Trinity Western University

Course Descriptions

Political Studies

  • POLS 101 Introduction to Political Thinking (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to the basic concepts, institutions, and ruling ideas in political thought and action. Through the study of classic political texts, competing concepts like equality and freedom, justice and power, are introduced within the context of conflicting ideologies like liberalism, socialism, and conservatism. The meaning of citizenship in postmodern contemporary liberal democracies are examined and contrasted with competing visions of the good society.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 211 International Politics (3 sem. hrs.)

    The ways in which states and other actors in the international system deal with each other: the evolution of the international system, the nature of foreign policy, the dynamics of international bargaining, and the changing role of force as an instrument of foreign policy. The contribution of international organizations, international law, political integration, and multilateral diplomacy to the creation of a more just international order.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 234 Canadian Government and Politics in Comparative Perspective (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides the student with an overview of the Canadian system of government in a comparative approach that includes study of British, American, and Canadian political and government institutions and practices. A comparative study of how basic concepts, principles, and institutions associated with different expressions of liberal-democratic governments highlight the diversity of political experience, reveal the interdependence of political systems and show the uniqueness of Canada's political system. Particular attention is given to the manner in which Parliament attempts to facilitate and develop public policy that reflects the diverse interests and aspirations of its citizens.

    Cross-listed: SOCI 234.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 250 Classical Political Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    Examines the impact of Christianity on Western thought with respect to politics and political philosophy. It explores the unique encounter between "Jerusalem and Athens" that has been described as the "secret vitality of the West". Special attention is paid to the disagreement or conflict between a theological and philosophical approach to the study of political life.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 305 Political Analysis (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course provides a survey of empirical research methods, especially qualitative and quantitative methods, used in descriptive and explanatory political analysis. The course work is oriented towards the practical use of these methods through such issues as research design in political analysis; the preparation of a literature review; the use of quantitative survey techniques and case studies methods; interviewing techniques; and the ethics of policy research.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101; 211 or 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 308 Political Economy of Developing Nations (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course provides an analysis of the relationship of government policies and economic development in selected Asian, African, and Latin American countries. Topics include the role of leadership and public policy; challenges of development; obstacles to democratization; and the interaction of domestic and global political/economic structures.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101; 211, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 310 Issues in Social Justice (3 sem. hrs.)

    An examination of ethical issues that pertain to social justice, addressing such topics as the distribution of wealth, affirmative action and quotas, sexual equality, gay rights, the morality of war, punishment, and responsibility.

    Cross-listed: PHIL 310.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 101, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 312 Globalization and Global Governance (3 sem. hrs.)

    Examines the causes and consequences of globalization and the transitional institutions established to cope with this process. The course examines the meaning of global governance and how this differs from governance of domestic societies. It also identifies the significant international institutions involved in global governance and assesses their contribution. The role of various international governmental and non-governmental organizations are studied in relation to such issues as global trade, the environment, human rights, economic development, and international migration.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101; 211, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 314 International Political Economy (3 sem. hrs.)

    A study of the globalization of the world economy and the political factors that shape this process. Students become familiar with the recent history of international trade, global economic relations, and the role of various players in foreign economic policy making. Using case studies of representative governments, students explore models of fiscal and monetary policy and types of trade protection. Other topics include political factors affecting emerging and transitional economies, role of trade groupings, impact of multinational corporations, negotiations in the World Trade Organization, and the problems related to global industries such as airlines or oil.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101; 211, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 320 Social and Political Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    An examination of foundational ideas and problems in political life and thought. Both classical and contemporary texts are used. Concepts treated include the state, the citizen, democracy, liberty, equality, authority, obligation, and disobedience.

    Cross-listed: PHIL 320.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101 and third year standing; or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 330 Law and Canadian Politics (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course provides students with an overview of important themes in Canadian law: its sources, theories of jurisprudence, federalism and the courts, and how the legal framework and the Supreme Court decisions shape public discourse in Canada on political issues. Through the examination of milestone court cases, particularly Supreme Court decisions since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1981), the symbiotic relationship between the judiciary and the legislative branches of government are established.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101 and 234. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 332 Issues in the History of British Columbia (3 sem. hrs.)

    The history of British Columbia from its earliest beginnings to the late 1980s. The province's move from regionalism, to provincialism, to internationalism by examining many of the social, cultural, political, and economic forces of change which shaped the "West Beyond the West" in Canada. Specific aspects of B.C.'s history that particularly enlighten us about the character of the region, its unique place in Canadian history, and how these events have shaped the province today.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Cross-listed: HIST 332.

