The MGA courses
Academic Year 2022-2023
First year courses are required core courses. They cannot be substituted for any other courses. MGA students in year one take seven (3.5 FCEs) required core courses plus one of three core electives and one elective chosen from a list.
Required courses are open only to MGA students. Students from other departments will not be admitted.
Fall Required Courses
GLA1011H - Global Innovation Policy
This course provides an introduction to cross-national study of the role of the state in industrial development, innovation, and business-government relations. The emphasis is on providing a broad base of the competing theoretical perspectives with particular attention to the different ways in which state and markets interact in rapid-innovation-based industries. Special consideration is given to the role of Science and Technology Industrial Policies, Innovation, and Economic Development. Centering our attention on politics the seminar examines the nature and extent of government in business and business in government.
GLA1014H - Global Development
This course introduces the key challenges that shape development policy at the international level. The course comprises three main components: first, an introduction to the main approaches to international development, covering economic (growth), political (governance) and social (civil society) perspectives; second, an overview of the primary international actors shaping development policy and outcomes, with a focus on the management and impact of foreign aid; and, third, detailed discussion of selected key issues, likely including economic liberalization, resource rents, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction, social development and participatory development. By the end of the course students will have a detailed knowledge of the most important contemporary debates in the field along with the analytical tools to engage with a broader range of development issues in practical work.
GLA1010H - Microeconomics for Global Affairs
The aim of this course is to introduce you to basic concepts in microeconomics, which will allow you to think systematically about economic issues. This course won’t turn you into an economist, but it will allow you to understand economic phenomenon from a microeconomic perspective, using a conceptually sound, empirically driven approach. This foundational course in microeconomics will give you the basis on which to make evidence-based policy decisions by understanding how economic incentives work.
*An intermediate section is available for students who have an advanced background in economics.
GLA1003H - Global Security
Analyses the global security architecture, grand strategy, and contemporary and emerging security challenges. Topics may include the evolution of contemporary national security doctrines, the implications of shifting loci of power for global security, the role and limits of multilateral security arrangements, the role of intelligence and intelligence failure, and threat assessments of emerging or ongoing security problems such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and insurgency.
GLA1016H - Human Rights and Global Justice
This course focuses on challenges and opportunities on issues of justice, including attention to how claims to justice are made and how justice systems operate. Course materials will focus on attention to everyday and social movement demands for justice, the relationship between justice and inequality, calls for the reform of justice organizations, and the ways in which these challenges are addressed domestically, internationally, and in different parts of the world. The course will offer a survey of these issues with a focus on different substantive topics, that may include human rights and civil rights, current pressures on justice systems, substantive concerns such as violence, international migration, corruption and illicit trades, and issues of systemic bias. At the core of each of these topics is a focus on justice systems in action, including ideals of justice and the capacity to deliver on these ideals, rather than a primary emphasis on doctrinal legal rules, and the ways in which states, non-state actors, and international organizations address justice system challenges. Given that these are both domestic and international issues, this course provides students with a lens on how justice questions provide insight into the future of democratic societies, as well as the changing world order.
GLA2034H - Decision Making and Strategic Thinking in the Global System
This core elective introduces students to scholarship on the psychology of decision making and the analytics of strategic thinking. Drawing from the literature on public policy making, behavioral economics, and strategic analysis, the seminar will develop the analytical tools and the practical leadership skills students need to navigate the intersection among the global economy, global institutions, and global civil society. Students are required to analyze and craft strategies to address global public policy problems in the context of the three sectors.
Winter/Spring Required Courses
GLA1001H - Macroeconomics: Markets, Institutions, and Growth
Introduction to the key concepts of international trade and international finance, with attention to contemporary issues and policy. Empirically assesses alternative trade theories, and examines international commercial policy, international finance and macroeconomics, as well as their relationship to broader global issues. The course is designed to utilize understanding of international trade and international finance to help students think through real world events and design policy responses. The supplementary readings thus deal with key world issues in order to illustrate the more abstract material and to engage with global economic policy challenges.
GLA1012H - Statistics for Global Affairs
This course introduces quantitative methods to conduct research for policy purposes. The course introduces statistical concepts with a focus on applications that go from descriptive and inferential statistics to regression analysis and explores research design, case studies in the context of observational and experimental studies. Students will come away with a good grasp of the concepts such as correlation, causation, randomization and the use of data to evaluate policy choices and outcomes.
