The State and Economic Life

PSCI 428/631
Fall, 2015
RCH 206, Friday, 8:30am-11:20pm
Instructor: Dr. Carter
Email Address:
Office Location: Hagey Hall 311
Office Hours: Fridays 11:20-1:00pm, or by appointment
Contact Policy
Please contact me by e-mail or drop by during office hours.
Use only your UW email account and start your email subject headings with “PSCI 428” or
“PSCI 631.” Note that I aim to respond to emails within 24 hours during the week.
However, I do not check email on weekends and holidays (so, for example, expect that I
won’t respond to messages received on a Friday until Monday).
 I have created a LEARN site for this course that I will use primarily to share documents
and information with you and to input grades. Please adjust your LEARN notification
settings so that you are sent email or SMS notifications when I post news items (go to
LEARN Notifications NotificationSettings and select the "News - item updated" and "News - new item
available" boxes).
 In the case of service interruptions to the LEARN system, please see the following policy:
LEARN Service Interruption Policy
Calendar Description
An examination of current debates on the relationship between the state and economic life
drawing on competing ideological traditions.
Page 1 of 17
Detailed Course Description
This course examines theoretical traditions on the relationship between state and economy by
engaging with two major current debates. We begin by discussing theoretical approaches from
capitalism, socialism, and the challenge to them presented by environmental concerns. From
this foundation, we then focus on how these approaches are reflected in the debates on
climate change and poverty/inequality with primary reference to Canadian cases. The course
includes an experiential learning component involving field visits to local organizations
addressing each issue. You will also apply course material by researching and writing a research
paper through a series of steps, including a presentation to the classroom audience.
PSCI 428 can serve as a required course for the Politics and Business Specialization and the an
Honours in Political Science.
PSCI 631 is relevant to the graduate level Political Economy and Canadian State & Society fields
of concentration.
PSCI 428 Pre-Requisites: Four PSCI courses; level at least 4A
Course Objectives
In terms of course content, by the end of this course you should be able to:
A. Summarize the defining characteristics of each theoretical approach and differentiate
them. This will include:
- Comparing and contrasting the role of the governments and markets in capitalist
and socialist systems
- Identifying major critiques of both systems
- Explaining the challenge posed to both by environmental crises
B. Identify how these theoretical approaches inform or can be applied to the two
contemporary debates emphasized in this course (climate change and
C. In both debates, you will be able to do the following:
- Identify the role of major state and economic actors
- Recognize the broader theoretical/ideological approaches informing major
- Critique proposals to manage these problems
- Propose alternate political-economic solutions
- Understand and assess how organizations in the local communities are
intervening and providing solutions alongside (or in gap left by) the state and
- Reflect on your experience of and engagement with these issues
Page 2 of 17
In addition, the course will focus on skill development in these areas.
A. Reading skills:
- Isolating theses, main arguments, counterarguments, and evidence.
- Practicing effective note-taking (while reading and post-reading).
- Inferring the values and viewpoints of writers.
B. Analyzing and Researching skills:
- Developing questions, theses, arguments and counterarguments.
- Finding appropriate data and evidence to support a thesis, arguments, and
- Assessing source credibility and differentiating between scholarly and nonscholarly sources.
- Using sources effectively and honestly.
C. Writing skills:
- Practicing key stages of the writing process through a sequence of
brainstorming, outlining, drafting, peer-reviewing, revising, and editing.
D. Discussion and discussion facilitation skills:
- Practicing talking about academic material constructively and effectively in
groups and leading productive dialogues
E. Presenting skills:
- Delivering an informative and engaging research presentation.
Structure of the Course and Classes
The seminar will begin with heavier reading requirements to give you enough material upfront
to begin engaging with the themes in class and to start working on your paper. Reading
expectations will lighten as the demands of the research paper grow. I try to ensure the
workload stays balanced and manageable. (I’ll be seeking your feedback on this throughout the
Classes will primarily involve student-facilitated discussions of the readings. This work will be
occasionally interspersed with reading presentations by the graduate students in the seminar,
mini-lectures, audio-visual material, individual writing or reading exercises, small group work,
and more. Expect the classes to draw heavily on the readings and to be highly interactive.
We will also use class time to work on aspects of the research paper such as exploring potential
paper topics, discussing finding sources and using them effectively in your paper, and peer
reviewing drafts of the paper.
In addition, twice this semester we will leave the classroom to visit field sites where local
organizations are directly contributing to solutions to the two issues we are analyzing this term.
