Political Science (2019)

In Political Science we study all aspects of political life. We ask such questions as: Why do some crises lead to conflict while others are resolved peacefully? What lessons can we draw from the policy experience of other countries? How ought we to deal with the growing international environmental crisis? Why does democracy survive in some countries and not in others? Can we have both freedom and security - or must we choose between them? What did the great political thinkers of the past really say?

Political Science comprises four main areas of study. Comparative Politics examines the political institutions and societies of particular countries, and looks at the comparisons and contrasts between them. International Relations focuses on the relations between states, on their foreign policies, and on international organisations like the UN and NATO. Political Theory examines theories about politics and society, and the philosophical and methodological questions that arise in studying political life. Public Policy explores and evaluates the processes by which national, regional and local institutions of the state formulate and implement policies. Students taking political science papers may focus on one or more of these areas, or follow a broader programme reflecting the diverse interests of political science.

Political Science is available as a major for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Social Sciences. Political Science may also be taken as a second major or as a minor, subject to academic approval of the Faculty in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Political Science as a single major, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Political Science, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must include POLSC101 and POLSC102, or 15 points from POLSC101 and POLSC102 and 15 points from IRSST103 and IRSST104; and POLSC201 and POLSC211, or 15 points from POLSC201 and POLSC211, and 15 points from IRSST206 and POLCY212.

To complete Political Science as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Political Science, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level. Students must include POLSC101 and POLSC102, or 15 points from POLSC101 and POLSC102, and 15 points from IRSST103 and IRSST104; and POLSC201 and POLSC211, or 15 points from POLSC201 and POLSC211, and 15 points from IRSST206 and POLCY212.

To complete a minor in Political Science, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Political Science major, including at least 30 points above 100 level. Students must include at least one of POLSC101 or POLSC102, and one of POLSC201 or POLSC211; and select their remaining papers from the papers listed for the Political Science major.


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  • Prescriptions for the GradCert(PolSc) and GradDip(PolSc)

    A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Political Science at an advanced level in their first degree.

    For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

  • Prescriptions for the PGCert(PolSc), PGDip(PolSc), BA(Hons), BSocSc(Hons), MA and MSocSc

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Political Science papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Political Science papers or all their undergraduate Political Science papers.

    To complete a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Political Science, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally POLSC591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Political Science.

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MA or MSocSc in Political Science, a student should have completed either:

    a) a BA or BSocSc in Political Science or Public Policy (or equivalent) with at least a B grade average across the 300 level, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

    b) a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Political Science or Public Policy (or equivalent) with at least second class honours (second division).

    Completion requirements for the MA or MSocSc in Political Science vary according to admission criteria:

    Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including at least 60 points from POLSC502, POLSC503, POLSC527 or POLSC537, and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

    Students admitted under b) above, must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

    To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B average to be admitted to POLSC592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to POLSC593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to POLSC594.

  • Prescriptions for the MPhil

    The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • Prescriptions for the PhD