GLA2027H - Ethics and Global Affairs
Examination of ethics and moral reasoning applied to the study of global affairs. Current debates in moral philosophy and how they help us to better understand contemporary controversies in global affairs. Examination of a number of current policy debates, such as issues of justice in social and environmental policy, the use of military intervention in international affairs, and the accommodations of religious and ethnic differences in liberal democracies.
GLA2029H - The Sustainability Imperative: Implications for Global Affairs and Public Policy
Sustainability issues are urgent, pervasive and have significant policy implications at local and global levels. This course will begin with an introduction to recent thinking about sustainability challenges and then investigate the linkages to public policy and to global affairs. These linkages will be explored in terms of the four Areas of Focus of the Munk School: The Digital World, The Political Economy of Innovation, The Changing World Order, and The Future of Democratic Societies. Guest lectures from Munk faculty working on sustainability issues in each of these four areas will be provided. Students will identify a specific sustainability issue or problem within one of these areas, identifies the key sustainability aspects, and propose specific approaches to addressing or resolving that issue or problem.
*This schedule is tentative and subject to change. Course offerings and descriptions may change each year.
Choice of 5 (2.5 FCE) elective courses plus the required courses GLA2111H Research Methods for Global Affairs and GLA2000H Capstone Seminar.
MGA students have priority in these courses. Limited space available to non-MGA students in select courses only.
Equipped with core competencies—both theoretical and practical—in the global architecture, MGA students are required to specialize in one of the program’s emphases. To do so, they must complete at least 1.5 FCEs in that emphasis (see details on the SGS Calendar). Students may double count 0.50 FCE (one elective) for more than one emphasis or use it to count towards any collaborative specialization they are enrolled in. Emphasis specializations will be listed on the student’s transcript upon completion of the program.
MGA’s Policy on Non-Departmental Enrollment in Elective Courses (updated August 5, 2022)
Non-departmental students may request to enroll in any MGA elective unless it is specified that it is open to MGA students only. Students in the MPP, CERES MA, CESA programs have priority access to MGA elective courses. Students from these programs may request enrollment starting September 1, 2022. All other students may request enrollment beginning September 6, 2022.
Students who are interested in enrolling an MGA elective may submit an SGS Add Drop Course Form listing the courses they would like to enroll in to the MGA Program Office via email to email@example.com. Students will be sent a confirmation e-mail if their enrollment is successful. Please note that MGA courses will run from September 12, 2022 – December 2, 2022 for the fall term, and January 16, 2023 – April 14, 2023 for the winter. In both cases, some assignments and exams may require students to be physically present on campus for the subsequent weeks.
Please contact the MGA Program Office if you have any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall Required Courses
GLA2111H - Research Methods for Global Affairs
In this course students will learn the basics of research and project design. Students will learn how to conduct a literature review, construct a research questions and hypotheses, conduct case study analysis from both primary and secondary data. As the course is a gateway to working on client projects in the second semester, students will learn how to work with clients, how to work in teams, presentation skills, memo and report writing.
Winter/Spring Required Courses
GLA2000H - Capstone Seminar
The Capstone course will rely on clients –representing the private sector, an international organization, a non-governmental organization, or government — and students will work in teams to tackle a current issue confronting these clients and their organizations. Students will learn to analyze these problems across dimensions of global economy and markets, global institutions, and global civil society. Throughout the course, students will engage in activities designed to assist global problem-solvers, while also looking for opportunities to defend and advance their clients’ organizational interests.
For more information on the Capstone and to view past clients click here.
*Please note: Information on the Capstone projects to be released later this year. Students will have the opportunity to indicate their preferences from among a selection of projects. Capstone does not count towards MGA emphasis specializations.
LAW6026H - Law, Institutions and Development
This seminar will examine the role of law and institutions in promoting development in less developed countries. The topics that will be addressed include: competing conceptions of development: economic, political and social; theories of economic growth; the New Institutional Economics; democracy and development; public administration and development; competing theories of the role of law in development; ethnic diversity; corruption; land and property rights reform; infrastructure and development; state-owned enterprises: privatization and reform; foreign investment and trade policy; and the role of foreign aid and international institutions in development.
GLA2036H - Bilateral Diplomacy: Canada-Japan and US-Japan Relations
How do governments conduct bilateral diplomacy? We will explore this topic by examining the real-world diplomacy of Canada and the United States vis-a-vis Japan. We will review the academic literature on foreign policy making and the specific context of these bilateral relationships. We will then engage directly with practitioners at the forefront of foreign policy making in Canada, Japan, and the United States, exploring contemporary policy challenges and how the respective governments seek to resolve them. Students will work on collaborative group projects designed in consultation with practitioners to provide value to immediate policy making priorities. Students may need to be available outside of the designated class time occasionally for online meetings with counterparts abroad.
