SFU Library Political Science collections policy

The Political Science Department provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter of politics. Courses in Political Science and Government have been offered at Simon Fraser University from the inception of the University in 1965. Until 1974 these subjects were covered within a more general social sciences program. In January 1974 an independent and autonomous department of Political Science was approved by the University Senate, and the new Department began operations in the Spring Term 1974 with a Faculty of six members. Since 1974 Faculty numbers have more than tripled and the Department has adopted comprehensive new curricula at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels.

The Department of Political Science, through its academic program, develops a critical outlook on questions relating to the theory and practice of political institutions, policy alternatives on major issues facing society, and political ideals which influence public participation and the quality of political life in general. The program provides a variety of courses on the political problems of Canadian society and emphasizes a comparative perspective on the political systems of the different parts of the world. The network of political, judicial, economic and cultural relationships which constitute the international community are also studied. Students become familiar with competing theoretical approaches and learn to engage in rigorous political analysis. The program serves students with a general interest in public affairs, as well as those who seek a career in teaching, research, law, journalism or public administration.

The Department offers five distinct areas of concentration: Political Theory (including historical and contemporary and empirical theory); Canadian Government and Politics (including Canadian federalism, the Constitution, provincial and British Columbia politics, political parties and political behaviour); Comparative Government and Politics (including European systems, Chinese government, Japan and East Asian Government and American and Latin American government and politics); International Relations (including international law and organization, strategic studies, international political economy and foreign policy studies); and Public Policy/Administration and Local Government.

There are a number of options for joint major work in Political Science and related disciplines such as Latin American Studies, French and History, Business Administration, International Studies, and Public Policy.

The Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University has offered graduate instruction since its inception as the Department of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology (PSA) in 1965.  Fifty M.A. and 8 Ph.D. degrees were awarded by the PSA between 1966-1974. After the division of the PSA Department into separate Departments of Political Science and Sociology and Anthropology in 1974, the Department of Political Science has offered an M.A. program with students proceeding to the Ph.D. level through Special Arrangements provisions of the University Calendar.  In 1997, the department established a new Ph.D. program.  The Ph.D. program specializes in the fields of Canadian Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations with a specific focus on political economy, public (including foreign) policy, and governance. The program draws on the research and teaching strengths of Political Science faculty in these areas. However, the department may offer opportunities for advanced study in other fields of Political Science, subject to the availability of faculty research expertise.

The Department's course and research areas are:

A listing of the research interests of faculty is available from the School's web site: http://www.sfu.ca/politics/faculty/research.html

Collection development is the responsibility of the Political Science Liaison Librarian. Liaison with the Department of Political Science is maintained through the Departmental Representative as well as with other faculty members when required. Regular contact with other liaison librarians and teaching departments is nurtured through the sharing of relevant review material.

SFU Resources

The WAC Bennett is the major location for the University's political science collection.

Regional Resources

The University of British Columbia also has a large collection which covers many branches of the discipline.

Consortia and Document Delivery

SFU belongs to three consortia (Electronic Library Network; Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries; and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries). Document delivery agreements exist with all three of these consortia which allow delivery of journal articles and books from these libraries in a timely manner. Holdings and direct requesting from over 40 libraries are accessible through the Interlibrary Loan webpage and from many databases.

General Collection Guidelines

Languages: the emphasis is on the acquisition of materials in English.
Chronological guidelines: the material purchased will normally be current in print titles.
Geographical guidelines: not applicable.
Treatment of subject: selection will be primarily from - biographies, bibliographies, reference works, etc.
Types of materials: collecting is split between books and journals. There is a growing emphasis on e-books as well as e-journals.
Date of Publication: emphasis is on current publications. Retrospective acquisitions are normally only for the replacement of important titles which have deteriorated or disappeared. Coordination and cooperation with other campus resources: the interdiciplinary nature of the Department of Political Science creates a reliance and dependence on other parts of the library collection. These areas are mainly in the following disciplines: History, International Studies, Public Policy, Sociology, and Anthropology -- although Philosophy, Economics, and Computing Science are also part of the picture.

Subjects and Levels of Collecting

To be added at a later date.