Courses

Please note that not every course listed is offered each year and that students should consult the following sources for current course offerings:

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

IREL-4003. Independent Study

Honours students may undertake an independent study project with a faculty member in the International Relations programme. Students are encouraged to develop proposals that incorporate academically meaningful international experience. (eg. student exchange programs, international student working abroad programs) Students must submit a proposal four months prior to the start date of the course. Their proposal must be approved by the Steering Committee of the International Relations Programme.

IREL-4013. Honours Thesis

The Honours Thesis is an extended scholarly paper on a topic related to international relations, written under the supervision of a faculty member who agrees to serve as thesis Director. A booklet entitled Guidelines for the Honours Thesis, produced by the International Relations Program, will serve to provide answers to the technical questions involved in writing the thesis. Prerequisite: Course is restricted to students who are enrolled in the International Relations Program.

4. International Relations and Foreign Policy

POLS-2603. Political and Economic Integration in the Americas

This course will examine economic and political integration theory in relation to theories of globalization, using the European Union and the Americas as central cases. The course will analyze, in depth, the issues of social justice, labour and environmental standards, poverty, gender issues, capitalism, and social democracy. This course will have online interactive features and may be taught in collaboration with other universities.

POLS-2613. International Relations I

This course introduces students to International Relations theory, with a focus on the mainstream theories in the field, namely realism and its variants, liberalism and constructivism. These theories are illustrated and developed through the use of case studies and examinations of the institutions and structures of the international system. Prerequisite: POLS 1013 or permission of the instructor.

POLS-2623. International Relations II

This course introduces students to the critical and non-mainstream variants of International Relations (IR) theory. These include Marxism, Gramscianism, feminist theories of IR, and other forms of critical theory. These theories are illustrated and developed through the use of case studies and examinations of the institutions and structures of the international system. They are also contrasted with mainstream IR theories. Prerequisite: POLS 1013 or permission of the instructor.

POLS-3313. U.S. Foreign Policy

This course examines the foreign policy of the United States of America. It examines the roles of the Presidency, bureaucracy, and Congress in the making of foreign policy. The history of American foreign policy will be studied to contextualize present foreign policy and likely future scenarios. The impact of U.S. economic policy in an era of globalization will be explored. Central to the course will be an investigation of the relationship of the U.S. to other major powers and to international institutions.

POLS-3503. Human Rights and International Relations (hmrt 3243)

This course considers human rights in international relations. It focuses on how the emerging human rights regime is affecting the practice of traditional state sovereignty. Special attention will be paid to the political and philosophical arguments around such issues as universal human rights versus cultural relativism, and the problems associated with humanitarian intervention.

POLS-3513. Canadian Perspectives on International Law

The course covers the major topics of international law: the law creation process, the law application process, participants in international law, territory and resources, and international dispute settlement. The lectures on each topic focus on particular Canadian economic, political, or geographic characteristics that raise legal questions, and discuss how Canada has interpreted and tried to influence the law in question.

POLS-3523. International Relations in the Asia Pacific Region

This course will focus on how the relations of the regional powers (China, Japan, and the United States) intersect and affect the shape of the Asia Pacific's politics and economics. The course will also provide an overview of the interactions between the other regional states and the various efforts to build Asia Pacific-wide economic and security institutions.

POLS-3533. Canadian Foreign Policy

This course is a study of Canada and its role in the world. It will focus, in particular, on the historical development of Canada's foreign policy and the continuities between the past and the present. Is Canada a principal power or is it highly constrained by the imperatives of its relationship with the United States? A significant component of the course will be spent in evaluating Canada's role in a post-Cold War and post-9/11 world. Particular attention will be paid to issues related to the question of multilateralism and Canada's evolving approach to this tradition. Prerequisite: POLS 2613 or POLS 2623, or permission of the instructor.

POLS-3603. The United Nations

This course will examine the UN as an international political institution, its structure and processes in the context of contemporary and enduring issues of world politics, including peace, security, development, and environmental sustainability.

POLS-3613. Model United Nations (hmrt 3253)

This course will prepare students for participation in a Model United Nations, either Canadian or American sponsored. In a model UN simulation, students represent an assigned country's foreign policy on assigned issues on the UN agenda. The course will begin with an examination of the UN and its procedures. Subsequent topics will include researching the assigned UN issues and the assigned country's policy on them: preparation of working papers and motions, and strategies for effective conference participation. Fund raising for the trip required: half credit course, but meets first and second terms; limited enrolment.

POLS-4603. Seminar in International Relations

This is a seminar directed primarily at senior Political Science Majors and Honours students. The specific topic of the seminar will change from year to year, but will consider, in depth, an issue or issues in international relations. Students will be expected to do advanced research and to present and defend their work in class. Prerequisite: POLS 2613 or 2623, or permission of the instructor.