Fall 2021 - POL 359 D100

Selected Topics in Governance (4)

Representation, Violence and Empowerment

Class Number: 3812

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.



Selected Topics in Governance and Policy: Representation, Violence and Empowerment

Course Description

This course will explore the relationship between protest and policy both theoretically and empirically.  Themes of representation, dis/empowerment (and marginalization), and systematic violence- the faces of oppression- will be explored (Young 1990), through the study of selected policy-issue areas of importance to marginalized groups such as women, racialized minorities, and indigenous peoples, both in Canada and around the world  We will examine  key concepts such as representation, systematic violence, empowerment and oppression more generally as they are treated in democratic and social theory. We will consider practices of governance and policy relating to violence against women, police brutality, gender quotas and reserved seats for ethnic and racialized minorities as they relate to questions of democratic representation and empowerment for oppressed groups and peoples. Last, we will explore the implications of various theoretical and empirical debates for understanding the role of protest and policy in redressing these dimensions of oppression.


  • Participation and in-class assignments 15%
  • 3 Tests (15% each) 45%
  • Short Paper (5 double spaced pages) 10%
  • Research Paper (approx. 10 pages double spaced) 15%
  • Reading presentation (less than 5 minutes) 10%
  • Paper presentation (1-3 minutes) 5%



None required. Readings will consist of articles and books which are open-access and/or on reserve in the library and/or provided via Canvas page.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.