major research paper written under guidance of a supervisor and approved by a supervisory committee of the supervisor and a second reader.

POLI 5F99
Thesis
A research project involving the preparation and defence of a thesis which shall demonstrate a capacity for independent work. The research shall be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member and shall be defended at an oral examination.


Political Theory

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5P01
The Philosophy of Law
Traditional and contemporary accounts of law and their implications for issues of contemporary concern.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P01.

POLI 5P02
Ancient Political Theory
Premodern political philosophy examined in the works of Plato and Aristotle, emphasizing those features distinguishing ancient political science and philosophy from that of modernity.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P02.

POLI 5P03
Modern Political Theory
Modern political theory examined in selected texts. May focus on a theme such as historicism, consent, progress, equality or on a selected author, such as Rousseau, Kant, Hegel.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P03.

POLI 5P04
Politics and Tyranny
Comparative accounts of ancient and modern tyranny are examined with a view to assessing whether political domination has varied significantly in the western tradition.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P04.

POLI 5P07
Postmodern Political Theory
Perspectives on the postmodern condition in the works of selected 20th century thinkers. Topics may include notions of the self, aesthetics and politics, reason and power, the construction of meaning.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P07.


Canadian Politics

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5P10
Issues in Local Government
Policy making and service delivery in local government in such areas as economic development, fire, parks, policing, public health, recreation, and social services.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P10.

POLI 5P12
Canadian Civil Society
Role of Canadian political parties, interest and advocacy groups, and social movements in influencing public opinion, laws, policies, and in mobilizing citizens for political action.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P12.

POLI 5P14
Federalism in Canada
Canadian concepts of federalism, judicial interpretation of the constitutional distribution of powers, the social, economic and cultural factors that influence federal-provincial relations, issues in federal-provincial relations, the impact of federalism on public policy, and the politics of constitutional change.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P14.

POLI 5P15
Canadian Political Economy
The political economy tradition in Canada, from the writing of Innis, Mackintosh and Creighton to contemporary neo-Marxist and dependency theorists. Topics may include foreign investments, regional development, the labour movement, resources and Canada's place in the new international economic order.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P15.

POLI 5P19
The Canadian Judicial Process
The structure, functions, and political dimensions of the judiciary in Canada. Topics may include judicial decision-making, appointment and independence; the policy impact of judicial rulings; the criminal process; the influence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the judicial system; and the players in the judicial process, including judges, interest groups and governments.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P19.


International Relations

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5P20
Globalization and Global Governance
Factors explaining the globalization of national politics and the reconstruction of politics at a global level. Topics may include policy problems linked to the effectiveness of international and national institutions; theoretical considerations on new concepts of politics and democracy in the globalized world.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P20.

POLI 5P21
The Global Political Economy
Examination of the international trade and monetary systems from the perspective of economic theory. Focus on the policy choices facing governments.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P21.

POLI 5P22
Canada and the Developing World
Canada's role in addressing global inequality in a comparative context. Topics may include the political economy of Canadian policies towards the developing world; international ethics; international cooperation on issues of vital interest to the developing world.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P22.

POLI 5P24
Private Global Governance
Interactions between global corporations, voluntary standards associations, non-governmental organizations, states and industry associations and the influences that drive global private governance arrangements and global standard setting.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P24.

POLI 5P26
International Politics and National Security
Conditions affecting the use of force in the post-Cold War international system, with emphasis on the basis of state security and the effects of the security dilemma.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P26.

POLI 5P27
Theories of International Relations
International relations theory emphasizing the nature of the international system and its relationship to the choices and actions of individual states.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P27

POLI 5P28
The Political Economy of North America
Examines the intertwined political and economic relations of Canada, Mexico and the United States from a regional perspective, including specific emphasis on labour and economic production, security and the environment, and policymaking in a continent dominated by the world's only superpower.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P28


Comparative Politics

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5P32
Comparative Mass Media
Selected problems concerning the mass media and the political process in Canada and other states.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P32.

POLI 5P34
Comparative Judicial Systems
Global expansion of judicial power and the role of courts in democratization, rights protection, political centralization, and resolving societal conflict. Domestic as well as supranational courts from around the world are considered, representing both common law and civil law systems. Topics include the success and failure of the "rights revolutions," the judicialization of politics, court reform, and justifications for judicial review.
Note: Taught in conjunction with POLI 4P34.

POLI 5P36
Comparative Democratization in a Global Age: Reform, Revolution and Reversal
Analysis of the origins, processes, and outcomes of democratization in countries around the world, including historical cases in Western Europe and contemporary cases in less-developed parts of the world. Cases of de-democratization will also be examined. Emphasis is on broadly comparative theories and issues while avoiding over generalization.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P36.
Students completing this course will forfeit credit in POLI 5V36.

