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Political Science

The discipline known since World War II as political science was originally taught at the University of Saskatchewan as political economy in the British tradition. After the mid-1960s, American influence on the discipline increasingly affected the teaching of political science in Saskatchewan and elsewhere in Canada. In 1966, the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan hired four new US-educated faculty members to staff a political science committee of instruction in the social science division. While the Regina faculty was initially organized around an interdisciplinary approach, at about the same time political scientists and economists at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon dissolved their joint department into two separate disciplines. After the Regina campus became the University of Regina in 1974, the social science division system was abandoned in favour of formal disciplinary departments including a political science department.

The political science curriculum at the two universities has been subject over time to changing political issues, faculty interests, and ideological predispositions. There have been some differences between the two departments in emphasis and political ideology in the past, but these differences are minimal today. Core offerings include Canadian governments and politics, the Canadian constitution, political parties and interest groups, the politics of women, Aboriginal and other minority groups, provincial government and politics, political theory, comparative government and politics, international relations, and institutions. Both universities offer a Bachelor of Arts program in political science. Since the 1980s these have been four-year degree programs. Both departments offer Masters degree programs in political science, but neither has a doctoral program; study at that level is available through the Canadian Plains Research Center at the University of Regina.

Although political science is considered a separate discipline, its study remains closely linked to the broad study of the social sciences and other disciplines. Cross-disciplinary and joint programs are available, and classes in other subject areas can be accepted as credit for students with a major in political science. Disciplines such as history, philosophy, religion, sociology, economics, administration, geography, and anthropology address subject matter that is relevant to political science. Political scientists work in government, political parties, trade unions, business, media, agriculture, the arts, law, and other occupations, as well as in academic settings.

Joseph Roberts

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This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
Ce site Web a été conçu grâce à l'aide financière de
Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.