Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2100H1Y L0101

Core Course: Issues and Foundations in Canadian Government


This course combines a thematic approach to the literature of Canadian politics with close analysis of the substance and study of politics in Canada. The course considers such questions as: what is distinctive about Canadian politics and the way in which it is studied? Are the conceptual-theoretical frameworks which (explicitly and implicitly) underpin the study of Canadian politics adequate for understanding politics in Canada? What intellectual forces (Canadian and non-Canadian) have shaped the literature on Canadian politics and have those changed over time? How have Canadian scholars themselves contributed to the study of politics? What is gained or lost by studying Canadian politics in a comparative context and by studying it in terms of its own particular history, society and economy? Various methodological approaches to analysing Canadian politics will be employed. Substantive topics covered include: political culture, identity politics, Aboriginal politics, political behaviour, the nature of the Canadian state, governmental institutions (Parliament, executives, bureaucracies), federalism, courts and constitutional politics.


Students enrolling in the course are expected to possess a thorough familiarity with Canadian politics and with the associated literature. The only course text will be Linda White, Richard Simeon, Robert Vipond and Jennifer Wallner, eds, The Comparative Turn in Canadian Political Science (UBC Press, 2008); additional readings will be drawn from a wide range of books and journals.

Format and Requirements

In-class discussion will be based on assigned readings. Evaluation will be based on periodic seminar presentations for a group of assigned readings, short papers, one longer essay and class participation.