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Queen's University

Department of Political Studies

Graduate Courses and Timetable

'Tentative' Graduate Timetable 2014-2015 (as of May 29, 2014) Time/day/location of courses will be updated when available.

Field courses (910, 930, 950, 960, 980) are the doctoral-level equivalents of the master's level core courses (810, 830, 850, 860, 880) offered in each field. The doctoral and master’s level courses are offered jointly in each related field. Doctoral students will be registered under the field course number and master’s students will be registered under the core course number. Doctoral students will receive a supplementary reading list that will provide additional depth on the topics covered in the core course, to help them prepare for their field examinations. In years when a field cannot offer the 8xx-level core course, the doctoral field course will be offered as a reading course to doctoral students taking it for field exam preparation.

Graduate students are permitted to take one course outside of the Political Studies department.  Below our course descriptions are links to departments that may be of interest. Political Studies graduate student enrollment is ‘subject to availability of available spaces' in courses offered outside of the department. All course selections should be discussed with the Graduate Chair.

ALL new graduate students shall receive mandatory training in accessible customer services, as required by the Government of Ontario, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, AODA800, the Accessible Customer Service online tutorial is a compulsory course that must be completed prior to graduation. For more information along with a link to access AODA800 can be found at this website: 

The non-credit Course of Research Ethics (CORE) is mandatory for all incoming graduate students who will engage in research involving human subjects. It is a web-based tutorial providing familiarity with and practical application of Canada's national standard of ethics for research (as outlined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement). It is also recommended that continuing graduate students beyond year 1 who are involved in human research or who have an interest in ethics for research also register for the course. For more information and to access the course please go to the Government of Canada's website

Course Instructor(s) / Term Description

POLS 810* / POLS 910*

Canadian Politics /
Field course in Canadian Politics

E. Goodyear- Grant

Winter 2015

A critical analysis of the literature on Canadian politics. Topics covered include parliamentary institutions, federalism, the courts, multiculturalism and citizenship, Aboriginal politics, women and politics, political economy, interest groups and social movements, the mass media, political parties, public opinion and voting.

POLS 829*  

Canadian Political Institutions

J. Hiebert
Fall 2014
An analysis of how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has influenced executive, legislative and judicial roles.

POLS 830* / POLS 930*

Comparative Politics /
Field course in Comparative Politics

O. Haklai

Fall 2014

A systematic examination of political systems in order to account for significant similarities and variations among them.  At the core of the field are two issues: what are the major contending approaches to determining what is significant, and what is the nature of the comparative method? This course aims to develop criteria for choosing between approaches and research strategies for empirical work.

POLS 831*
Comparative Politics:  Inequality and the Politics of Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies

K. Banting

Fall 2014


(cross-listed with POLS 432*)

This course deals with major topics in the current literature in the sub-field, including democracy and democratization, institutions and parties, political economy, political culture, selected policy areas, or particular parties, movements, and interest groups.

POLS 832*
Theories and Politics of Nationalism

Z. Csergo

Winter 2015

This course examines major theoretical debates in the scholarship of nationalism and evaluates influential contributions to the understanding of nationalism in sub-state and global politics.  Readings combine broader theoretical approaches and empirical studies.

POLS 843*
Gender and Globalization

M. Little

Fall 2014


(cross-listed with POLS 443*)

The role of women in international resistance acts as an organizational theme. An essential aspect of this is conceptualizing various forms of oppression--based on gender, race and class--in the context of the world system. 
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POLS 851*

Global Distributive Justice

M. Moore

Fall 2014


(cross-listed with POLS 457*)

This course discusses contemporary debates about the obligation of persons in wealthy countries to alleviate poverty among those in the developing world. The course addresses the proper currency of global justice, the source of the obligation of the rich and poor, and examines the criticisms that have been made. These inquiries require examining anew the basis of the nation state in the international order and the extent to which people are morally required to help those who are not fellow citizens.

POLS 853*

Topics in Political Theory: Inequality

A. Lister

Winter 2015


(cross-listed with POLS 453*)

The purpose of this course is to examine the causes, consequences, and normative significance of  socio-economic inequality.  The course will begin with a survey of some classic debates about equality in normative political theory.  Should we care about equality as such, or only sufficiency, or should we give priority to the worst off?  What is the proper dimension in which we should be concerned about equality: wellbeing, resources, opportunity, capacity to function, etc.?  Next, the course will survey recent empirical work on the level, causes and consequences of social and economic inequality.  We will pay particular attention to the debates over Wilkinson and Pickett's The Spirit Level and Michael Marmot's Whitehall study, discussed in The Status Syndrome. The course will conclude with a discussion of the political effects of economic inequality.

