Spring 2024 - POL 100 D100

Introduction to Politics and Government (3)

Class Number: 5330

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Thu, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 13, 2024
    Sat, 3:30–6:30 p.m.



A comprehensive introduction to the study of politics and government for both political science majors and students specializing in other disciplines. The course will explore the major concepts, methods, approaches and issues in political science, as well as the primary components of government structure and the political process. Students with credit for POL 101W may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Course Description:

 “...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 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?

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.

Course Organization:

Lecture and tutorials will be in class. Readings for discussions will be uploaded to canvas.



  • Term Paper 25%
  • Participation 20%
  • Tests (2) 10%
  • Mid-term Test 15%
  • Final Exam (Take Home) 30%



Politics: An Introduction, 3e Instructor Resources by George A. MacLean, Duncan R. Wood, Lori Turnbull




Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

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

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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