    Prerequisite(s):6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 334 Issues in Canadian Government and Politics (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides the student with a detailed examination of the political issues that divide and unite Canadians. Course topics include discussion of alternative theoretical approaches to Canadian politics; regionalism, citizenship, and political participation; the French-English Cleavage; provincialism versus federalism; aboriginal politics; gender and class issues; the United States' and Canada's uneasy relationship; multiculturalism and bilingualism as key indicators of Canadian political culture; the Executive in Parliament dispute; legislative politics and judicial interpretation; law and constitution.

    Cross-listed: HIST 334.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 335 Development of the Canadian Constitution (3 sem. hrs.)

    A survey of the historical development of the Canadian Constitution from 1867 to the present. The search for an amending formula and the patriation of the Constitution. The evolving nature of the federation; the Meech Lake Accord; the Charlottetown Accord; the October 26 Referendum; western demands for major changes to the Senate and other national institutions of the federation; and the unfinished constitutional agenda. The profound effect on law and public policy development resulting from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Cross-listed: HIST 335.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 340 Issues in Canadian - First Nations Relations (3 sem. hrs.)

    The history of First Nations in Canada from pre-contact to the present time. Broad economic, social, and political themes that intersect with the history of Canada's original peoples, including early encounters, fur trade economy, governmental policy, missionization, education, reservations, and co-sovereignty. It surveys the major eras, highlighting the observations and experiences of First Nations in Canada.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Cross-listed: HIST 340.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 352 Government and Politics of the United States (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to American politics, including the major branches of government: the presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. The dynamics of American political institutions and their interaction. The prime emphasis is on national politics, especially the interaction of the executive and legislative, including presidential decision-making.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Cross-listed: HIST 352.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 355 American Foreign Policy (3 sem. hrs.) >

    A study of principle themes in United States foreign policy with in-depth review of post-Second World War Presidential periods. Students analyze the causes and results of American policy choices in the context of evolving world order. Course explores philosophy and leadership styles.

    Cross-listed: HIST 355.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 361-369 Political Studies Practicum (1-3 sem. hrs.)

    A supervised field experience in an approved political, governmental, or related setting.

    NB: Pass/Fail courses.

    Prerequisite(s): Honours, major, concentration, or minor in Political Studies or International Studies. Second year standing or higher, 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies, and at least a C+ average. Students may include a maximum of 6 sem. hrs. in their Political Studies major, concentration, or minor, and a maximum of 9 sem. hrs. in their degree.


  • POLS 377 20th Century China and East Asia (3 sem. hrs.)

    A cultural and political history of China and Japan since 1900 with an emphasis on late 20th century issues. Course includes discussion of Hong Kong and Taiwan as Chinese territories and Korea as a primary neighbour of China and Japan. Of special interest are the relations of Japan and China with the United States.

    Cross-listed: HIST 377.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 211, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 378 Politics and Development of the Asia/Pacific Region (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course explores the contemporary political, economic, and social conditions of countries in east and southeast Asia as case studies of development. Central to the course is the so-called Asian Miracle. What are its causes and why have some countries been left behind? Other topics include: Japan and Singapore models of development, response to China's economic and political power in the region, international relations including selected conflict areas, and the prospects for regional integration. Countries typically covered in this region face the Pacific in a chain from Indonesia in the south to Korea and Japan in the north.

    Prerequisite(s):6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 383 Public Administration in Canada (3 sem. hrs.)

    An overview of the public administration in Canada - its importance, structure, functions, key issues, best practices, and practical applications. Course content focuses on municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government. Special attention is placed on practical applications to areas of current public and student interest.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 391 Canadian Governmental Leadership (3 sem. hrs.)

    The nature and styles of leadership in the political and governmental sectors; the history of political leadership; current leadership in both internal and external constituencies. Students explore both appropriate and inappropriate leadership styles and observe leaders in the Ottawa setting of their discipline.

    Cross-listed: HIST 391; SOCI 391.

    Prerequisite(s): Admission into Laurentian Leadership Centre. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 392 Ethics and Public Affairs (3 sem. hrs.)

    The philosophical basis for and nature of ethical decision-making. Recent and contemporary ethical issues facing leaders in the political, business, and communication fields. Students observe how leaders engage ethical dilemmas in the Ottawa setting of their discipline.

    Cross-listed: SOCI 392.

    Prerequisite(s): Admission into Laurentian Leadership Centre. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 393 Law, Public Policy, and Cultural Change (3 sem. hrs.)