    The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • 100 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ARTSC110Old Worlds - New Worlds19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
    This cross-disciplinary paper offers students with a rich background for study within the Bachelor of Arts. It is structured around metaphors of journey and cultural encounter and focuses on a variety of texts, images and sounds.
    ARTSC111Social Science Theory and Action19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces University of Waikato social scientists as researchers. Each presenter's research will be discussed to demonstrate how it illustrates key themes of the social sciences and their specific disciplines.
    IRSST103Introduction to International Relations19A (Hamilton), 19A (Online) & 19A (Tauranga)
    This paper provides an introduction to the study of international relations in an era of globalisation. It covers the historical background, key concepts and theories, case studies, and contemporary developments in the study of world politics.
    IRSST104Introduction to International Security19B (Hamilton), 19B (Online) & 19B (Tauranga)
    This course is an introduction to the study of international security. It examines a variety of contemporary security issues and explores how and why conflict emerges in the international system.
    POLSC100Playing Politics: Conflict, Co-operation and Choice19A (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces students to some of the basic concepts used in thinking about politics: conflict, cooperation, collective choice, and power.
    POLSC101Politics in the Ancient World19A (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to politics at the dawn of Western civilization. Topics include Athenian democracy, the Roman republic, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, political idealism and political realism.
    POLSC102New Zealand Politics and Policy19A (Tauranga) & 19B (Hamilton)
    This paper provides a foundation for the study of political science and public policy, with a particular focus on the study of government, politics and policy in New Zealand.
  • 200 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    IRSST206International Relations: The Security Agenda19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces students to International Relations' dynamic and evolving security agenda and covers some of the most urgent contemporary security concerns.
    MAORI250Māori Politics19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
    This paper examines Maori and Indigenous politics in a broad sense, from key ideas such as sovereignty, tino rangatiratanga, and autonomy, through to crucial forms of resistance via various political structures including local, Iwi, national and global Indigenous movements.
    PHILO215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction19B (Hamilton)
    A study of the moral and political philosophy of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume and Mill. This paper uses Plato's Republic to introduce students to central issues in Moral and Political Philosophy, including questions about virtue, happiness, justice, liberty, democracy, tyranny, feminism, art, censorship, and moral educat...
    POLCY212Power, Politics and Policy Analysis19B (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to public policy analysis. Students focus on the role of politics, public participation and policy in addressing society's big problems, how they are framed and defined, and how solutions are developed and implemented within the context of the policy process.
    POLSC200Politics and the Media19B (Hamilton)
    This course provides an introduction to the complex relationships between mass media, politics, and democratic society. It examines the power of the media in influencing political processes, policies, behaviour, and perceptions.
    POLSC201Modern Political Thinkers19A (Online) & 19T (Online)
    This course examines the ideas of a number of modern political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx.
    POLSC211Political Systems around the World19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
    The paper introduces the comparative study of political institutions, the study of the politics of a number of countries, their similarities and differences, from established democracies toauthoritarian regimes.
    POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State19A (Hamilton)
    Terrorism is an increasingly prominent global phenomenon. We will clarify it conceptually and situate it historically with theory and case studies in situating it in comparative political and International Relations analysis.
  • 300 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    GNSEX303Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities19B (Hamilton)
    This paper provides a comprehensive review of the historical context for understanding contemporary issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class. It investigates micro and macro level experiences and the social construction of identities. In doing so, this paper looks at how power is distributed in society, the theories that...
    IRSST301International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy19B (Hamilton)
    This course delivers a comprehensive historical overview of New Zealand foreign policy from the beginning of the 20th century, and considers the role government departments play in the creation and implementation of policy.
    IRSST315International Politics of Asia19B (Hamilton)
    It provides an introduction to, and analysis of, three critical issues in Asia: the Kashmir dispute; the situation on the Korean Peninsula; and rising tensions in the South China Sea
    IRSST331Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet19B (Hamilton)
    This course explores the global politics of cyber security and the internet. It covers the major political/strategic/theoetcial debates around enhancing the security of computer systems and how states and non-state actors are responding.
    PHILO315Democracy, Justice & Equality19A (Hamilton)
    This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to contested topics in modern political philosophy. Students will be expected to analyse the theoretical basis of these positions, and to consider the practical consequences of them.
    POLCY318Global Environmental Politics and Policy19A (Hamilton)
    This paper explores contemporary debates on environmental politics, sustainability, justice, and environmental governance. It examines the political processes underpinning the search for cooperative solutions to environmental dilemmas, including climate change.
    POLSC300Religion and Political Violence19S (Online) & 19T (Online)
    This paper examines religious attitudes to political authority and political violence. Students study the writings of major thinkers in the Christian tradition including Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin.
    POLSC316Latin American Politics19A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines the ideological determinants, recent histories, democratisation, civil-military relations, post-authoritarian politics, and current political crisis of the several major Latin American countries.
    POLSC390Directed Study19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19S (Hamilton) & 19T (Hamilton)
    This course comprises a programme of individual research and assessment undertaken by a student working under supervision of an academic staff member.
    SOCIO302Globalisation and International Development19A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines the impact of globalisation on both developed and developing countries. Special focus is placed on the labour-capital relation. Applied methods of comparative analysis are also introduced.
  • 500 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ANTHY520Tribes, Empires, Nations19A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines tribes, empires, and nations as historically distinct types of political systems, and the ongoing influence of tribal and imperial cultures and institutions in diverse contemporary nation-states.
    IRSST505International Security, Strategy and Technology19A (Hamilton)
    This course offers an introduction to Strategic Studies with particular emphasis on how developments in science and technology affect warfare, conflict, and the use of force in international relations.
    IRSST507Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare19B (Hamilton)
    This course examines the poltical, strategic, legal and economic debates around cyber security and cyber warfare. Particular emphasis is placed on how militaries, national security agencies, and law enforcement are adapting to online threats and incorporating cyber in their strategic planning.
    PHILO533Moral and Political Philosophy19A (Hamilton)
    This paper will cover a range of current topics in moral and political philosophy. The exact content will be guided by choices made in class, but will include detailed analysis of foundational problems in modern political philosophy, and exploration of the intersection of moral and political philosophy in practice.
    POLSC501Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice19A (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to the fundamentals of policy analysis, and develops skills for higher-level research in public policy. A key focus is developing critical awareness of policy processes, of the drivers of change, and of the role of both 'evidence' and public participation in policy-making, in the pursuit of inclusive ...
    POLSC502Security Issues in South East Asia19A (Hamilton)
    After a brief conceptual and historical introduction to security in the region, the paper goes on to consider a range of contemporary security issues. These include ethnic conflict, militant Islam, maritime security, and relations with the major extra-regional powers.
    POLSC504Gender, Justice and the Environment19B (Hamilton)
    This paper draws on the interdisciplinary study of gender and the environment to look at how issues of gender and justice mediate human-environmental relations.
    POLSC506International Relations and Global Security19B (Hamilton)
    This paper teaches and utilises major international relations theories to consider pressing global issues. This includes the causes of war and peace, globalisation, the Cold War, the widening security agenda, terrorism, the environment, inequality, new technologies, and international institutions.
    POLSC537Environmental Politics and Public Policy19A (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to the complexities and challenges of environmental policy processes, and develops skills in scholarly research on environmental policy making. A significant focus of the paper is on analysing and understanding the complex intersections of institutions, culture, science and technology, and systems of ...
    POLSC590Directed Study19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
    Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
    POLSC591Dissertation19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    POLSC592Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    POLSC593Political Science Thesis19C (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    POLSC594Political Science Thesis19C (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
  • 800 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    POLS800Political Science MPhil Thesis19C (Hamilton)
    No description available.
  • 900 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    POLS900Political Science PhD Thesis19C (Hamilton)
    No description available.

2019 Catalogue of Papers information current as of : 15 November 2018 2:19pm

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