Undergraduate Course Code: POL491Y1Y L5101
Topics in Canadian Politics II
Democracy in Decline? Renewing Civic Engagement
“Democracy in Decline” explores different ways of assessing the ill-health and recovery of democracy, which is the art of transparently reaching “yes” among contending stakeholders. Other courses may focus on institutional remedies, involving electoral or parliamentary reform; this Course considers declines in attitudes: trust, social capital, social cohesion, reciprocity and public judgment as they affect the democratic deficit. Overall, this Course provides students with an understanding of, and possible community remedies for, their generation’s low political engagement. This is a pragmatic “how-to” Course. It teaches policy analysis, advice and briefings for a Minister in day-to-day governance. The Course Instructor uses community “coaches” -- stakeholders working in their policy environment -- to explain and develop your consultation, stakeholder mapping, issue analysis, and briefing note skills. The Course further includes the Department’s only service-learning format: a 25-hour placement with a community agency or municipal organization negotiating among many interests and priorities. Alternatively, in-Class community assignments may be possible.
Breton, A. A Fragile Social Fabric; Howe, P. Citizens Adrift TBC
Format and Requirements
2 briefing notes (50%), 1 stakeholder mapping (15%), service-learning reflections (30%), and class presentations (5%) TBC