About Us

Message From the Chair

Don Ableson

At Western’s Department of Political Science, we convey to our students the power of ideas, the importance of wise public policy, and the necessity of methodological skill. Students are introduced to the great ideas and ideologies, the diverse political institutions in Canada and elsewhere, and the complexities of global politics. We offer courses in the main fields of political science -- political theory, international relations, Canadian politics, comparative politics, local government, and public administration – and we are increasingly a leader in research methodology. We aim to deepen students' understanding of (1) key ideas and values such as democracy, freedom, justice, and equality; and (2) central institutions and practices like the state, law, constitutions, elections, leadership, interest groups, public opinion, political conflict, war, and peace. And we enable students to focus on some of the crucial issues facing modern societies from the threats of climate change and nuclear war to the promise of global justice, human rights, and the welfare state.

Why study political science at Western? Three words: experience, skills, and employment. Western offers Canada’s best student experience in many categories, including work-play balance, research opportunities, campus atmosphere, student/faculty interaction, academic counseling, student residence, building and facilities, recreation and athletics, instructors’ teaching style, and quality of teaching. Our Department is especially well-known for student satisfaction and excellence in teaching. Our students engage with faculty members and benefit from some of the most highly-rated, award-winning teachers in the University.

But what skills will you develop? A Western political science graduate is someone who can read sympathetically but critically, gather data and do research independently, analyze complex arguments, and communicate conclusions effectively. These skills are needed in almost any profession you might pursue after graduation. But our faculty also aim to deepen and broaden your knowledge of ideas, methods, and institutions; to make you aware of the inherently controversial nature of politics; to critically understand and evaluate the central arguments in key texts and public debates; to communicate your ideas clearly; to listen respectfully to others; and to develop the confidence to establish your own voice.

Finally, studying political science at Western will help you to make the transition to the workforce. Several of our former undergraduate and graduate students hold positions in a wide range of fields in both the public and private sectors, at all three levels of government (local, provincial, and federal), as university professors, in the head offices of major multinational corporations and law firms, in the print and electronic media, and in some of the most innovative and influential companies and non-profits in the modern high-tech economy. Moreover, many of our undergraduate students go on to study law, business, or graduate studies in politics. In each case, we provide the skill set and foundation they require to achieve success.

As Chair of the Department of Political Science, I am proud to represent such a wide ranging and talented group of faculty researchers and teachers who, along with a highly-skilled and accommodating administrative team, continue to create a positive and supportive environment for our students. And each year I am impressed by the quality of our students and the accomplishments of our graduates. I hope you enjoy visiting our website. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any requests for further information.

Charles Jones
Chair, Department of Political Science