Political Science is concerned with the exercise of power within society, particularly the exercise of public power. In this discipline, we study the relationship between people and government, the structure and organisation of governments at different levels, comparisons among governments as well as global politics.
Political science is a discipline with varied topics of study and methods. Usual fields of studies include: domestic (Canadian) politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory or philosophy. Classes are also offered in gender and politics, post-colonial and cultural studies, past and contemporary Indigenous politics.
Governments can be studied from a national perspective (for ex., Canadian politics), a geographical perspective (for ex., European Union instance) or a comparative perspective (for ex., comparative study of health care policies for instance). Studies of politics at the international level include power and influence between governmental and non-governmental agencies (states, armies and bureaucracies, civil society, business and financial organizations); international institutions (the UN); international security, conflicts and war between or within states; political economy, and modes of regulation in a multi-polar or unipolar globalized world; the rise of terrorism and transnational players.
Politics is a challenge. Political actors need a sense of civic and social responsibility, the judgment to see through pleasing illusions, the imagination to anticipate and innovate, the tough-mindedness to face harsh realities and the strength of will to make and live with difficult choices.
The study of Political Science can help students discover and develop these qualities in themselves, which will serve them well in any walk of life. Since, as Aristotle put it, political science is “the ruling science”, that is, since there is no aspect of human life that is definitely outside the scope of politics (whether for good or for ill), the skills, insights and modes of understanding and analysis that inform the study of politics can enter productively into any number of fields of endeavor.
But an education in Political Science is particularly well suited as preparation for careers in journalism, law, public relations, policy research and analysis for governments and government departments, political parties and candidates, interest groups, unions, corporations, international agencies and non-governmental organizations. An undergraduate degree in Political Science has always been the preferred pathway to law school.
The Department of Political Science offers programs at the undergraduate level, leading to 3 year and 4 year BA Degrees.