Our department has strengths in normative theory and the history of political thought, especially in the areas of modern and contemporary theory, drawing on both the Continental and Anglo-American traditions. Some of the highlights of pursuing a Theory specialization at McMaster include:
- The department offers prospective students the chance to work with leading research faculty whose work focuses on addressing the challenges of doing politics in the 21st century. Special areas of focus in teaching and research include:
citizenship and cosmopolitanism;
nationalism and transnational politics,
culture and multiculturalism;
slavery, freedom, and republicanism
democracy and representation; and
human rights and identity.
- The large number of faculty in related subfields like International Relations, Public Policy and Comparative whose teaching and research is theory-rich, makes this department a distinctively integrated environment for the study of political thought.
- McMaster’s “research cluster” on Multiculturalism and Cultural Practices engages students and faculty in discussions around methodologies and new research directions, and enables researchers to work collaboratively on shared interests.
- Not-for-credit bi-weekly Political Theory Workshop allows theoretically-inclined students to gather independent of the pressures of regular coursework to discuss classic texts in a friendly environment. This workshop, led by an advanced PhD student, help lay the groundwork for success in both the M.A. and doctoral level comprehensive exams.
- M.A.’s in Theory who hold a Teaching Assistance’ship often have the opportunity to TA our popular undergraduate Political Theory course under the guidance of our Theory faculty.