"... why am I so interested in politics? If I were to answer you very simply I would say this: why shouldn't I be interested? That is to say, what blindness, what deafness, what density of ideology would have to weigh me down to prevent me from being interested in what is probably the most crucial subject to our existence, that is to say the society in which we live, the economic relations in which it functions, and the system of power which defines the regular forms and regular permissions and prohibitions of our conduct? The essence of our life consists, after all of the political functioning of the society in which we find ourselves." Michel Foucault
A disinterest in politics is something that no conscientious citizen can afford. This course is intended to provide students with a means of engaging in broad political questions:
Why are some societies plagued by war and violence, while others are stable and peaceful?
How are the values in one society passed along to new members, and why do they differ from the values in other countries?
Why does it matter how we
structure the institutions of government, limit their powers, or
determine which individuals should hold public offices and exercise
authority over the rest of the population?
The success of political processes to channel disputes in a society
can play a key role in ensuring a harmonious society, while their
failure can lead to frustration that boils over into revolution or
chaos. A comparative approach in this class, looking at how differently
politics are organized in other countries, will provide a broader
context to determine how well particular government structures and
processes may work.
Rand Dyck, Studying Politics: An Introduction to Political Science, Third Edition
Tutorial Reader is available from the POL-100 Home Page
and from the Reserve section of the Library.
One 2-hour lecture and one tutorial each week
The essay is due at the class held in Week 12.
The grades in POL-100 are not "scaled on a curve."