Fall 2019 - POL 121 D100

Political Engagement: From the Streets to the Ballot Box (3)

Class Number: 7344

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    AQ 3150, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 6, 2019
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SSCC 9002, Burnaby



An introduction to political action and behaviour. Politics involves the struggle for power and influence. Nowhere is this more evident than when individuals mobilize and engage in political action, whether in a revolution to overthrow an authoritarian regime, protesting on the street against the government, or voting on Election Day. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


The purpose of this course is to explore two broad questions related to contemporary political participation and engagement. First, what are some of the major changes that have recently transpired in terms of citizens' (and non-citizens') engagement with their governments and why have these changes taken place? In answering this question, we will be investigating contemporary political phenomena including declining voter turnout, the rise of protest politics, and the spread of online engagement.

Second, why does political participation and engagement look so different in various parts of the world? For example, why have large-scale anti-system demonstrations appeared in some countries and not others in recent years? To answer this question, we will be investigating some of the legal, social, and cultural factors that provide the opportunities and constraints for political engagement.

There will be two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial each week.  Tutorials start at Week Two.


  • Participation 10%
  • Mid-Term 15%
  • Canvas Wiki Assignment 15%
  • Critical Review 30%
  • Final Exam 30%



Dalton, Russel J. Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies - Seventh Edition. CQ Press: Washington DC, 2019.

ISBN-13: 978-1544351780

ISBN-10: 154435178X

Tormey, Simon. The End of Representative Politics. Polity: Cambridge, 2015.

ISBN-13: 978-0745681962

ISBN-10: 0745681964

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.
For details, see http://www.sfu.ca/politics/undergraduate/program/related_links.html and click on “Plagiarism and Intellectual Dishonesty” .

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