PLS300 - Political Ideologies

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Nov 24, 2020 11:51:27 AM
Last review date Dec 7, 2020 12:15:00 AM

Subject Title
Political Ideologies

Subject Description
This semester course introduces the student to the study of the major systems of thought (ideologies) which have accompanied the evolution of capitalist society. In particular, we will analyze the struggles between conservatism and liberalism in the early capitalist period and focus on the integral relationship between the competing systems of thought and the changing socioeconomic base of society which they purport to explain, justify, and/or criticize.

An attempt will be made to distinguish between progressive ideologies which are subject to modification in the light of historical changes, empirical investigation, experience, and the questioning of basic assumptions and these which are reactionary because they tend to be adhered to blindly. Some attempt will also be made to distinguish between ideology and science in the social sciences. It will be argued that it is possible and necessary to develop a scientific explanation of how capitalism organizes economic life because unlike earlier societies capitalism tends to operate according to objective market laws which are not immediately apparent but which may be discovered by investigation. An ideology which takes this knowledge into account is bound to be more progressive or open than one which eschews this knowledge.

We will also consider the modifications which these world views have undergone in the 20th century and as well we will examine the ideologies which have become influential in recent history such as fascism/nazism, feminism, various forms of nationalism and the ideology of the ecological movement.

Credit Status
One General Education elective credit in the Sciences and Social Sciences category.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Have an understanding of the major political ideologies of the modern period and will have a feel for how these ideologies worked themselves out in the West.

2. Have some idea of how the state and its functions evolved in the historical development of Europe and North America.

3. Have some idea of the socio, economic, and cultural contexts in which modern government and politics are conducted.

4. Have a superficial exposure to the political situation in the developing world.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.