GLA2060H - Topics in Development I: Conflicts and Socioeconomic Development: Causes, Consequences and Responses
The goal of this course is to introduce you to current debates and issues related to civil wars and political violence and their linkages with socioeconomic development. The course will draw on a combination of theory and empirics, using detailed country specific and cross-country empirical evidence to critically understand the emergence of conflict and its consequences primarily, but not exclusively, from the perspective of economists and economic research. The course is divided into three parts. The first part will cover core debates on conflict, primarily from the perspective of economists. We will begin by understanding how conflict and violence are conceptualized and measured, and then turn attention to the causes and consequences of conflict. We will look carefully at the causes and triggers of conflict and at the consequences of conflict for people’s lives, focusing on education, health, and labour outcomes, and on social capital and political participation, at both the macro- and micro-levels. We will also focus on responses to violence and conflict, looking at how individuals cope with conflict. During the second part of the course we will explore several topics related to conflict and violence and in particular we will look into (i) how violence and conflict affect institutions at the local level; (ii) gender-based violence and women empowerment in post-conflict settings; (iii) urban violence; (iv) the war on drugs, and (v) characteristics, roots and organization of terrorism. This second part of the course will consist of student-lead classes, in which you (with my guidance) will be the main actors in explaining and exploring these topical and contemporary issues. Finally, the last part of the course will focus on the research methods applied by economists and other disciplines to investigate conflict, on how to assess the quality and implications of conflict research and on how to run research in conflict-affected areas.
GLA2050H (TRN409N) - Selected Topics in International Studies: Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy Since the End of the Cold War
This course covers changes to Canada’s defence policy and military posture since the late 1980s. Early sessions will address Canada’s Cold War stance, the Mulroney government’s response to the winding down of East-West hostilities, and Canadian involvement in the First Gulf War. Subsequent classes will discuss the impact of the defence spending reductions of the 1990s, the Chretien government’s 1994 Defence White Paper, and the debate over the role of the Canadian military and the military instrument more broadly, in the post-Cold War international environment.
*Please note this course is capped at 5 MGA students. This is a joint course with Trinity College IR undergraduate program. It is only open to MGA students.
GLA2067H - Topics in Justice II: Illicit Trade in Drugs
This courses focuses on the illicit trade in legal and illegal drugs (e.g. opioids, cannabis, tobacco). After an overview of key characteristics, trends, factors, and impacts of illicit trade worldwide, students will learn methods to research illicit trade and estimate the size of illicit markets, and explore challenges associated with illicit trade data overall. Following this introduction, the course will assess to what extent illicit markets are inherently violent, and explore the links between illicit trade and terrorism. Case studies will include the impact of legalization/regulation on the illicit cannabis trade, the complicity of the tobacco industry in the illicit tobacco trade, and the opioid crisis in the U.S. and Canada. Finally, the course will tackle policy options against the illicit trade, in particular the international drug control regime and the WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, as well as their implementations at country-level.
GLA2062H - Topics in Development III: Public-Private Solutions to Global Inequality
In recent decades, inequality has emerged as a global concern and one of the defining issues of our time. This course explores the ways government, international financial and multilateral organizations, private sector and social sector leaders are shaping the future of economic inclusion.
A key objective of this course is to identify and develop opportunities for intersectoral collaboration. Students will be outlining strategies, policies and actions that different sectors can take to move their communities and economies towards equity and prosperity.
The course practicum is designed to follow the Built For All framework, developed by the Center for Inclusive Growth. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to work on a group-based “pitch” to an active board member of the Mastercard Impact Fund.
GLA2081H - Topics in Innovation II: Technology Policy
Technological advances in field such as digitization, genetics, or biotechnology that took place over the past thirty years have opened enormous opportunities for companies and society as a whole. However, these benefits are not free of cost. Automation and artificial intelligence promise higher productivity but this may come at the expense of job losses, lower wages, and changes to the nature of work itself. The uncertainty inherent to these changes presents a great challenge for policy makers, business leaders, and workers. This course will discuss some of these challenges and explore ways how policy makers could address them.