These visits will serve to bring the course readings and theories to life, to demonstrate on-theground solutions to these two controversial issues, to illustrate the challenges experienced by
Page 3 of 17
organizations intervening alongside (or in the gap left by) governments and markets, and to
provide you with a chance to consider your personal experience of or engagement with these
Course Requirements, Expectations, and Standards
Required Readings
The readings are the basis for the classes and will be the foundation of your research papers.
You are therefore responsible for completing the readings before class, preparing to discuss the
readings before class, and bringing the readings with you (you may want to refer to them in
We will be reading two books:
Klein 2014 This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Toronto: Knopf.Silver
2014 About Canada: Poverty. Halifax: Fernwood Press.
These books are available for purchase at Words Worth Books at 96 King Street South
Waterloo (519-884-2665) for a total of $40 plus tax. If you would like to reserve your copies,
go to Reserving copies of books and create an account. The links
to the book are:
Klein book
Silver book
The books are also on 3-hour reserve at the Dana Porter Library.
In addition, a selection of book chapters, articles, and other readings will be available via the
UW Library Course Reserves. I may also post material on our LEARN site throughout the
Page 4 of 17
Attendance & Engagement/Participation Policy
Your participation in class activities is an essential part of your work in this course. Please be
prepared to begin class on time. This means arriving to class a few minutes early. Note that if
you miss a class, you are responsible for informing yourself about missed work by contacting
other students in the class.
PSCI 428
 Reading Responses (10)
 Discussion/class participation
 Discussion facilitation (1)
Book Review
Research Paper Presentation
Research Paper
Date of Evaluation
Week 4
Week 11 or 12
December 11
PSCI 631
 Reading Responses (10)
 Discussion/class participation
 Discussion facilitation (1)
Reading Presentation (1)
Book Review
Research Paper Presentation
Research Paper
Date of Evaluation
To be selected ASAP
Week 4
Week 11 or 12
December 11
Page 5 of 17
Reading Responses1
Typically, you will write a response for every reading assigned each week. Unless otherwise
noted, each response will provide the following:
1. A list of three central concepts used/discussed in the reading
2. A summary, in your own words, of the main point or central argument of the reading (in
approximately 100-150 words; in full sentences rather than point form)
3. Two or three important questions arising from the reading that are relevant to the
course and valuable for class discussion.
Your responses should be focused on understanding the readings. Save potential criticisms for
the discussion.
Upload your responses in a single file in Word or PDF format on LEARN 24 hours prior to class
(you may want to have a copy in hand for the discussion as well).
*Note that the format of the reading responses will change on occasion, for example as we
discuss whole books and prepare for field visits. Reading responses may periodically take the
form of written responses to questions done in class.
Discussion Participation
Your weekly participation in discussions of the readings is a central aspect of this course. Note
that excellent discussion participation is marked by:2
- striking a balance between saying nothing and dominating the discussion
o Be conscious of how much space you take up in discussions.
Practice “stepping up and stepping back” toward equal
o A few quality interventions are more valuable than the quantity of
- responding constructively and meaningfully to other students and/or the course
material (rather than glib answers or general opinion)
- staying on topic and staying focused on the readings; engaging with the readings
in a meaningful way that demonstrates your preparation
- sharing your knowledge, experiences, ideas, questions and examples
- contributing new ideas or information (rather than repeating yourself or points
already made)
- expressing yourself clearly and succinctly
- integrating main ideas in the discussion to draw out broad insights
- making connections with / responding to / building from others’ comments;
paraphrasing others’ thoughts to assess if you have understood their meaning
I thank Dr. Coleman for his advice on these reading responses.
With thanks to Dr. Coleman and Dr. Esselment for their input.
Page 6 of 17
responding to questions asked or new topics introduced; initiating a new turn in
the discussion
listening actively
encouraging other people to speak; supporting other voices (rather than
interrupting or silencing them)
recognizing and respecting that everyone has something worthwhile to
being open-minded; respecting and taking an interest in opposing viewpoints
disagreeing respectfully
staying positive (being positive fosters better discussions and better ideas;
negativity and sarcasm shut down conversation)
keeping the discussion fun and light-hearted (wit and humour are welcome!)
Discussion Facilitation3
Most discussions in this course will be student-led and you will be responsible for leading the
discussion at least once this semester. (I will be asking for volunteers in the first and second
weeks so that you know which reading discussion(s) you are responsible for facilitating as soon
as possible.) Here are some guidelines to help you do this well.
Preparing to facilitate. You need to be familiar with the reading, but not much more than on
any other week. In addition to completing your reading response, you will probably want to
take more detailed notes on the reading, mostly to have ideas on hand to help the discussion
along if it starts to lag. But remember that the point of the discussion is to build a better
understanding of the material as a group—your role is not to teach but to start, guide, and
sustain the conversation.
