First-Year Seminars Offered by Other Units
Approved for POL Program Requirements (2020-2021)
Please note: Only 0.5 FCEs First-Year Seminar Offered by Other Units Approved by Political Science can be used for entry and/or first-year completion requirements for the POL Minor/Major/Specialist programs.
MUN101H1 – Global Innovation I: Issues and Perspectives
MUN102H1 – Global Innovation II: Challenges and Solutions
TRN151Y1 – Global Governance
TRN160Y1 – Public Policy and the Public Good
TRN162Y1 – Political Economy and Social Inequality
TRN172Y1 – Ethics and the Law
VIC110H1 – Critical Perspectives on Society
VIC121H1 – Evaluating Healthcare: Problems and Solutions
VIC167H1 – Ideas and Fine Thoughts
VIC168H1 – Identity and Equality in the Public Sphere
VIC181H1 – Events in the Public Sphere: World Affairs
VIC183H1- Individuals and the Public Sphere
VIC184H1 – Individuals and the Public Sphere: History, Historiography and Making Cultural Memory
VIC185H1 – Events in the Public Sphere: Social Justice
WDW151H1 – Order and Disorder I: Issues and Perspectives
WDW152H1 – Order and Disorder II: Problems and Solutions
Innovation has always been a key driver of economic growth, population health, and societal success. Transformative change has historically been linked to major innovations such as urban sanitation, pasteurization, the printing press and the industrial revolution. Currently, the opportunity to enhance life chances worldwide relies on innovating for the poor, social innovation, and the ability to harness scientific and technological knowledge. What precisely is innovation? When does innovation happen? Who benefits from innovation? How can innovation be fostered, and how do innovations spread? Relying on major global transformations and country-specific case studies (for example, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel and India), this course examines the drivers of innovation, the political, social, economic, and scientific and technological factors that are critical to promoting innovation and addressing current global challenges, and the consequences of innovation.
Governing public goods has been an age-old concern for social scientists and policymakers alike. This is not surprising since the provision of global public goods is riddled by problems of collective action. In this course, we focus on how to implement solutions through states, markets and communities. The first objective is to familiarize students with the concept of global public goods, the different mechanisms that can provide these goods and the challenges that emerge from lacking incentives to secure their provision. To this end, the course will introduce theories from sociology, political science, philosophy, and history to help us understand different types of governance mechanisms and how they may be used to scale global solutions. Theories can help us explain the tensions between cooperating for the public good at the expense of sacrificing individual goals, or why certain areas of our lives, like the Internet, seem to produce public goods without any formal mechanism of cooperation. The second objective is to use the class and subject of study as an arena to model and practice the kind of learning that is expected of university students. The main skills that the course will help students target and develop are: research (finding, evaluating and assimilating reliable information); writing (developing ideas into logically written arguments); and critical analysis of arguments presented in the readings and debated in class (this includes identifying the key assumptions that are implicit in different theories as well as inherent in our own positions on various questions related to governance).
Terrorism, the proliferation of arms (including weapons of mass destruction), environmental degradation, globalization, technological change, and the rise of non-state actors all pose challenges to statecraft and the management of global order. This seminar course explores the changing dynamics of global politics and the responses to them by states (and others). Topics will include an examination of new forms of international collaboration that have developed in the wake of crises in the years following the Second World War.
What is public policy? Is there such a thing as the public good? This seminar course examines the notion of the “public” through investigating possible answers to a central political question: what is the purpose of government? Drawing on readings in philosophy and political theory, the course considers a variety of approaches to interpreting the nature of the public good and asks how policy makers should respond when competing goods (e.g., freedom and security) clash with each other. The course involves discussion of contemporary issues in public policy.
What is the relationship between capitalism and democracy? How can studying rational choice theory inform public policy? This course will introduce students to the methods of studying the interplay between economics and political goals. We will focus on specific topics to guide our quantitative analysis, which may include intergenerational poverty, the transfer of wealth, efficiency, and social stratification. Students will learn how to situate a society’s economic institutions within their broader political context, and study how economic outcomes interact with broader policies relating to, for example, health, equality, social mobility, and well-being. We will analyze empirical results while developing critical skills for interpreting economic data and research.
In this course we will investigate issues that lie at the intersection of morality on the one hand and law on the other. Our main goal will be to accurately characterize the relationship between conduct that is morally wrong and actions that should be illegal. In treating the domain of morality as separate from the domain of law we implicitly rely on a distinction between “the public” and “the private.” We will be looking at legal cases that motivate us to think about how to draw a distinction between the two domains in a principled way. The aims of this course are: 1) to help students develop a view about which issues ought to be dealt with by the law and which ones should not, and 2) to acquire a theoretical framework for thinking about the institution of law and how it fits within a democratic society.
By means of short texts, film or plays this course explores such themes as the effect of the media on the political, the nature of democracy, the question of justice and the role of violence in the social.
This course introduces students to the study of healthcare by asking foundational questions about how evidence and knowledge are produced in the context of healthcare problems. Students will explore how different frameworks for clinical practice (e.g. Evidence-based Medicine, Person-Centered Healthcare) conceptualize evidence and how different methodologies impact how healthcare research is conceived, reported, and understood. Students will learn to critically appraise healthcare research studies and assess their evidence value and implications for clinical practice.
This course examines how political ideas are formed and developed through literature, art, plays, essays and philosophical works in the twentieth century.
This course explores current legal and philosophical debates around equality, discrimination, and the shaping of individual and group identities. It addresses the way values, affiliation, and identities have an impact on the public sphere of law and policy-making – and the ways in which law and policy, in turn, shape our conceptions (and misconceptions) of people’s identities.
This course will review issues in contemporary world affairs, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present day. The course will examine the politics and practice of foreign policy decision making. Issues to be covered include the collapse of the Soviet Union, intervention in humanitarian crises, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The purpose of this course is to introduce the class to how public memory is shaped and how it functions in social life. We discuss this general idea through historic, “famous” quotes and images, and see how they have been re-quoted and reproduced over time, in some cases for centuries. We also ask what the nature of quotation and reproduction is in general.
A seminar course that examines the contribution of an individual or individuals to the public sphere. The course will explore how public service and citizenship are developed in social, philosophical, and cultural contexts. We will examine our evolving role in developing collective, cultural and counter memory. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.
This course uses events to discuss the nature of society including major revolutions, economic crises, and the impact of significant artistic, cultural and technological developments. Emphasis on our responsibilities towards social justice.
Societies require law and order, but at what point does order become oppression? How do we balance our need for freedom and society’s need for order? This interdisciplinary seminar allows students to explore these and related questions through selected readings introducing theories from sociology, political science, philosophy, and history.
Building on the questions and theoretical perspectives discussed in WDW151H1, this interdisciplinary seminar introduces students to some of the methods used by scholars and researchers in sociology, political science, philosophy, and history to develop, test, and debate possible solutions to the problems of social order and disorder.