GLA2011H (LAW262H) - Citizenship and Globalization
Who belongs to a political community, and according to what criteria? This course will explore questions of citizenship and belonging that have become hot-button political issues in recent years in Canada, the United States, across Europe, and increasingly, in other parts of the world. We will survey key debates and topics such as admission requirements, steps to naturalization, the rights of non-members, civic integration tests, identity-based claims for exemption and accommodation, cultural diversity, barriers to full membership, citizenship and global inequality, dual nationality, the commodification of citizenship, and the surge of populist nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment. We will place these developments in a broader theoretical, comparative, and international context. Emphasis will also be given to the impact of globalization on new regimes of migration control, the political economy of refugee responsibility sharing arrangements, the rise of supranational and non-territorial conceptions of membership, and the future of borders in a post-pandemic world.
MUI2030H - Planning for Jobs: Labour Market Transformations and Employment in 21st Century Cities
The course will start with an overview of recent writings that look at transformative forces related to international trade, corporate restructuring, new skill demands and the implications for labour market performance. It examines how these forces are experienced differently across industries and across socio-economic groups, as well as some of the institutional factors that help to explain widening wage and income disparities in Canada and the U.S. The second half of the course focuses on some of the policy and planning implications of these transformative forces and specifically the role that local practitioners and policy makers can play in addressing sources of socio-economic disparity. Four areas of policy will be considered, including: efforts to link competitiveness-enhancing retraining and industrial/sectoral upgrading initiatives; the creation of innovative new partnerships between employers and labor market intermediaries, such as staffing agencies, labor unions and non-profits; strategies that connect smart-growth and social equity goals; and finally, new forms of labor and community organizing designed to improve workplace justice (e.g., community benefits and living wage movements).
LAW7030H - Aboriginal Law and Policy
This seminar will deal with selected issues in Aboriginal law and policy. It is intended to bring together law students and students of public policy, and to broaden the perspective of both potential lawyers and policy makers. The topics will include:
- The Policy and Law Continuum/Current Conditions
- The Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius
- First Contact, First Treaties
- The Indian Act, Numbered Treaties and Residential Schools
- White Paper, Red Paper, Calder and Patriation
- Duty to Consult and Aboriginal Title
- Modern Treaties
- Child Welfare
- Identity, Membership and Status
- Métis and Mixed Ancestry Aboriginal Peoples
- Decolonizing Wealth
- Paths to Reconciliation
GLA2015H - The Political Economy of the Welfare State
This class explores how communities can design effective and equitable social policies. The course opens by addressing several common misconceptions about the welfare state, including the connection between economic competition and social protection, the relationship between social spending and inequality, and the role of the state. The second part of the course examines the politics of reform in three broad areas: Old people (pensions and health care), young people (housing and labor markets), and identity (gender and immigration). The course concludes by exploring new approaches to social protection, including non-state alternatives. By the end of the course, students should be able to develop a politically feasible, economically competitive strategy to reform social policy in a community of interest.
GLA2056H - The Populist Radical Right
A comparative examination of the emergence and upsurge of populist radical right parties in contemporary Europe. The course will begin with historical context, definitions and typologies, before exploring topics including ideology and issues; leaders, members and voters; political parties, organizations and subcultures; transnational influences and networking; patterns of response by mainstream parties and radical right parties in public office. This course will analyze several country cases in detail, including France, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, Finland and Estonia. A basic knowledge of recent European history and comparative politics is required.
*Please note this course has 10 spots for MGA students and 10 spots for CERES students.
ASI4900H - Special Topics: Politics of China and Emerging Democracies in Asia
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the underlying forces driving the political landscape in China and other Asian countries. We begin with the question why China has defied the modernization theory with the persistence of authoritarian regime. What are the nature of political institutions and state-society relations that explain this persistent outcome in China? We then examine the polities of South Korea, Taiwan and emerging Asian democracies to study the underlying patterns of state and societal forces that led to regime changes. This course seeks to understand the similarities and explain the differences of the hodgepodge of autocratic and democratic regimes in Asia, and ask “why” and “why not”. Students should be prepared to read course materials and engage in class discussion.
GLA2065H - Topics in Security III: Citizen Lab Intensive Seminar
This course is an intensive examination of the evolving terrain of global digital‐electronic‐telecommunications through the lens of the research of the Citizen Lab (https://citizenlab.ca/). After setting the stage with some general readings on background and context, we turn to several modules organized as detailed examinations of the Citizen Lab’s mixed methods research on information controls, including analyzing Internet censorship and surveillance, investigating targeted digital espionage, uncovering privacy and security risks of mobile applications, security and privacy issues around COVID19, and the role of the private sector in information controls. We conclude with an exploration of threat modeling and how each of you can improve your own digital hygiene.
