Political Science (POLI) 390
Canadian Federalism (Revision 5)
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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online
Area of Study: Social Science
Prerequisite: An introductory political science course or one other course in Canadian government and politics is recommended.
POLI 390 has a Challenge for Credit option.
Detailed Syllabus (PDF)
The major concern of POLI 390 is the structure and operation of the Canadian federal system and the relations between Ottawa and the provinces.
Unit 1: Introduction
- Part 1.1: The Study of Federalism
- Part 1.2: Federal Systems around the World
Unit 2: The Origins of Canadian Federalism
- Part 2.1: Confederation
- Part 2.2: The Constitution and the Game of Politics
Unit 3: Regionalism and Province Building
Unit 4: The Drive for Self-Determination: Quebec Nationalism
Unit 5: The Drive for Self-Determination: Self-Government
Unit 6: Canada's Constitutional Odyssey: Patriation and After
Unit 7: The Courts and Judicial Review
Unit 8: Executive Federalism
- Part 8.1: Government by Conference
- Part 8.2: Evaluating Executive Federalism
Unit 9: Fiscal Federalism
- Part 9.1: Revenue Sharing/Tax Collection
- Part 9.2: Equalization
Unit 10: Federalism and the Welfare State
Unit 11: Federalism and Economic Policy
Unit 12: Whither Canadian Federalism?
To receive credit for POLI 390, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination and an overall course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). You must complete a quiz, three written assignments, and a supervised final exam. The following chart summarizes the types of credit activities, the credit weight associated with each activity, and the recommended place in the course for each activity.
The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Meekison, J. Peter, Hamish Telford, and Harvey Lazar. 2004. Canada: The State of the Federation 2002, Reconsidering the Institutions of Canadian Federalism. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Rocher, François, and Miriam Smith. 2003. New Trends in Canadian Federalism. 2nd ed. Peterborough: Broadview Press.
Stevenson, Garth. 2009. Unfulfilled Union: Canadian Federalism and National Unity. 5th ed. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
The course materials include a study guide, student manual and an assignment manual.
The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, and intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.
Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 5, May 20, 2010.
View previous syllabus
Updated January 17 2019 by Student & Academic Services