This course examines the sense of the public good that undergirds Canada's domestic and international obligations. We examine the notion of the “public” through investigating possible answers to a central political question: what is the purpose of government? Drawing on readings in philosophy and political theory, the course considers a variety of approaches to defining the nature of the public good and how policy makers should respond when competing goods (e.g., freedom and security) clash with each other. In addition, the course looks at the treaties and conventions that articulate the responsibilities of signatory nations regarding challenges such as climate change mitigation, refugee resettlement, and foreign aid. Students will learn how international agreements either compel or encourage participation and multilateral cooperation in the absence of robust enforcement mechanisms.
Restricted to first-year students admitted to the Trinity One Program. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.