GLA2080H - Topics in Innovation I: Where Great Ideas Come From: the Evolving Geography of Startups and Innovation
Think startups and you’ll most likely think of San Francisco and its neighbouring Silicon Valley. For decades it has been the world’s focal point for startups, venture capital and global tech firms. However smart people are everywhere, and thanks to the confluence of ubiquitous Internet access and a ravenous investor demand for returns, those smart people now have the opportunity to build and grow the types of startups once thought reserved for the Valley and its imitators. This course explores this evolving geography of where globally competitive startups are emerging, digs into what’s behind their emergence, and questions what it means for us and them.
ERE1175H - One Hundred Years of Cultures of Refugees in Europe, 1920-2020
The twentieth century has sometimes been referred to as a “century of Refugees”. Today, there are over seventy million refugees in the world. As a result of World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, the Syrian civil war, the Russian War on Ukraine and many other turbulences of the past hundred years, refugees become an important part of European culture. This course will examine works of literature, music, theatrical plays and journalistic writing produced by European refugees. The goal of the course is to discuss how refugees made sense of their experience during the past hundred years.
ERE1170H - Conflicts and Para-States in the European Union’s Backyard
This course examines conflicts and para-states in the European Union’s (EU) backyard. As EU enlargement continues, the European Commission has confirmed that it will be importing any bilateral conflicts into the Union. Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are already candidates to join the EU. Bosnia and Kosovo are potential candidates. Despite more than twenty years since the wars ended, a plethora of regional disputes and domestic shortcoming plague the Europeanization project. The first six classes examine bilateral and domestic challenges in the potential EU member states of the so-called Western Balkans. The starting point of the Balkans module is the origins of the wars and the peace treaties that followed. The second module examines para-states in countries that are under the umbrella of the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership. It examines the origins of largely separatist wars, the role of the EU, Russia and the United States and the paths to something more than the ceasefires that are now in place. The course emphasizes intensive reading along with feature films and documentaries. Students will be expected to completely familiar with the historical and contemporary contexts along with the peace treaties that shape the region
ERE1998H - Memory Politics in Contemporary Europe
This course examines the ways in which contemporary European societies have confronted – and, equally, repressed – memories of the past, including histories of war, genocide, dictatorship, and imperialism. The future of liberal democracy and the return of authoritarianism; boundaries of citizenship and political legitimacy; the definition of national and European identities; these and many other questions have all been refracted though competing claims to the legacies of the past. Students will develop methodological and theoretical perspectives on memory politics and explore “sites” ranging from museums and monuments to legislation and educational curricula, from across the continent.
LAW7094Y - Public International Law
How can South Africa withdraw from the International Criminal Court? Is the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples binding on Canada under international law? Can Zara Kazemi’s son sue Iran in a Canadian court for her torture and death in an Iranian prison? Would the Maldives remain a state if its territory were submerged by rising sea levels? Can foreign investors collect on debts incurred by a grossly undemocratic regime after that state changes to a democracy? Can The Gambia take Myanmar to the International Court of Justice to enforce the right of the Rohinga in Myanmar to be protected from genocide? Can the Canadian government use provisions of the Income Tax Act to displace tax benefits contemplated by an international treaty?
This course introduces the basic concepts and building blocks of public international law needed to tackle such diverse questions. Among the subjects covered are the main theoretical debates about public international law; the law formation processes (especially treaties, custom and “soft law”); the relationship between international and domestic law; the concept of international legal personality (the concept of the sovereign state; the evolving role of other international actors, such as international organizations, individuals, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and Indigenous peoples); questions of jurisdiction over territory and persons; state and diplomatic immunities; the rules of state responsibility for wrongful acts; and the protection of individuals.
As the questions above illustrate, lawyers may encounter public international law issues in domestic practice or policy work as well as in a career specializing in international law. This is a foundation course intended to provide students with the legal skills and knowledge needed for the sorts of issues that may arise domestically and also for the study of specialized areas of international law.
PPG2017H - Urban Policy
The goal of this experiential, intensive (6-week) course is to challenge students to view public policy through an urban lens. The course explores the complex relationship between cities and public policy — revealing how policy shapes cities, and cities shape policy — and how various levels of government and non-governmental organizations participate in urban governance. To inspire students to pursue policy careers focused on cities, the course is organized around field trips hosted by Munk alumni across the Greater Toronto region.
