University of Western Ontario: Department of Political Science
POLITICAL SCIENCE 2211E
Business and Government
Mondays 3:30-6:30 p.m., KB 106
Dr. Adam Harmes
Office: 4155 Social Science Centre (Political Science Dept., 4th Floor)
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Mondays 1-2:30 p.m.
Course Description: This course reviews the relationship between business and government
emphasizing both the Canadian and global contexts. On the government side, the focus will be
primarily on the federal government while on the business side the focus will be primarily on the
large public companies (that is, those listed on the stock exchange). With this focus in mind, the
course examines historical and contemporary issues in business-government relations as well as
a variety of theories and concepts that are useful for understanding them.
Notice on Pre/Anti-requisites: Students are responsible for ensuring that they have successfully
completed all course prerequisites and that they have NOT taken an anti-requisite course. Lack
of prerequisites may not be used as a basis for appeal. If a student is found to be ineligible for a
course, they may be removed from it at any time and they will receive no adjustment to their
fees. This decision cannot be appealed. If a student finds that they do not have the course
requisites, they should drop the course well before the end of the add/drop period. This will not
only help their academic record but will also ensure that spaces are made available to other
Course Structure: The course meets weekly on Monday afternoons from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and
will consist of two hour lectures from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and one hour tutorials from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Required Readings: A course reading kit is available from the university book store and
additional readings are posted on the course website.
Debate 10% In scheduled tutorials
First Term Essay 25% Due 4 November
First Term Exam 20% Exam Period
Op-Ed Writing Assignment 20% Due 10 March
Final Exam 25% Exam Period
1 Tutorial Debates 10%
Each student will participate in one debate. Debates will take place from 5:30-6:30 pm during the
tutorial period after the lecture. The sign-up list for debate topics will be posted on the
instructor’s office door and students must sign-up for a topic no later than before class on the 24
of September. A list of debate topics and dates is available on the course website. When students
sign-up for a debate topic they must choose either the affirmative or negative position. If some
topics are under-subscribed, some students may be asked to choose other topics in order to
ensure four persons per team. Each team must provide a 3 page, typed, point-form summary of
their main arguments including a bibliography of no less than 10 sources. The debates will be
graded on the basis of an overall team mark worth 10% of the course. A debate instruction sheet
and grading guide is available on the course website. Students who miss their debates without
prior arrangement with the course instructor will be given a grade of zero. Tutorial attendance is
mandatory. Attendance will be taken at random with penalty marks being deducted from
individual debate grades.
First Term Essay 25%
One first term research essay is due on 4 November and should be 12-15 typed double-spaced
pages in length (longer papers will not be accepted). The purpose of the essay is to identify the
ideas and interests involved in the debate over a specific public policy issue and to argue in
favour of one side or the other. In doing so, students will: identify the key ideas and arguments
on each side of the debate and explain which theoretical approach they connect to (i.e. neoliberal
or Keynesian-welfare); identify the specific interest groups that support each side of the debate;
and, using detailed research, argue in favour of one side of the debate. The public policy issue for
the essay will be chosen by students based on a list at the end of this course outline. The essays
will be marked for research, argument, organization and writing style and should conform to the
format that will be discussed in detail in class. An essay grading guide is available on the course
website. Bibliographies must have at least 10 sources which conform to the standards outlined in
class. Essays are due at the beginning of class no later than 3:30 pm. Once the lecture begins, the
paper is late. Late essays will receive a late penalty of 15%. Late essays are then due the
following week at the start of class no later than 3:30. After that, the essay will not be accepted
and will receive a grade of zero. Extensions will only be granted for documented medical and
other emergencies in accordance with university policy (available at
https://studentservices.uwo.ca/ secure/index.cfm). All essays must also be submitted to
turnitin.com through the course website as outlined in class.
First Term Exam 20%
The first term exam will cover material from the lectures and readings and will include both
multiple choice and essay-style questions. It will be held on a date to be determined by the
Registrar during the December exam period. No electronic devices will be allowed.
Op-Ed Writing Piece 20%
One op-ed writing piece is due on 10 March and it should be between 700-800 words in length.
Students will write an op-ed on one of the debate topics other than the topic they did for their
debate. Op-ed pieces will be marked for research, organization and writing style and should
conform to the format that will be discussed in detail in class. An op-ed grading guide is
2 available on the course website. Op-eds are due at the beginning of class no later than 3:30 pm.
