2nd year Political Science

By their second year, students may know they are heading toward a Political Science Major, Honours, Combined Major, or Minor program, and should therefore begin to focus their interests in particular areas of the discipline.

Each of the 200 level courses provide an introduction to the questions, language, and modes of analysis in each of the four broad subfields, building upon the foundational concepts acquired in POLI 100. Students who take 200 level courses will be well prepared to take upper level courses in those particular subfields of Political Science.

Study Political Science Abroad: students interested in studying aboard in their 3rd year, should consult with UBC’s Go Global program during their second year.

Subfield Summaries

Canadian Politics

A knowledge of the institutions and patterns of Canadian politics and government is of value for anyone whose career will take them to public service, law, journalism, business, social work, or management consulting.

Comparative Politics

There is a fascinating diversity of political systems and institutions across the globe. Learning how these systems and institutions differ across places and time periods is not only inherently interesting, but it also gives us an opportunity to answer important questions about how the political world works. By comparing different political systems or institutions we can learn, for example, about which political systems best channel their citizens’ preferences or produce good policies, or about which conditions give rise to democracies and strong states. By studying individual countries or regions in depth, we can learn about how political processes unfold over time and how they shape important social, political and economic outcomes.

POLI220 – Introduction to Comparative Politics

This course introduces students to the field of Comparative Politics, and concentrates on several broad themes: comparative analysis, the state, nations and society, political regimes, markets and development. Within these themes, students learn about state development, state failure, nationalism, ethnic conflict and civil war, democracy and its alternatives, political institutions, political culture, welfare states and inequality, globalization and development. These themes are explored through a set of case studies that include both advanced democracies and developing countries. POLI 220 prepares students for upper-level courses in Comparative Politics.
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Political Theory

How do we live together on the earth? How should we organize ourselves? What are the implications — for justice, freedom, equality, happiness — of different approaches to living together? In political theory we assess actually existing practices, their value, and possible alternatives. We gain reflective insight into key political concepts such as freedom, power, equality, oppression, domination and justice, and we use such concepts to think about real-world practices and structures including democracy, capitalism, colonialism, empire, gender, race, and rights. Studying political theory will develop you as a person, helping you examine yourself, and it will cultivate your critical capacities as a citizen.

POLI240 – Currents of Political Thought

This course enables students to acquire the skills to conduct detailed analysis of political ideas. The course familiarizes students with some of the key thinkers in the history of political thought, and explores how their ideas contributed to the evolution of western political practice. POLI 240 prepares students for advanced coursework in various themes of political philosophy.
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International Relations

The international system encompasses all the various relationships and actions between states and non-state actors. Understanding events, norms, and trends in international politics requires a distinct set of theoretical, analytic, and empirical tools. Grounded in the history of the international system, the study of international relations points us toward predictions of the big patterns of peace, conflict, and trade in our world.

POLI260 – Introduction to Global Politics

This course introduces students to the tools used to understand the international system and global politics. Students learn the major concepts and approaches in the academic study of International Politics (or Global Politics or International Relations). The course covers the basic history of the international system and the features of the major institutions through which global politics is played out. Major questions addressed in the course involve the causes of war and peace, security and insecurity, the patterns of global trade, the power of the institutions of global governance, development, and the diffusion of international norms.
Click here for POLI 260 Learning Objectives