Foundations of Politics
Political Science 1001
Mount Allison University
Instructor: Dr. G. Martin
Voice: (506) 364-2289
3 credit hours
Description: The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a broad introduction to the discipline of political science, composed of the four subfields of comparative politics, Canadian politics, global relations and political theory. In the first section of the course, we will discuss some basic issues in political theory, primarily the leading political ideologies, including liberalism, conservatism, socialism, feminism and environmentalism. In the middle half of the course, we will discuss the politics and government of both Canada and the United States in comparative perspective. We will address basic concepts and institutions, such as government, power, sovereignty, the nation, the state, as well as relevant political institutions in the Canadian and American cases. In the final section, we will turn to the global system, and will discuss major issues in the areas of foreign policy, strategic studies, international organization and law (multilateralism), and the global economy.
Mark O. Dickerson, Thomas Flanagan and Brenda O’Neill, An Introduction to Government and Politics: A conceptual approach, Eighth Edition, (Scarborough, ON: Thomson Nelson, 2010, 480 pp. + appendices). (abbreviated DFO) (All page references in this kit are to this edition.)
This text is available from the Mount Allison University bookstore. You can get by with a seventh edition (2006), but I would not recommend that you use any earlier edition as they are too out-of-date and the chapter numbering is different. In Sackville, for used copies check at Rags of Time Books, 28B York Street, 536-2808. You will write 6 short essays based on the textbook and reading kit, and additional sources where appropriate. You may write only five essays if you are happy with your marks. Marking scheme
Six short essays
(best 5 counted @ 14 points each)
Final exam (2 hours)
You will find that I mark essays out of ten. At the end of the class, I convert a mark out of 50 (based on the best five essay marks) to a mark out of 70. 1
Description of Assignments
You will see that at the end of each set of notes there are essay questions. These questions serve two purposes. The Final Exam, which is worth 30% of the course grade, will be drawn entirely from these questions. In the exam, I will ask you to write on 4 of 7 of these questions, which I will provide to you. You should know that of these seven questions, four will be drawn from those weeks in which you were not assigned an essay. Three will come from weeks in which an essay was assigned. Therefore, you should pay attention to the whole course and sketch out brief answers to all of these questions as part of your weekly work. You should also expect that by the end of the course your answers to many of these questions will be more sophisticated than they were in the particular week in which they were assigned.
Second, these questions also serve as the question that you will write on for your short essays. For the week in which an essay is assigned, you should choose a single question, and write a 3-4 page, word-processed 1000-1200 word, essay-style answer to the question. Please number your pages and please compose a title that captures the theme of your paper. I prefer electronic submissions in software readable by MS Word. To conserve paper, for those of your submitting hard copies, you may print on both sides of the sheet.
These essays will be marked for the style, structure and content of your answer. Even though the essay should fully answer the assigned question, it should also be well structured (with a good introduction and conclusion) and carefully written. Remember to answer all aspects of the question. Each essay must cite any sources that you...
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