Non-Political Science Courses

Non-Political Science Courses Approved for
POL Program Requirements

Please note:  No more than 1.0 FCEs NON-POL course

will be accepted towards the POL programs.

ETH 401H1 – Seminar on Ethics

The seminar will expose advanced undergraduates to cutting edge research in ethics, legal theory, and political theory. It meets bi-weekly over the entire academic year. In the fall term, participants will attend research presentations by visiting scholars at the Centre for Ethics (topics will include bioethics, indigenous rights, equality and education, free speech, and workplace democracy). Students will also meet individually with the instructor (who will be the Centre’s Director) to plan an independent research project that is related to the theme of the course. In the winter term, students will present their research and discuss it with the other students in the seminar. (Note that this is an “H1Y” course — a half-credit course taught throughout both Fall and Winter terms.)

GER 275H1 – Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud

This is an introductory course to the thought of K. Marx, F. Nietzsche, and S. Freud and their pioneering contributions to the understanding of the individual and society in modernity. Readings include selections from writings of the early Marx, the Communist Manifesto, and Capital, Nietzsche’s critique of culture, academe, and nationalism, and Freud’s theory of culture, his views on the psychopathology of everyday life, on the meaning of dreams, symptoms, the return of the repressed, and what it might mean to live in a free society. [Taught in English and open to students across disciplines.]

INI339H1-   Divided City / United City

This course focuses on the impact of increased economic inequality and economic polarization, a trend that is producing a variety of socio-spatial changes in metropolitan areas in Canada, and affecting the lived realities of different population groups. Students will learn about and engage with the research and policy development process.

JPE250Y5 –Environmental Politics in Canada ONLINE (UTM)

This course serves as an introduction to environmental policy in Canada. The primary intent is to provide an overview of the political context in which environmental policy is made and implemented. The course begins with an outline of the Canadian parliamentary system and policymaking process. The fall semester will also focus on pollution and chemical policy. We will read Cleaner, Greener, and Healthier and consider ways to improve our own environmental health as well as Canadian societies’ health. In the winter terms, we will focus on change, and energy policy. Our case study will be hydraulic fracturing and we will read Slick Waters. The course will end with reflections on Canadian environmental policy and expectations for policy under the Trudeau government.

LAS 300H1  – Human Rights and Public Security in Latin America 

One of the most persistent challenges Latin American countries have faced in the last few decades has been a high level of crime and violence, perpetrated not only by criminal groups, but also para-state and state actors. The recent democratization of the region has consequently been hampered by an erosion of basic civil rights linked to the seemingly intractable task of guaranteeing public security while simultaneously protecting citizens’ human rights. This course will examine the origins and nature of this puzzle, highlighting the political, institutional, economic and social factors that help explain the obstacles faced by governments in the region in their attempts to balance these two sometimes conflicting aims, and exploring governmental and non-governmental reactions to this challenge.

LAS 400H1  – Political Ecology, Extractivism, and Development in the Americas

This 4th year seminar engages in a critical study of ecology and development in South and Central America. Our inquiry will centre on extractive industries—notably oil, natural gas, minerals, and industrialized agriculture—as well as the role of foreign corporations and interests in these key sectors. While much the seminar will focus on contemporary concerns surrounding traditional primary product export regimes, the class also us to consider both the limits and possibilities of post-carbon energy futures in Latin America.   Topics include (in no particular order):

  1. Development/alism & the ‘pristine myth’
  2. commodity cycles, dependency theory
  3. ‘Energy Transitions’ and late carbon capitalism
  4. 21st century ‘boom’ and progressive extractivism
  5. mining in Central America
  6. agribusiness in Brazil and Argentina
  7. oil in Venezuela
  8. China and Ecuador/Peru
  9. Mexico, privatization of PEMEX
  10. Ecological Thought/Debates around anthropocene/sumak kawsay (buen vivir)
  11. Social Movements

NEW353H – International Relations of Africa

This course offers you the opportunity to rethink Western-oriented methods of inquiry and theories, which in turn allows you to rethink dominant conceptions of knowledge and normativity in International Relation (IR) theory. In this search for the “international” in IR, you will be introduced to the International Relations of Africa (IRA) literature. The course is divided into four parts. Part I introduces you to the ontology and epistemology of IR research. Part II interrogates the main theoretical issues and debates. Part III turns your attention to the economic, political, and social implications of IR policies in Africa. Part IV will assess the continent’s efforts in uniting and in building strong regional organizations. 

NEW451H1 – Conflicts, Negotiations, and Peacebuilding in Africa 

This course critically analyzes and interrogates various conflict zones and cases, and the different actors and strategies to negotiate and sustain peace in Africa in a broader context of the war on terror, increasing militarism and securitization and peacebuilding.  The course has four parts. The first part critically interrogates the literature on the definitions of peace and war.  The second part introduces you to the global structures of power. Part three focuses on the contested practices of intervention, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. Using two case studies, the fourth part assesses the effectiveness of negotiated peace agreements in identifying and resolving, via secession, the root causes of major post-colonial violent conflicts in Africa.

NEW454H1 – Migration, Mobility, and Displacement in Contemporary Africa

Why do people move voluntarily or involuntarily? What are the causes and consequences of migration and displacement in Africa? This course critically examines the multifaceted dimensions of migration, mobility, and displacement, with a specific focus on communities and populations displaced by war, environmental destruction and disaster, economic failings, and the quest for economic opportunities, love, education, or individual freedom.

NEW357H1 – The Horn of Africa: Critical Perspectives

This course offers you the opportunity to rethink Western-oriented methods of inquiry, theories, and practice which in turn allows you to rethink dominant conceptions of knowledge and normativity in the theories and practices of African Politics. In order to do so, you will be introduced to the literature and policies pertaining to Africa, generally, and the Horn of Africa, specifically. The course is divided into four parts. Part I introduces you to the critique of dominant Euro-American ontology and epistemology which tend to construct the problematic narrative of the “other”. Part II interrogates the main theoretical issues and debates which present Africa’s dilemmas problematically as internal. Part III turns your attention to the role of external intervention in economic, political, and social crises in the Horn of Africa. Part IV invites you to reconceptualize alternative pathways to remedying the current conditions in the Horn of Africa. 

PCJ 260Y1 – Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies

A review of the full range of theories explaining the nature and causes of conflict and possibilities for its resolution; provides students with a set of theoretical tools for effective analysis of interpersonal, civil, and international conflict.

VIC476H1 – Capstone Seminar in Foreign Policy

The seminar involves a critical assessment of current foreign policy issues and contemporary world problems. Issues and case studies to be analyzed include: 1. International military interventions to respond to imminent threats or humanitarian crises, issues of legitimacy and effectiveness. e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti. 2. Canada-US relations in international crisis management, the track record and the way ahead. 3. Globalization, international terrorism, and their effects on sovereignty, diplomacy and international institutions.  The direct link to the course syllabus is:

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