A word about tone. The tone of the facilitator sets the tone for the discussion, so stay positive.
Focus first on what is valuable about the reading (criticisms should wait until the fourth part of
the discussion). Don’t apologize for your preparation or level of understanding—focus on the
task of working together to generate a better comprehension of the material.
Guiding the discussion. You need to facilitate a discussion through four steps:
1. Discussing central concepts used/discussed in the reading (about 5-10 minutes)
Begin by proposing a few key concepts from the reading that might need discussion, and
asking for other suggestions. Decide with the class on two or three to discuss in more detail.
Ask for volunteers to help clarify the meaning of the concept and how it is used. (If a
concept is central to the main argument, feel free to hold off discussion of it until the next
2. Summarizing the main argument (about 5-10 minutes)
Here I build from Dr. Coleman’s work and Gale Rhodes and Robert Schaible’s A User’s Manual for Student-Led
Discussions, available at
Page 7 of 17
Then ask for thoughts on the main argument of the reading. Try to have the class build
toward it together (rather than presenting your understanding first). Once the class seems
satisfied with this, aim to end this part of the discussion with a summary (perhaps
paraphrase the key points you heard).
3. Discussing important questions arising from the reading (about 5 minutes)
Next ask students to pose questions that came to mind from the reading. Feel free to offer
one or two as an example. Remember that at this point we are still working on
understanding the reading—remind students to save criticisms for the final part of the
4. Reflecting critically on the reading (about 5-10 minutes)
Finally, take a few moments to reflect critically on the reading. Does anyone find a
particular point or approach problematic? Are there any obvious gaps in the work? What
are the strengths of the reading? What major contribution does it make? What are its
broader implications?
Additional guidelines
 As you lead the class through these stages, try to foster the key characteristics of
excellent discussion participation noted above. So, for example, encourage those who
haven’t spoken to join in. You might try asking students to respond to each other (for
example, to comment on a point just made), or asking students for more information (to
elaborate on something just said). Or you might ask for differing positions or viewpoints.
 You can contribute your own ideas but only sparingly—and primarily with the aim of
keeping the discussion going.
 Keep the discussion on time and focused on the readings. Direct students back to the
text if they get off track, for example by seeking out passages of relevance to the
 Silence is good! Sometimes we need a pause in the conversation to process information
or to provide an opening for a new person to speak.
Additional assignment for PSCI 631 students
Reading Presentation
Once this semester you will be responsible for presenting a reading in a 15 minute lecture
supported by PowerPoint or some other presentation platform. It should accomplish four
1) provide an overview of the key concepts and arguments of the reading
2) link the reading to the other readings discussed that week (tell how it adds to or
departs from the other readings)
3) critically engage with the piece (ie. discuss the major contributions made by the
reading and/or elaborate on the key questions or concerns arising from it)
4) provide an opportunity for questions (save the last few minutes of your lecture time
for this)
The lecture should be accompanied by a handout (1-2 pages) that you share with the class at
Page 8 of 17
the beginning of your presentation.
Both content and presentation skills will be evaluated. I will provide you with more guidance on
the latter in the first weeks of the semester.
Critical Book Review
You will write a critical book review (1200-1500 words) of Klein’s This Changes Everything early
in the course. In this review, you will very briefly summarize the main components of the book
and then focus on analyzing how the book relates to key concepts and ideological traditions
discussed in the first three weeks of classes. I will provide you with a detailed assignment in the
first week of classes.
Research Paper
The research paper (2500-3000 words) will involve a sequence of brainstorming, outlining,
drafting, peer-reviewing, revising, editing and presenting. We will be respectfully and
constructively discussing your work in the class and you will read drafts of each other’s writing.
You first need to select a topic relevant to the course. Please ensure you have consulted with
me and received approval on your topic and paper proposal by the 6th week of classes. You will
then submit two drafts (one for peer review and a final submission) and present your work in
the final classes. I will provide you with a detailed assignment stating the requirements of each
step over the course of the semester.
Note that the Writing Centre works across all faculties to help students clarify their ideas,
develop their voices, and write in the style appropriate to their disciplines. Writing Centre staff
offer one-on-one support in planning assignments and presentations, using and documenting
research, organizing and structuring papers, and revising for clarity and coherence. You can
make multiple appointments throughout the term, or drop in at the Library for quick questions
or feedback.
 To book a 50-minute appointment and to see drop-in hours, visit Writing Centre Group appointments for team-based projects,
presentations, and papers are also available.