Once the lecture begins, the op-ed is late. Late op-eds will receive a late penalty of 15%. Late
op-eds are then due the following week at the start of class no later than 3:30. After that, the op-
ed will not be accepted and will receive a grade of zero. Extensions will only be granted for
documented medical and other emergencies in accordance with university policy (available at
https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/index.cfm). All op-eds must also be submitted to
turnitin.com through the course website as outlined in class.
Final Exam 25%
The final exam will cover material from the lectures and readings from the second term only and
will include both multiple choice and essay-style questions. It will be held on a date to be
determined by the Registrar during the April exam period. No electronic devices will be allowed.
Lecture Notes and PPT Slides
Lecture notes and PowerPoint slides will NOT be posted. If you miss class, you will need to get
the notes from other students.
Academic Offenses and Plagiarism:
Scholastic offenses are taken seriously and students are directed to read the university policy at:
As noted above, essays and op-ed writing assignments must be submitted both in hard copy and
electronically to the plagiarism checking website turnitin.com (available through the course
website and under license to the University). Please be advised that: All papers submitted for
such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of
detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject
to the licensing agreement, currently between the University of Western Ontario and
Sept. 9 Course Introduction and Essay Writing
This class will be used to introduce the general subject matter of the course and to outline the
course structure, readings and requirements. The class will also examine specific requirements
for the first term essay as well as various skills associated with the research and writing of
Sept. 16 The Science of Election Campaigns I
This class will include a video presentation to introduce the science of election campaigns prior
to the following lecture. Students should take notes on the video.
3 Sept. 23 The Science of Election Campaigns II
This class examines the strategy, tactics and techniques used in the fighting of modern election
campaigns including concepts such as ‘political triage’, ‘political marketing’ and the key
components of an election strategy including the ‘air war’ and ‘ground war’.
Thomas Flanagan. 2010 “Campaign Strategy: Triage and the Concentration of Resources” in H.
MacIvor (ed.) Election (Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications Ltd., 327 pages,
ISBN 978-1-55239-321-5), pp. 155-172.
Susan Delacourt and Alex Marland. 2009. “From Sales to Marketing: The Evolution of the Party
Pitch”. Policy Options. September 2009, pp. 46-51.
Tutorial: Discussion of Debate Requirements and Organization of Debating Teams
Sept. 30 The Canadian Political System
This class examines the Canadian and US political systems including key institutions such as the
executive, the legislature, the judiciary and political parties.
Donald Savoie. 1999. “The Rise of Court Government in Canada”. Canadian Journal of
Political Science. 32(4): 635-664.
Jonathan Malloy. 2006. “Is There a Democratic Deficit in Canadian Legislatures and
Executives?” in J. Grace and B. Sheldrick (eds.), Canadian Politics: Democracy and
Dissent (Toronto: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 392 pages, ISBN0-13-243372-9), pp. 61-84.
Tutorial: Debating Teams Planning Meeting
Oct. 7 The Liberal/Neoliberal Approach to Economic Policy
This class examines the key assumptions and arguments of the liberal/neoliberal approach to
Michael Howlett, Alex Netherton and M. Ramesh. The Political Economy of Canada: An
Introduction (2nd Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 384 pages, ISBN
0-19-541348-2) Chapter 2, “Liberal Political Economy” pp. 17-35.
Tutorial: Debate #1
Oct. 14 Thanksgiving Holiday - No Class
Oct. 21 The Keynesian-Welfare Approach to Economic Policy
This class examines the key assumptions and arguments of the Keynesian-welfare approach to
Richard Lipsey, Christopher Ragan and Paul Courant. Economics (9th Canadian Edition, 1997,
Addison-Wesley Publishers Ltd, 865 pages, ISBN 0-673-98358-7) Chapter 18, “The
Benefits and Costs of Government Intervention” pp. 381-402.
Tutorial: Debate #2
4 Oct. 28 The Politics of Economic Policy and the Canadian Market Structure
This class examines the politics of economic policy including the relationship between ideas and
interests and the political spectrum in Canada and the United States. It also examines the basic
structure of the Canadian market including business concentration, foreign ownership, the role of
natural resources and Canada’s economic r