Politics impacts all aspects of life, and importantly, quality of life. In Political Studies at Trent, you will find yourself debating and exploring ideas around democracy and global politics as you examine power relations and relationships between the state, business, and citizens. It is exciting and enlightening to learn how these relationships influence each of our lives, and more broadly, political, economic, and social change nationally and internationally. Our small class sizes and interactive student-professor relationships build confidence, skills, and knowledge for a variety of careers.
The Department of Political Studies offers courses in three areas of investigation: World Politics, Canadian Politics, and Political Theory:
Studies how human societies deal with various forms of global change (economic, cultural, and political). A principal objective is to enable students to develop an understanding of how the international system is shaped by the great historical turning-points and understand key concepts in international relations.
World Politics emphasizes a critical understanding of the many dimensions of ‘globalization’:
- International political economy
- Peace and security issues
- Foreign policy
- North American economic integration
- The centrality of the European Union, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region in redefining world order
Canadian Politics examines the basic institutions of government at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, stressing the emergence of environmental, Aboriginal, urban, race, class, gender and sexual orientation issues in the context of law and justice, political economy, constitutional mechanisms, regionalism, Canadian-American relations, the distribution of power, social and health services, public administration and the crafting and implementation of policy.
Political Theory explores the ideas people use to understand and shape political life. Theoretical premises developed over centuries invest our assumptions, our choices and our rhetoric with meaning. Whether in a global or a Canadian mirror, we see ourselves as liberals, conservatives, neoliberals, socialists, Marxists, anarchists – perhaps postmodern or postcolonial – but always as members of a community. Political theory helps us grasp wider significance from the diversity of political ideas and events shaping our present and our future. Political theory also helps us invest those ideas with new and inspired meaning in the contemporary context.
The Department of Political Studies also runs a Joint Major in International Political Economy.