MUI2055H - Cities, Industries, and the Environment
This reading seminar is devoted to the study of the environmental impacts of (mostly urban) industrialization and to past, current and potentially new ways of analyzing and addressing them. The topics discussed range from the history of deforestation and the creation of recycling linkages between firms to the role of institutions in promoting innovative behavior and the impact of geographical distance on the sustainability of industrial practices. Unlike many seminars discussing the relationship between economic growth and the environment, the perspective favored in “Cities, Industry and the Environment” will be generally optimistic.
GLA2035H - International Legal Challenges
This course introduces students to public international law and its relationship with global affairs and public policy. The course will present foundational information such as the history and sources of international law, international legal personality and key actors in international law, questions of jurisdiction, the relationship between international and domestic law, and the settlement of international legal disputes. It will then consider key topics in international law such as the protection of human rights and the environment, the laws of war, international criminal law, and economic and trade law, considering both the content of the law and its application in selected case studies. This course will draw on a range of views about the nature, impacts, limits, legitimacy, and future of international law, and illuminate the ways that international law shapes and is shaped by politics and power. Students will consider both dominant/”mainstream” voices and ideas in the field, and insights and critiques of those who have often been at its margins, including Indigenous and feminist perspectives.
GLA2888H/GLA2887H - MGA Research Paper/Final Research and Analysis
This course provides MGA students with the opportunity to research and write an independent research paper on a selected topic or problem in global affairs. The course will be delivered through regularly scheduled workshops and class sessions. Students who wish to pursue this research paper course must obtain prior approval of the MGA Director or designate, and a faculty member must be available and willing to supervise the research and paper.
*This course is open to MGA students only.
Emphases: Depends on research paper topic. Students must submit a copy of their research paper proposal to the MGA Director to have it assessed for an emphasis.
(GLA2887H) The course supports students in the dual degree programs (MPP/MGA, MIA/MGA, MPA/MGA) to develop their research question and arguments, review relevant research, choose an appropriate methodology for analysis, and present first empirical findings in preparation for their respective final papers.
GLA2091H - Topics in Global Affairs II: Chinese Politics Beyond the Headlines
This course covers a range of topics in contemporary Chinese politics and society. It challenges students to probe beyond the news headlines to understand the politics of a major authoritarian power. No prior knowledge of China required.
GLA2093H - Topics in Global Affairs IV: Seeing Taiwan
This course uses Taiwan as a site to examine some of the most pressing contemporary and historical issues. They include state-building, environmental politics, colonialism and empire, the politics of memory, innovation and urbanism, as well as visual culture. In so doing, students do not only acquire a body of knowledge about Taiwan and its dynamic global connections; they also develop interdisciplinary skills to improve their understanding of major global issues.
GLA2050H - Selected Topics in International Studies: War and its Theorists
This course examines the emergence and impact on the international system of nuclear weapons. We will discuss the decisions by various states to acquire or develop nuclear weapons (or not); the evolution of nuclear strategy; and the development of nuclear arms control and disarmament and nonproliferation as central concerns in world politics. We will also examine the dynamics of key nuclear crises such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Students will be exposed to primary documents and the relevant scholarly literature, and by the end of the course should be able to discuss nuclear issues in their broader context.
*Please note this course is capped at 5 MGA students.
GLA2018H - Innovation and the City
One of the ironies of globalization is that the forces that were supposed to make distance less relevant have concentrated innovative activity within regions. As a result, some of the most important policy and business decisions are made locally. This course explores how municipal actors can navigate the opportunities, and challenges, associated with globalization. After explaining why innovation is concentrated in cities, the course debates why some cities are more innovative than others. To this end, the course discusses the role of size, government policy, human capital, social capital, branding and other issues. Two additional questions frame the analysis. How can municipal actors, who lack the fiscal resources and regulatory tools of a nation-state, promote innovation? And if innovative activity is concentrated in a handful of large cities, what options are available to smaller communities? By the end of the course, students are expected to develop a strategy to promote innovation in Toronto (or another community).
JSE1708H - Sustainability and the Western Mind
This course will examine how attitudes towards human nature and non-human nature have changed over the period from Mesolithic times until the present in Western society. By reading and discussing historical arguments and contemporary documents we will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions about the world that were characteristic of different periods in the history of Western culture. The underlying question is whether contemporary concerns about sustainability require fundamental changes in the way we conceive of ourselves and our environment.