 Please note that writing specialists guide you to see your work as readers would. They
can teach you revising skills and strategies, but will not proof-read or edit for you. Please
bring hard copies of your assignment instructions and any notes or drafts to your
General Information on Assignments and Grading
Page 9 of 17
Assignments are due in hardcopy at the beginning of the class in which they are due (with the
exception of reading responses, as noted above). You must also upload your work in the
appropriate LEARN dropbox prior to that class.
You need to keep all the writing you do (and the comments I and your peers make on your
work) until the end of the semester. You may need to resubmit earlier work with your final
paper submission.
I will make grades available on the LEARN course site throughout the semester, with the
exception of engagement/participation grades. For the latter, I will release your average
midway through the semester and then assign a final grade at the end of the semester.
Please note that this course requires the careful use and acknowledgement of sources. You are
responsible for not plagiarizing. We will discuss proper use of sources in more detail during the
Also, please note that you are expected to write an original paper this semester. Please let me
know if you are currently working on a similar topic in another class, or if you have done so in
the past. I expect you to do all new research and writing for the paper in this class but we can
arrange for it to build off other work.
Late Policy
Assignments must be submitted at the beginning of the class on the stated due date. Evaluated
in-class work must be completed at the time it is assigned. Late submissions cannot be
accepted and there are no “make-ups” for work missed due to absence. Late submissions or
missed work will receive a grade of 0%.
Of course, exceptions will apply in the case of a religious holiday accommodated by the
university or a documented emergency or illness (via a Verification of Illness Form: Health
Please note: student travel plans are not an acceptable reason for granting an alternative
examination times or submission due dates.
Electronic Device Policy
Please turn your phone and other devices off. If you have a special need for using your laptop
or tablet to take notes (see the note on accommodations below), please restrict your use to
that purpose. Other laptop or tablet uses (social media, web surfing, email) are inappropriate—
they distract you and your colleagues around you.
Page 10 of 17
No recording, copying, or transmitting of course material
It is prohibited to transmit, record or copy by any means, in any format, openly or
surreptitiously, in whole or in part, any of the lectures, discussions, activities, or materials
provided, undertaken, or published in any form during or from the course.
Unclaimed Submissions
I will retain your submissions for six months. After this time period, unclaimed work will be
securely destroyed.
Course Feedback
You will be given two formal opportunities to evaluate this seminar, midway through and at the
end of the semester. Of course, I welcome suggestions and comments that might improve the
seminar at any time.
University Regulations
Academic Integrity:
Academic Integrity: In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of
the University of Waterloo are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and
Discipline: A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid
committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student
who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning
how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about “rules” for group
work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or
the Undergraduate Associate Dean. When misconduct has been found to have occurred,
disciplinary penalties will be imposed under Policy 71 – Student Discipline. For
information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to
Policy 71 - Student Discipline, Student Discipline:
Grievance: A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her
university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a
grievance. Read Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4, Student Petitions: In addition,
Page 11 of 17
consult Student Grievances: for the Faculty of Arts’ grievance processes.
Appeals: A student may appeal the finding and/or penalty in a decision made under
Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances (other than regarding a petition) or Policy 71
- Student Discipline if a ground for an appeal can be established. Read Policy 72 - Student
Appeals, Student Appeals:
Academic Integrity website (Arts): Academic Integrity Website:
Academic Integrity Office (uWaterloo): Academic Integrity Office:
Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:
Note for students with disabilities: The AccessAbility Services (AS) Office, located on the
first floor of the Needles Hall extension, collaborates with all academic departments to
arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising
the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to
lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the AS Office at the beginning of
each academic term.
Information on Plagiarism Detection
Plagiarism detection software ( will be used to screen assignments in this course.
This is being done to verify that use of all materials and sources in assignments is documented.
Students will be given an option if they do not want to have their assignment screened by
Turnitin. In the first week of the term, details will be provided about arrangements and
alternatives for the use of Turnitin in this course. Please advise me by the second week of the
semester if you need an alternative to using Turnitin.
Page 12 of 17
Readings may diverge slightly from this schedule depending on our needs and interests. We will discuss the next week’s readings at the end of each class.
Readings in grey below are additional for PSCI 631 students. These readings will be the basis for the PSCI 631 reading presentations, to be selected
/assigned at the beginning of the semester.
Wk Date
Introductions and
Required Readings
□ Stilwell 2012 “Economic Systems,” Political Economy: The Contest of Economic Ideas, p. 4050
□ Begin reading Klein’s This Changes Everything
PSCI 631 students: please email me your reading presentation preference by Sept 21 at 10am.
