Students interested in politics, government, political ideas, political economy, and international affairs should begin their studies with the broad introductions to political science in our POLI100 and POLI110 courses. Ideally, students would take POLI100 in the first term and POLI110 in second term of the first year.
POLI 100 - Introduction to Politics - introduces you to the key concepts and ideas underpinning modern western politics, as well as contemporary challenges. It provides students with the conceptual vocabulary of our discipline. It is meant to be an introduction to all four areas of study within political science at UBC: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and International Relations. POLI100 examines the two foundational concepts of modern politics: the state and citizen. Under this general rubric, we will consider ideas such as ideologies, sovereignty, authority, democracy, power, rights, and international relations. POLI100 also introduces students to studying and arguing about the challenges of modern politics, such as globalization and identity politics. In order to examine how these concepts make a difference in our daily political life, tutorial discussion groups will use contemporary case studies to make the discussion specific, concrete and relevant. Students develop and extend their skills in conceptual analysis, argument, and writing.
POLI 110 - Investigating Politics - prepares students to engage with the field of political science by introducing them to the basic logic and tools used by political scientists to understand and explain the political world. The course will teach students how political scientists ask answerable questions; how we -- students and professors -- define key political concepts; how we formulate hypotheses and theories about political dynamics; how we measure the phenomena we want to study; how we think about and assess relationships of cause-and-effect; and how we report our findings to the world. We will consider these issues by examining how political scientists have investigated major questions in domestic and international affairs, such as why ethnic diversity sometimes leads to civil war, whether international intervention can bring about democracy, and how we can determine which country has the best healthcare policies.
POLI 101 - Introduction to Canadian Government - is our basic Canadian government and politics course for students who are unlikely to major in political science. It presumes no background in political science. POLI101 teaches both government (the core institutions that determine how Canadians are governed) and politics (the issues, controversies, debates that animate Canadian political life). The department will introduce POLI201, intended to cover the same material at the second-year level for those considering a Political Science major.
Note that beginning in September 2013 POLI100 will be a prerequisite for POLI240, which is required for majors. And in September 2014 POLI110 will be a prerequisite for POLI380, which is required for the major. This means that students strongly considering the major should be sure to take both POLI 100 and POLI 110 in their first year.