GLA2066H - Topics in Justice I: Comparative Migration Law and Policy
From legal battles over the US-Mexico border, to heated debates about the citizenship oath in Canada, to the “refugee crisis” in Europe and the rise of populist nationalism, questions about immigration have been high on the agenda. Moving beyond the traditional country-specific lens, this course explores key developments in migration law and policy from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. We will discuss the main types and categories of migration, the growing influence of bilateral and multilateral instruments in regulating mobility, changing conceptions of the border, emerging patterns of policy diffusion and interjurisdictional learning, and the turn to AI in immigration decision making. We will also explore the dynamic relationships between countries of origin, transit, and destination, evaluate different modes of citizenship acquisition, contrast competing logics and processes of naturalization, and examine political anxieties surrounding questions of membership and belonging.
ASI4900HS - Comparative Regional Studies of China’s Belt and Road Initiative
This course considers how China’s enormous Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has generated cultural, political, social, and economic transformations across Asian and Eurasian contexts. The course is open to senior undergraduate and early graduate students, and it will be include students from three institutes participating in The Belt and Road in Global Perspective project: i) Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, and the Asian Institute, both at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto; ii) the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; and iii) Political Science and International Relations Department, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan).
ASI4140H - The Public Event in Asia
This seminar will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of popular culture in Asia through a focus on public events. Readings about all kinds of performances, including ritual, popular protest, festivals, sports, cinema, television, digital media events, and the performing arts will help students learn methodological tools to interpret the politics and meanings of public culture as it articulates with class, ethnicity, religious community, gender and caste. The course will furthermore familiarize students with a range of theoretical lenses for conceptualizing the different meanings of the “event” and the “public” from a perspective grounded in the histories of South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and their diasporas.
PPG2012H - Social Movements & Contentious Politics
This course examines contentious politics—protests, social movements, and state repression. It explores questions such as why people protest, how they organize, and the outcomes of contention. The course challenges students to examine popular contention across a range of states in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.
GLA2024H - Intelligence and Cybersecurity in Global Politics
Information technology is ubiquitous. It powers the global economy, improves government administration, enhances military power, and connects modern civil society. For the same reasons, technology creates new opportunities to leverage these same networks for espionage, subversion, and disruption. While the technology is new, practices of deception and counterintelligence are very old. This course examines the problems of cybersecurity through the lens of intelligence. Students will be introduced to enduring concepts from the world of intelligence and learn to apply them through a series of case studies of modern cyber conflict.
GLA2061H - Topics in Development II: Global Development Education Policy Workshop
Global Development Education Policy Workshop introduces students to the relevance of education in the context of international development. The learning goals are two-fold. First, students will gain a critical understanding of actors and factors that shape the global architecture of education by closely examining trends in education reforms, the role of aid agencies, and the politics of policy-making. Second, students will deepen their understanding of issues in education, ranging from early childhood development to higher education. Students will also understand the complexity of educational policies that focus on teachers, gender equality, quality of learning, and education in conflict and crisis contexts. This course is highly interactive; students are expected to engage in group discussions and work collaboratively in small groups. Students will conduct a country case study by focusing on a particular education reform and will present their findings at the end of the course.
GLA2064H - Topics in Security II: Researching Terrorism
Focuses on key opportunities and challenges in researching terrorism and terrorism financing. After an analysis of the practice of terrorism research and some of the main pitfalls associated with it, students learn how to access information about terrorism, approach the issue of terrorism financing, build and use databases of terrorist attacks, evaluate counterterrorism policies, and write about terrorism and counterterrorism. These skills are essential for relevant careers in think tanks, academia, government, the media, NGOs, IGOs, and the private sector.
GLA2041H - New Data Tools and their Applications for Global Affairs
The growth of the digital economy and society means that traditional data used by policy makers and analysts may not adequately measure global economic, trade, or development activity. At the same time, the widespread use of the Internet and the pandemic have unleashed a new set of real-time tools to monitor and anticipate political, economic, social, and health outcomes and geopolitical events around the world. Governments and international agencies are experimenting with a range of new tools and data to inform policy and analysis, from monitoring restaurant bookings to analyzing social media to using geospatial data.