POLI 5P38
Nationalism and Ethnic Politics
A combination of theory and specific case studies examining the causes and consequences of nationalism. The origins and resolution of national conflict, the mobilization of ethnic groups and the role of international forces in what have been viewed traditionally as domestic conflicts. Case studies situate Canada's ethnic tensions within a broader comparative perspective.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P38.

POLI 5P39
Elites and Power
The bases of power and of the degree of power concentration in government, industry, bureaucracy and media in Canada, United States and other selected countries and an analysis of characteristics, life styles, interrelationships and actions of the individuals in senior positions of power.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P39.

POLI 5P47
Arab Politics
Topics include religion, pan-Arab nationalism and political culture; problems of economic development; the Palestinian factor in Arab politics; the Gulf War and its aftermath and a comparative analysis of ways in which political processes and institutions have influenced and responded to these forces.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P47.


Public Policy

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5P50
Machinery of Government
The structures and processes of federal and provincial government in Canada. Emphasis on the operation of government departments, central agencies, regulatory agencies and crown corporations.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P50.

POLI 5P54
Business-Government Relations
The politics and management of relations between business organizations and governments in Canada, with particular emphasis on current research and issues. Topics include theories of business-government relations, the legislative and regulatory environment of business, public enterprise and privatization, lobbying and interaction among government, business, the media and labour.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P54.

POLI 5P66
The Politics of Environmental Scarcity
Political and economic conditions leading to scarcity of renewable resources in various settings. and institutions and policies developed to govern rivalries and conflicts endemic to scarcity. Canadian cases in comparative perspective.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4P66.

POLI 5P67
Comparative Public Policy
Major concepts, theoretical approaches and issues in Comparative Public Policy, assessing the various frameworks used for understanding and addressing public policy issues in different countries and regions. Cases will be drawn from Canada, the United States, Europe, and the developing world.
Note: This course can also be counted toward a sub-field specialization in Comparative Politics. Taught in conjunction with POLI 4P67.

POLI 5P68
Social Movements and Globalization
(also offered as SOCI 5P68)
Restructuring of social movements from around the world in new alliances for global justice. Topics may include: relationship between local and global scales; cross-cultural collaboration; tensions between unity and diversity; conflicts and unequal power relations in networks; North-South inequalities. Movements may include: indigenous movements; transnational feminism; the anti-corporate globalization movement; environmentalism.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI/SOCI/GEOG 4P68


Core Seminar Courses

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5P80
Great Works in Politics
A critical examination of some of the most significant writings in political science. Core seminar.

POLI 5P81
Research and Research Methods
An exploration of theories and approaches to research in Political Science. Issues and problems in research design will be assessed with a view to helping students develop the research skills and acquire the tools necessary for the successful completion of a thesis or major paper. Core seminar.

POLI 5P82
Graduate Seminar in Canadian Politics
An examination of major aspects of Canadian government and politics and of different approaches to the study of Canadian politics through the discussion and analysis of significant books in the field. Core seminar.

POLI 5P83
Graduate Seminar in Political Theory
(also offered as HUMA 5P83)
A comparison of important and opposing contemporary approaches to the interpretation of major texts or issues in political theory. Core seminar.

POLI 5P84
Graduate Seminar in Public Policy
An examination of significant writings and issues in public policy and policy development. Core seminar.

POLI 5P85
Graduate Seminar in Comparative Politics
A critical examination of significant writings and issues in comparative politics. Core seminar.

POLI 5P86
Graduate Seminar in International Relations
A critical examination of significant writings and issues in international relations and foreign policy. Core seminar.


Variable Topics Courses

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
POLI 5V00-5V09
Selected Topics in Political Theory
A particular writer, work or theoretical problem in political theory is examined.

POLI 5V10-5V19
Selected Topics in Canadian Politics
A selected aspect of Canadian government and politics or an issue of contemporary concern.

POLI 5V20-5V29
Selected Topics in International Relations
Selected problems and issues drawn from both the system and nation-state levels of international politics.

POLI 5V23
2011-2012: Intervention, Security and Development
Interventionism with humanitarian justifications, security and development in international relations; the management of humanitarian problems by the international community and the aid industry; military and civilian practices of intervention.
Note: taught in conjunction with POLI 4V23.

POLI 5V30-5V39
Selected Topics in Comparative Politics
A comparative study of selected political institutions, processes or policies in various states.

POLI 5V50-5V59
Selected Topics in Public Administration
Selected problems and issues in public administration drawn from the federal, provincial and/or municipal levels.

POLI 5V60-5V69
Selected Topics in Canadian Public Policy
A field or topic in Canadian public policy, including the analysis of policy making and policy outcomes.

POLI 5V70-5V79
Political Science Tutorial
Guided readings on a particular topic which is not covered in the department's regular course offerings. Topics must be chosen in consultation with a faculty member willing to supervise the tutorial.
Prerequisite(s): permission of the Graduate Program Director and faculty supervisor.