Please find relevant course descriptions, and (draft and revised) course outlines, below. 


This course introduces students to Canadian political institutions, systems, and processes operate, while drawing attention to how different groups are included and excluded from Canadian political life. The course is roughly divided into three parts. The first part examines key institutions and concepts in Canadian politics (e.g., federalism, sovereignty, the Constitution) in tandem with how Indigenous peoples, women, racial and ethnic minorities, and others are excluded by the same. In the second part of the course, we focus on possibilities for change, that is, how citizens and others can make change, through elections, legal challenges, and participating in political parties and interest groups. In its final weeks, the course turns to key issues in Canadian politics that centre on experiences of exclusion/marginality examined throughout the course, but in greater detail (e.g., Indigenous politics, immigration, Quebec).

The Body Politic 

This course understands the governance of the body in at least two ways. First, governance occurs on groups of bodies, with power exerted to control people on the basis of shared physiological traits (imagined or real) and behaviours assumed to relate to those traits. Second, governance occurs on individual bodies, with power exerted in relation to a specific body part, fluid, or tissue. Throughout the course, we will examine a group and then a related body part, fluid, or tissue in turn, connecting the governance of groups to individuals to understand the relationship between bodies, politics, and power.

Public Policy Analysis 

Public policy analysis has alternately been described as a science and an art. On the one hand, analyzing public policy involves a systematic approach to problem identification, definition, and solving through a weighing of evidence and options. From this view, policy analysis involves a set of tools that should be applied as objectively as possible to determine the best possible policy options to be enacted for the public good. On the other hand, every part of the process of policy making is intensely political, and imbued with longstanding histories of power and privilege that shape what problems are seen to arise and what options are possible. From this view, objectivity is never possible and the “public good” depends on who comprises the “public” and who benefits from the “good.”

This course intends to help you think about policy analysis from both of these perspectives—as both science and art—and to find ways to navigate a middle ground as policy scholars and/or practitioners. It proceeds in three parts. To begin, we will examine some of the theories and concepts relevant to the contemporary study of public policy. Then, we will work through the “policy cycle” identifying how policy is made in theory and in practice, as well as how and when various stages of the policy cycle are most effective. We will conclude the course by studying some factors that further complicate the policy cycle, including the timing of policy making, federalism, and intersectionality and looking towards (radical) policy futures.

Advanced Governance Analysis 

Governance is “who gets to decide what,” that is, the process of governing. The study of governance has exploded since the 1990s, and has increasingly focussed on how decisions are made, examining processes and outcomes of governing within and beyond nation-states, including boardrooms, international organizations, and civil society. But, governing also requires the recognition of authority and of subjects that recognize that authority, that is, the social construction of “the governing” and “the governed.”  

This course understands governance as both the activities that enable multi-actor decision-making to occur, and the ways that power is dispersed through the construction of governable subjects. To begin, we will examine some of the theories and concepts relevant to the contemporary study of governance. Then, we will work through different kinds of governance—different spaces and institutions where governing occurs—including governments, boards and corporations, co-ops, NGOs, and diffuse practices of digital governance. We will then focus our attention on multi-level governance, examining interactions between federal systems, cities, and international organizations, concluding with a collective re-imagining  of the dispersal of power in contemporary practices of governance.

Gender and Public Policy 

This course takes a critical and intersectional approach to the study of gender and public policy. It examines how misogyny, racism, classism, ableism, colonialism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression have historically, and continue to inform public policy making. At its core, the course is intended to help students think critically and analytically about how public policy issues are framed in ways that privilege certain groups and marginalize others, that is, how marginalized groups are organized into, and out of policy processes.

To begin, we examine theories and concepts relevant to the study of gender and public policy, with a focus on the relationship between gender, race, class, and identity and public policy making. Then, we look at contemporary approaches to policymaking that account for gender and diversity, as well as relevant critiques. In the third group of sessions, we turn to a selection of policy issues, interrogating how historical oppressions inform contemporary policy decisions and frameworks, combining domestic and international perspectives. We conclude by looking to the work of critical scholars and activists committed to change, and the ways that alternative approaches to policy making might be achieved