This course will highlight some of these new tools, and consider how they are or could be used for global affairs analysis and public policy applications, including improving foreign policy, international security, international development, humanitarian aid, or economic policy decisions. The course may consider applications such as collecting reliable data in restricted information environments such as China, remote monitoring during crises like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and a range of new approaches used to monitor responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Students will also consider measurement challenges and biases in both these newer tools and traditional approaches. The emphasis will not be on data techniques and analysis but on assessing and examining the opportunities and challenges raised by these tools and the digital economy.
PHM1139H - Diagnosing Corruption in the Health Sector and Anti-Corruption Policies and Tools
This graduate course will introduce interested and curious students to the core concepts associated with corruption generally and corruption and the health sector specifically, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical sector. We will start the seminar with a broad discussion about corruption, what it is, how to define it and examine how it is measured. We will then examine how international organizations are dealing with corruption in their development projects and currently during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course will then move on to specific modules dealing with core topics related to corruption and the health sector. The course will consist of lectures, class discussions and group work through case studies. Research papers and presentations will provide students with the opportunity to probe an issue of interest.
GLA2096H - Topics in Global Affairs V: Putting Policy Into Action: How the Sausage Gets Made
The first four weeks will focus on the basics of policymaking, particularly from the perspective of the public service. How do governments set and prioritize their agenda? What is the process of interaction between political officials, including ministers, and the public service? How do stakeholders – interest groups and citizens alike – engage in the process? How do public servants choose and design delivery methods to turn policy proposals into initiatives. What can go wrong and how can one best avoid this? How are results assessed? And how does one communicate all of the above appropriately and effectively, including in the era of social media and the 24/7 news cycle.
Specific examples will be cited throughout. Students also will do a Briefing Note assignment individually on a topical issue, based on a template common in government for the briefing of senior officials and ministers.
The second four weeks will apply these learnings in the context of Canada-Europe and internal European affairs. The first two classes will involve discussion of applicable case studies. The second two classes will involve presentation of Minister’s Briefing decks on assigned Canada-Europe or European affairs topics to a guest “Minister,” mimicking what its like inside government. Students will work in teams of four, applying a template common in government.
Students will be assessed on a marking rubric of: 40 per cent for the briefing note assignment, 40 per cent for the minister’s briefing assignment and 20 per cent for class participation.
GLA2071H - Topics in Markets III: Environmental Economics
Environmental concerns have become increasingly prominent as a matter for public debate and policy. Sustainable development, pollution, climate change and the exploitation of renewable and non-renewable resources are fundamentally resource allocation problems on which economics has much to say. This unit will address these real-world environmental problems by building on microeconomic theory and quantitative methods from previous units. We will use these tools to examine how economic choices and activity affect the natural environment. We will also be looking at methods of environmental valuation and at policy instruments designed to improve (or slow down the degradation of) the environment.
PPG2014H - Topics in Public Policy Digital Governance and Policy
Digital government is now a worldwide phenomenon and raises important questions about how government works, and how policy gets made, in an increasingly digital world. This course looks at digital government experiences and movements within the context of Ontario, Canada, North America, and globally. It will canvass foundational concepts linked to digital government practice with a focus on critically assessing how governments are attempting to organize and operate in digital ways. It features an applied policy-making emphasis with students exploring how policy is designed and delivered using digital ways of working. Students will engage with case studies, academic articles, and applied exercises to develop new skills and familiarity with digital government practices including user centered design and agile methods.
GLA2082H - Topics in Innovation III: Governing Transformative Innovation
This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to examining how society responds to technological change. Themes include innovation and industrial policy, finance, skills development and just transitions with a focus on energy, agriculture, health, transportation and infrastructure. Over the course of the term, students will use the knowledge gained from readings and class discussions to compile a professional policy brief that compares alternatives and offers advice to a public, private or non-profit entity of the student’s choosing. Successful students will be well-positioned for careers as consultants and advisors in the innovation domain.
Recommended text: Phillips, Peter. (2007). Governing transformative technological innovation: who’s in charge? Edward Elgar.
PPG2016H - Comparative Urban Governance
This multidisciplinary graduate course jointly offered by the School of Cities and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy compares how cities and city-regions around the world organize themselves to deal with urban policy problems. The goal of the course is to highlight how different governance structures across North America, Western Europe, and other global regions shape policy making in cities, and the diversity of policy responses required by national, subnational, and local governments to address the toughest urban challenges. The course is co-taught by Prof. Gabriel Eidelman, Director of the Munk School’s Urban Policy Lab, and Don Iveson, former Mayor of Edmonton (2013-2021) and Chair of Canada’s Big City Mayors Caucus, and current Canadian Urban Leader at the School of Cities.