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Collaborative Program in Political  and Legal Thought

Collage of political thought and Queens


"The collaboration between Philosophy and Political Studies at Queens is well established. There is outstanding, internationally acclaimed scholarship in political thought in each of these departments, and the many connections between them double their strengths. The MA in Political Thought will be an excellent opportunity for students interested in exploring the far-reaching and fundamental questions at the intersection of the two disciplines. Queen's is one of the best places in the country to pursue such a program and I wish it had been available during my time there.”
Mira Bachvarova, former graduate student and now Assistant Professor at University of New Brunswick


“The new MA program in Political Thought will further enhance Queen’s University’s reputation as a leading centre for political philosophy in North America. The range of topics it covers is excellent, and essential groundwork for any student wishing to proceed to doctoral research."

David Miller, FBA, Professor of Political Theory, Nuffield College, Oxford University

Program Contact - Philosophy

Dr Christine Sypnowich
E-mail: christine.sypnowich@queensu.ca
Website: http://www.queensu.ca/philosophy/students/graduate-program

Program Contact - Political Studies

Dr Margaret Moore
E-mail: moorem@queensu.ca
Website: http://www.queensu.ca/politics/graduate/master-arts

Program Contact - Law

Dr Michael Pratt
E-mail: m.pratt@queensu.ca
Website: http://law.queensu.ca/graduate-program









Program Overview

The Graduate Program in Political and Legal Thought (PLT) is a 12-month collaborative degree that allows students to specialize in social, political, and legal theory. Students complete an MA in the Departments of Philosophy or Political Studies, or an LLM in the Faculty of Law, by choosing from a broad range of designated courses across all three disciplines, which, in any given year, will cover topics such as global justice, jurisprudence, ethics and animals, just war theory, feminism and the law, bio-ethics, egalitarianism, and human rights.  The only course of study of its kind in Canada, the PLT Program builds on the close connections that exist at Queen’s between the Departments of Philosophy and Political Studies and the Faculty of Law. It provides an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary engagement with leading scholars in a lively intellectual community. 

​In addition to their other courses in Political and Legal Thought, students will normally participate in the Colloquium in Legal and Political Philosophy. The Colloquium is a highly distinctive course centred on seminars delivered by some of the world’s leading legal and political theorists. Students are also encouraged to participate in the Political Philosophy Reading Group, which meets informally every two weeks to discuss important contemporary writings, some written by faculty and graduate students in Philosophy, Political Studies or Law.

Students apply to the PLT Program through the collaborating academic unit (Philosophy, Political Studies or Law) that best matches their academic background. Questions about the program can be directed to the contact person in any of the three departments.

Degree Offered & Method of Completion

Degree Offered

M.A. (specialisation in Political Legal Thought) - 12 months

LLM (specialisation in Political Legal Thought) - 12 months

Method of Completion

The MA requires students to take six courses, four of which must be in political Legal thought, and write a Major Research Paper.

LLM students who undertake the Collaborative LLM in Political and Legal Thought (PLT) must (a) complete two mandatory graduate courses (Law 880 and Law 881); and (b) complete four additional courses, three of which must be designated courses in the Political and Legal Thought specialization, in Law, Political Studies, or Philosophy; and (c) complete a graduate paper.



Philosophy Faculty:

  • C.Overall - Feminist philosophy, Reproductive Ethics
  • K.Gordon-Solmon - Bio-ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Egalitarian Political Thought
  • A.Macleod - Theories of Justice
  • J.Davies - Feminist philosophy
  • W.Kymlicka - Multiculturalism, Citizenship, Animal Ethics
  • U.Schuklenk - Bio-ethics
  • M.Smith - Environmental Ethics
  • R.Kumar - Moral philosophy, Contractualism
  • P.Fairfield - History of political thought, Critical theory
  • C.Sypnowich - Egalitarian political thought, Philosophy of Law

Political Studies Faculty:

  • M.Moore - Nationalism, Global Justice
  • A.Lister - Theories of justice, Public reason
  • C.Farrelly - Ideal/non-ideal theory, Ethics and public policy, Genetics and justice
  • E.Macdonald - Contemporary political thought, Feminism

Law Faculty:

  • Sharry Aiken - Migration & Citzenship Law and Theory; International and Comparative Refugee Law
  • Bita Amani - Intellectual Property Law and Theory; Law and Technology; Feminst Legal Perspectives; Critical Cultural Studies
  • Bev Baines - Equality Rights and the Charter; Feminist Legal Theory
  • Chris Essert - Legal Philosophy; Private Law Theory
  • Leslie Green - Legal Philosophy; Philosophy of Human Rights
  • Tsvi Kahana - Constitutional Theory; Theories of Public Law and Legislation
  • Kathleen Lahey - Tax Law and Policy; Feminist Legal Perspectives; Law and Sexualities; Human Rights; Comparative Fiscal Policies
  • Michael Pratt - Theories of Contract Law; Tort Law Theory
  • Darryl Robinson - International Law and Theory; International Criminal Law; International Human Rights
  • Jean Thomas - Theories of Rights; Private Law Theory
  • Gregoire Webber - Legal Philosophy
  • Jacob Weinrib - Legal Philosophy; Philosophy of Public Law


Funding & Academic Prerequisites

Funding Information

Most students admitted to the program will be offered a funding package to help support their graduate education. We encourage students to apply for external scholarships.

Academic Prerequisites

Student seeking to enrol in the Collaborative Program in Political & Legal Thought must be accepted in either the Graduate Program in Political Studies (http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/political-studies ) or the Graduate Program in Philosophy (http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/philosophy ) or the Graduate Program in Law (http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/law).


Learning Outcomes

Degree Level Expectations - Philosophy - M.A., M.A (specialisation in Political & Legal Thought (24KB)

Degree Level Expectations - Political Studies - M.A, M.A (specialisation in Political & Legal Thought) (29 KB)

Degree Level Expectations - Law - LLM, LLM (specialisation in Political & Legal Thought) (78KB)