Political Science field courses

PSCI 493 Field Trip to IMF/World Bank Meetings

Political Science students at the IMF Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group

Students enjoyed the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC in April 2016 where they participated in a meeting with Canada's IMF Executive Director and spent 4 days attending IMF/WB Meetings where they heard world experts talk about the state of the world economy, poverty, environment, and gender. They were able to retain a junior fellowship at the New Rules for Global Finance during the meetings and were encouraged to publish Huffington Post blogs during the event.

The PSCI 493 course, offered in Spring term, critically examines the role of the IMF and World Bank in the global economy. The visit to the IMF in Washington as a Field trip was followed up by several presentations on Globaly Economy Issues, Poverty, IMF/World Bank Policies as well as a presentation on Gender, Environment and Climate Issues.

"Attending the International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings as a part of PSCI 493 provided the unique opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. My understanding of the global political climate was deepened by witnessing firsthand the political developments we study in courses. This trip allowed me to interact with members of civil society organizations, politicians, and heads of organizations. I was enabled to utilize my skillset as a political science student, such as using my analytical capacities to raise pressing questions during the meetings on the political and social viability of decisions made by international financial institutions."

-- Mariam Flifli, 4th year Honours Political Science student

Spring course:  Model Arab League with Dr. Bessma Momani (PSCI 490-002)

Day 1:
Lecture at the Brookings Institution, featuring Managing Director Christine Lagarde, on financing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, and the role of the IMF in the Greek financial crisis.    Students also participated in a walking tour of the city including the outside of the White House and the Treasury Department.

Day 2:
Lecture at the Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), on the impact and importance of strategic communications in international development with Kimberly Flowers, current director of the CSIS Global Food Security Project. Flowers’ reflected on getting a job in international development, the personal risks and sacrifices it took to move to Washington and to a number of foreign posts like Jamaica, Ethiopia.

CSIS lecture, with Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden, Commander of the Naval Surface Forces, on the current state of the US Navy's surface fleet and the challenges that such may face in the next ten to fifteen years.

Tour of the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Centre (SQCC)

Tour CTV News studio, and met Senior Washington Correspondent Joy Malbon, They spoke about the relationship between the media and politics in Washington, along with inquiries about the experiences of Canadians working in DC media.

Lecture at the Middle East institute, by Iranian artist Zeinab Shahidi

Day 3:
Tour of the Canadian Embassy. Students heard three Foreign Affairs’ staff working at the Embassy discuss their experience working in the Embassy and previous posts including Kandahar, Brussels.

Lecture at The Middle East Institute, hosted by the author of Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11, Robert W. Jordan, a former U.S. ambassador and international attorney. He gave his insights into the economic, political, and social changes that occurred in Saudi Arabia directly after the events of 9/11.

Day 4:
Model Arab League: Students were divided into groups and assigned a country to represent. Each country was divided into separate committees, who split up in different places around the Georgetown University campus. Each group debated specific issues involving their represented country. Three of our uWaterloo students won awards throughout the competition!

Day 5:
Visit The Smithsonian Museums and The National Mall.