    The historical and contemporary debate in Canada on what constitutes culture and our contemporary cultural challenges; how Christians interface with that culture and the role of organized religion; Christian critique of culture and the methodologies and perspectives of various entities that seek to influence culture. Students observe how Canadian culture is formed within the Ottawa setting in their discipline.

    NB: This course is an approved alternative to IDIS 400.

    Cross-listed: IDIS 393.

    Prerequisite(s): 3rd or 4th year standing. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 406 War, Peace, and Society (3 sem. hrs.)

    A survey of the changing nature of and approaches to war and its effect on society from the Middle Ages to the present. Various visions and proposals for peace. The nature of nuclear war.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Cross-listed: HIST 406.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 101 or 211, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 415 Contemporary Political Philosophy (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course examines the political thought of one or more 20th century political philosopher, primarily from the Western Political Tradition. Attention is given to selected primary and secondary literature of contemporary political theorists. Systematic examination of different theorists in each course offering encourages a broader understanding of the rich tradition of political philosophy in the 20th century.

    Cross-listed: PHIL 415.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 101, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 418 Social and Political Concepts of Community in Contemporary Political Theory (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides the student with an in-depth study of the social and political concepts of community. Attention is focused on how recognition of community brings into play the tension between individual and collective/group rights. Course lectures, reading assignments, and in class discussion provide an overview of the following topics: interpretation/hermeneutics of community, roots of community theory, myth of community, quest for community, Christian community, recognition of minority communities in politics, problems associated with the concept of community, recognition of group rights, the liberal-communitarian debate over community, and problems associated with communitarian theory.

    Cross-listed: PHIL 418; SOCI 418.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies (including POLS 101 or POLS 234 or POLS 320) , and third year standing. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 421 Politics and Development of the Middle East (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to the concerns of contemporary political, economic, and social development such as state consolidation, ethnic and social movements, poverty, and conflict through study of the political economy of the Middle East. Students explore the region through analysis of selected Middle Eastern states, cultures, and emergent issues such as underdevelopment, religious and ethnic movements, external intervention, and regional conflicts and disputes.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies (POLS 211 and 308 recommended), or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 425 European Comparative Politics and Government (3 sem. hrs.)

    An exploration of special topics in European comparative politics. The themes and geographic focus vary from year to year; they may include current political institutions and forces, the historical evolution of the European polities, in both Western and Eastern Europe. Particular attention is given to the legal traditions that gird the institutional frameworks of the countries under study. This course blends an analysis of individual nation states with an examination of the critical issues that confront them all, and which are addressed comparatively. It takes account of both the national and transnational factors that affect and are affected by politics in Europe-notably European integration and globalization.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101 and one of POLS 211 or 234. (3-0; 3-0)


  • POLS 430 Seminar in International Relations (3 sem. hrs.)

    A seminar course devoted to intensive study of selected issues in contemporary international relations.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101; 211; or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 434 Canadian Political Thought (3 sem. hrs.)

    Examination of selected Canadian authors who have contributed significantly to the development of Canadian political discourse. Topics include federalism, social democracy, multiculturalism, feminism, compact theory, and national identity. The systematic study of these and related concepts in the context in which they were elaborated; comparison to current interpretations and usage.

    Prerequisite(s): POLS 101; 234; or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 436 Canadian and U.S. Relations (3 sem. hrs.)

    A survey of relations between the two countries from their origins, ranging from military and diplomatic to intellectual and cultural contacts. Comparative developments in the two nations.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Cross-listed: HIST 436.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 234, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 440 The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy (3 sem. hrs.)

    An overview of the formulation and trends of Canadian foreign policy in the period since Confederation. The domestic and external determinants of Canadian foreign policy, the nature of the foreign policy-making process, and the evolution of key themes in Canadian foreign policy.

    Cross-listed: HIST 440.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 211 or 234, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


  • POLS 487, 488 Special Topics in Political Studies (3 sem. hrs.)

    An examination of special topics or issues in political studies that are not considered in-depth in other courses.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Political Studies including POLS 101 or 211 or 234, third year standing, and instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • POLS 495, 496 Honours Thesis (3, 3 sem. hrs.)

    Under supervision of the departmental faculty, students conduct a careful review of the literature on a topic of their choice as well as an empirical study of some portion of the topic. The final written result is submitted in a 12 - 15,000-word thesis. Taken in the fourth year by Honours students in Political and International Studies.

    Prerequisite(s): Application and acceptance into Honours program in Political Studies or Honours program in International Studies. See Department chair or International Studies coordinator.

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