Featured Courses

Featured Fall Course:

POLI 345: Democratic Theory and Practice -- Taught by Dr. Michael MacKenzie. (Michael.MacKenzie@viu.ca). Monday and Wednesday, 1-2:30.

POLI 345

This course aims to provide students with an appreciation for the varieties of democratic thought, knowledge of the great debates in the field, and a sense of how democratic ideals have been approximated in institutional forms. It begins with explorations of central democratic concepts such as equality, freedom, inclusion, deliberation, participation, and representation. We then explore how democratic ideals have been (or might be) approximated in democratic institutions. In this section the focus will be on democratic innovations, or new ways of doing democracy. In the last part of the course, we will consider critiques of democracy and perversions of it, such as demagoguery. The course itself will be run as a democracy. The class will make collective decisions about which assignments they will do, how much each assignment should be worth, and all the other details of the assignments including length, due dates, and assessment criteria. We will use deliberation, representation, and various voting systems to make collective decisions. 

Testimonies from former students:

“Wow. Best class ever.”

“Dr. Mackenzie allowed us to vote on the structure of the course and the assignments. This was a wonderful display of trust in the students. It paid off very well, and the course was both engaging and educational. I thought much more deeply in this course than I have in others.”

“The main assignments for the course were drawn up and voted on by students, which lowered assignment-related stress and still allowed for an intellectually stimulating selection of coursework.”

This course is open to students in any field who are interested in democracy. All are welcome! Please contact the instructor about having the third-year standing prerequisite waived.