NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
Department of Political Science
Instructor: Srie Ramli POLS 260
Office: ZH 405 Section 04 (Fall 2005)
Phone: 753-7054 T-TH: 11-12.15
Office hours: DuSable 461
“Without comparisons to make, the mind does not know
how to proceed.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1830
COMPARATIVE AND FOREIGN POLITICS
This course is an introduction to the comparative study of governments and politics. The goal is to understand how political authority is organized and how it operates in a variety of nations. The course will examine both historical processes of political change and development and contemporary political institutions, practices and policies.
The course focuses on seven important contemporary states: Great Britain, France, The People’s Republic of China, Japan, Iran, Indonesia, and Nigeria. The course includes explanation on similarities and differences in these governments’ political institutions. Students are expected to identify and analyze the common problems these governments face, compares the alternative institutions and methods these seven states have adopted. Because of the large amount of new material to be covered, this course will include lecture, students’ presentation and discussions and film documentary.
Shively (ed.). Comparative Governance. McGraw-Hill, 2004.
Order! Order! (GB)
Francois Mitterand (France)
China After Mao (China)
The Meiji Revolution (Japan)
Islam Rising: Which Way Next for Iran? (Iran)
Hope in the Horizon (Nigeria)
The New Rulers of the World/Globalization (Indonesia)
Course Requirements and Grading:
Students are expected to keep up with the readings, which mean that you should complete each reading assignment by the time we begin the corresponding section of the course. The lectures will parallel and complement the readings, but students cannot count on the lectures repeating the reading. The exams will be based in equal parts on the readings and lectures.
Attendance, class participation and class reports
Attendance at all class sessions is expected and I will check attendance at the beginning of every session. The participation portion of your final grade is designed to reward those students who came to class prepared. Satisfactory class participation requires that students are present and attentive as well as contributing to class discussions in a manner that reflects they have read the required materials.
Occasionally missing classes and quizzes may not affect your final grade; however, repeated absences will start to limit your maximum achievable grade. After the first week of class, I request that you try to sit in approximately the same place to facilitate our learning and to associate names with real live people for quickly monitoring attendance.
At the end of each class you will hand in a “class report” containing two sentences: (1) what is the most important/interesting thing you learned in class that day; and (2) what is your most important/puzzling remaining question. Put your name and date on this essay and hand it in before leaving the room. These will count towards the 15% of your grades that rides on attendance and class participation.
The Learning Environment
Respect for the learning community and the learning process would normally include coming to class on time, remaining in ones seat, and requesting permission to speak, etc. Attitudes such as persistent lateness, studying for another class, playing with or talking on cell phone, talking with other students outside the topic discussed in class, reading newspaper and so forth are not acceptable. I will count any “walkouts” as absences unless the student has permission or there is an emergency. My classes start at three minutes past the hour in order to allow for accidents. Comments that are not relevant to the ongoing discussion, off the point, disruptive to discussion, insensitive to others, or attempt to dominate the discussion will not be rewarded.
There will be 7 to 8 unannounced quizzes given in class throughout the semester. These quizzes will be held which will also require you to be able to write about what you have read for class that day, including current affairs as reported in the news such as the New York Times. The best 4 will be counted toward 10% of your final grade.
At the beginning of semester students will be grouped into five to six people to present individual country. The presentation will take about 15-20 minutes and students are expected to give a brief explanation on the roles and powers of governmental institutions including issues of current affairs of the country assigned; power point presentation is strongly favored. To facilitate discussion, I will provide list of questions to be addressed in presentation. Members of other groups must also provide at least TWO questions to ask to the group presenting. The presentation will be graded based on clarity, group coordination, understanding of materials, preparation, etc. The other groups will also be graded (as part of the participation grade) on their questions and comments. The group presentation will account for 20% of the overall grade.
The midterm exam (October 11, 2005) will count for 20% of your course grade and will cover materials on the first part of the course. The final exam is comprehensive, but approximately more than half of the questions will be on material covered after the Midterm exam. The final exam will count for 35% of your course grade and take place during the regularly scheduled final exam period (December 6, 2005). The format of the exams will be a combination of essay, short answers, and multiple choices.
NO MAKE-UP EXAMS WILL BE GIVEN, except at the discretion of the instructor well in advance of the exam. Please refer to the NIU final exam policy below.
Students whose class schedule commits them to take three final examinations in one day may elect to have the examination in the highest numbered course of the three rescheduled. If the occurrence of three finals in one day, however, is the result of the examination in a particular class having been rescheduled (with appropriate approval), the examination that does not conform to the announced schedule is the one the student may elect to have rescheduled.
In order to reschedule an examination, the student should contact the course instructor one week prior to the first day of final examination week.
Blackboards and On-line Reserve
I will be using blackboard as the means of communication with students. I am sure that all of you are familiar with the blackboard system. I will post handouts, additional readings, announcements, etc in blackboard (I will try to post them one or two day before class) please check the blackboard frequently. I will also post materials for class in the E-reserve (I will announce the URL in class). You will be able to access the E-reserve materials directly from your computer.
Students are expected to know and comply with NIU policies on academic integrity (See undergraduate catalog). Any student found guilty of cheating or plagiarizing will receive an “F” for the examination and the course.
Components of Final Grade
A. Attendance, participation (class reports) 15%
B. Quizzes 10%
C. Group Presentation 20%
D. Midterm exam 20%
E. Final Exam 35%
The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by….. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu
August 23 Introduction: go over the syllabus and class requirements
Concepts: Nation and State, Comparing Polities
August 25 Introduction to CP
August 30 Political Systems, Political institutions and process
September 1 Impact of the past
September 6 Political Institutions (group presentation)
September 8 Film and current affairs
September 13 Impact of the past
September 15 Political Institutions (group presentation)
September 20, 22 Culture, interactions and quarrels, film
September 27 Impact of the past
September 29 Governance and Policy Making
October 4 Group presentation or film
October 6 Chinese politics in transition
October 11 Midterm
October 13 Impact of the Past (Film)
October 18 Key Institutions and Political Interactions
October 20 Current affairs
October 25 the Making of Modern Iranian State
October 27 Governance and Policy Making (presentation)
November 1, 3 Iranian politics in transition (film)
November 8 Brief history and Colonial influence, Independence 1945
November 10 The New Order, The Reformasi (presentation)
November 15 Current Indonesia and study review
November 17 Brief History
November 22 Governmental Institutions (presentation)
November 29 Current issues and problems
Tuesday December 6, 2005 (10-11.50 am) Final exam.