POLS 860* / POLS 960*

International Relations /
Field course in International Relations

W. Cox

Winter 2015

This course is a comprehensive examination of the evolution and current state of the field of International Relations (IR).  It covers international theory, the structure of the international system, key concepts, readings from the canon, and themes in the study of IR such as war, security, foreign policy, the state, gender, global systems, and concepts of power.  This course also locates IR in relation to Global Political Economy (GPE) and other related fields of study.

POLS 861*

International Security

A. Grant
Winter 2015
This seminar examines contemporary debates and issues in the study of International Security. The seminar explores the nature of recent patterns of cooperation and conflict among state and non-state actors and seeks to understand the attendant dynamics that shape security in the current international order.

POLS 862*

Topics in American Foreign Policy

D. Haglund

Fall 2014

The course examines major trends in American foreign policy covering domestic as well as external variables in pre- and post-war administrations. Emphasis is placed on the USA's global role, the part it plays in international organizations and alliance systems, and the conflicts and controversies that characterize them.

POLS 867*

Approaches to Global Governance

C. Pentland

Winter 2015

An exploration of the theory and practice of global governance which traces the emergence of the concept in modern international relations; the academic and public-policy debates to which it has given rise; and its application in the design and work of selected international institutions.
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POLS 880* / POLS 980*

Gender and Politics /
Field course in Gender and Politics

M. Little

Winter 2015

This course addresses the diverse and developing field of Gender and Politics in the discipline of Political Science. The focus will vary depending on the instructor, addressing topics such as: representation; feminist methodology; identity; gender and work; gender and citizenship; the politics of the family; queer theory; intersectionality of race, gender and class; and gender and globalization.

POLS 886*

The Politics of Rights

J. Hiebert

Winter 2015


(cross-listed with POLS 486*)

An examination of contemporary debates about whether rights provide an appropriate critical standard for evaluating state action and looks at different institutional methods to assess the justification of state actions.

POLS 891*

Topics in Political Studies: Global Political

Economy of Slums, Development

and Governance


S. Soederberg

Fall 2014


(co-taught with DEVS 893*)

Since 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population live in urban centres. At the same time, the World Bank has recently claimed that the most significant and politically explosive problem of the next century will be urban poverty. With the wider ambit of the emerging Sustainable Development post-2015 Agenda, this course will explore key features of urban poverty from a variety of disciplinary lenses – all of which will be broadly based in global political economy. We will explore a variety of issues and problems of urban poverty in both the global North and global South such as questions of power vis-à-vis class and gender, the nature of neoliberalization, social reproduction, informality and surplus populations, slum rehabilitation, natural disaster management, the aid industry, as well as the role of consumer credit including payday loans and microfinance. Connecting all these issues, and thus the nexus of our investigations into the variegated landscape of urban poverty in the New Millennium, is why, how, and to what extent vulnerable populations are included or excluded from the provision of shelter and housing in global development governance.  

POLS 900*
Methods of Political Studies

G. Amyot

Fall 2014

This course covers approaches to the discipline, the philosophy of social science, and issues and problems in research design. This course is compulsory for doctoral students who have not already completed a similar graduate course. Doctoral students who have completed a similar course will take another course as their sixth. Students in the Political Studies MA program are eligible to take this course with permission from the Graduate Coordinator.

Courses in other departments/schools that may be of interest

- School of Policy Studies
SPS XXX – Winter term - Normative Issues in Policy Analysis Colin Farrelly (course code TBD)
This course will introduce students to some of the basic normative categories, arguments, and tools that are essential for addressing questions of public policy.  Normative questions are those that concern whether actions, characters, or states of the world are right or wrong—or, in less absolute cases, better or worse than possible alternatives.  All policy questions are normative in a sense: to recommend something means to state that it is “better” than some alternative.  A significant degree of political and policy disagreement stems from different assumptions and aspirations concerning different normative values.  This course aims to help students of public policy become conversant on normative issues (political concepts like justice, democracy and freedom) and be capable of applying and evaluating these concepts and values to decision-making in diverse areas of policy (e.g. environmental policy, healthcare, punishment, etc.).  Exposure to diverse normative ideas and traditions can help foster a variety of social virtues—such as understanding, fairness in evaluating the arguments of others, insights into persons and problems—and critical reasoning.  These are valuable skills which will be an asset in any sector of public policy decision-making.

- Department of Philosophy link to graduate courses

- RMC – Royal Military College graduate calendar webpage with link to various programs at RMC

- Department of Global Development Studies link to graduate courses

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