□ Continue reading Klein’s This Changes Everything
Capitalist and Socialist Systems
□ Stilwell 2012 “The Political Economy of the State,” Political Economy: The Contest of
Economic Ideas, p. 364-72.
□ Stilwell 2012 “Capitalism,” Political Economy: The Contest of Economic Ideas, p. 51-57.
□ Howlett et al. 1999 selections from chapter 3 “Socialist Political Economy,” The Political
Economy of Canada: p. 44-49, 56-58, and 74-80.
□ McBride and Whiteside 2011 “The Keynesian Welfare State” and “The Neoliberal State,”
Private Affluence, Public Austerity: Economic Crisis & Democratic Malaise in Canada, p. 35-79.
Page 13 of 17
Wk Date
Oct 2
Required Readings
□ Continue reading Klein’s This Changes Everything
The Environmental Challenge
□ Stilwell 2012 “Economy and Environment,” Political Economy: The Contest of Economic
Ideas, p. 325-37.
□ Ellwood 2014 “On the Road to Degrowth,” Degrowth and Sustainability, p. 156-85.
□ Rockström and Klum 2015 “No Business on a Dead Planet” and “Unleashing Innovation,” Big
World, Small Planet: Abundance Within Planetary Boundaries, p. 117-28 and p. 131-43.
□ Ferguson 2015 “The Green Economy Agenda: Business as Usual or Transformational
Discourse?” Environmental Politics, 24:1, p. 17-37.
Oct 9
Oct 16
Issue 1: Climate
Issue 1: Climate
□ Klein 2014 This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Toronto: Knopf.
Book review
□ MacNeil 2014 “Canadian Environmental Policy under Conservative Majority Rule,”
Environmental Politics 23(1): 174-178.
□ Winfield 2014. "The Environment, "Responsible Resource Development," and EvidenceBased Policy-Making in Canada," Evidence-Based Policy-Making in Canada, p. 196-217.
□ International Institute for Sustainable Development 2014 “Climate Policy Year in Review and
Trends, 2013” Carbon Policy Review:
Page 14 of 17
Wk Date
Required Readings
□ Vaughan 2015 “Climate Investment, Low-Carbon Innovation and Green Industrial Policy,” p.
1-5. Low Carbon Innovation:
□ Hayden 2014 “Enough of That Already: Sufficiency-Based Challenges to High-Carbon
Consumption in Canada,” Environmental Politics, 23:1, p. 97-114.
Oct 23
Issue 1: Field
Site Visit at
Climate Action
□ Tozer 2013 “Community Energy Plans in Canadian Cities: Success and Barriers in
Implementation” Local Environment 18:1, p. 20–35.
□ ClimateActionWR 2013 “Climate Action Plan for Waterloo Region: Living Smarter in 2020,
Summary Version” Climate Action Plan Summary: Action Plan-Summary.pdf
Oct 30
Issue 2: Poverty
and Inequality
Deadline for
□ Silver 2014 About Canada: Poverty. Halifax: Fernwood Press.
□ MacDonald 2015 “The Wealth Advantage: The Growing Wealth Gap Between Canada’s
Affluent and the Middle Class” Wealth Gap:
Nov 6
Issue 2: Poverty
and Inequality
□ Banting and Myles 2013 “Introduction,” Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics,
p. 1-41.
□ Breau 2014 “The Occupy Movement and the Top 1% in Canada,” Antipode 46:1, p. 13-33.
□ Kirshner 1996 “Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Research,” Political Science and Politics, 29:3,
p. 511-13.
Page 15 of 17
Wk Date
Nov 13
Issue 2: Field
Site Visit at The
Working Centre
Required Readings
□ Bruijns and Butcher 2014 “Calculating a Living Wage for the Waterloo Region”
□ Region of Waterloo 2013 “The Income Gap Report”
□ Region of Waterloo 2014 “Poverty Indicators in Waterloo Region: Status Report 2014”
Nov 20
Workshop and
Peer Review
□ To be announced.
paper draft
due (bring 3
Nov 27
Dec 4
New Student
Peers’ papers.
New Student
Peers’ papers.
or peer
or peer
Page 16 of 17
Wk Date
Required Readings
Dec 11 @ 4pm: Final research paper due. Upload your final paper to the appropriate dropbox in the LEARN system, then submit a hardcopy by
into my mailbox at the Department of Political Science. The mailbox is across from my office door at Hagey Hall 311.
*If you want comments on your paper, include a stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelope and I will mail it back to you after the end of the
examination period.
Page 17 of 17