Summer Timetable

POL2191Y1Y L5101

Undergraduate Course Code: POL491Y1Y L5101

Topics in Canadian Politics II

Democracy in Decline? Renewing Civic Engagement


“Democracy in Decline” explores the different ways of assessing the ill-health and recovery of democracy, which is the art of transparently reaching “yes” among contending stakeholders. While 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 aims to provide students with an understanding of, and possible remedies for, their generation’s low political engagement. This is a pragmatic “how-to” Course. It aims to teach how to do policy briefings for day-to-day governance. The Course Instructor uses “coaches”, community actors and past students working in their policy environment, to develop consultation, stakeholder mapping, issue analysis and briefing note skills. The Course further includes the Department’s only Service-Learning format: a 20-hour placement with a local community agency or municipal organization negotiating among many interests and priorities. Note: Students who have completed POL494H(Y) in 2012-2013 are not allowed to take this course.


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%, class presentations 5% TBC