Political Science 260, Section 4, Fall 2007
M, W, F , DU 459
Instructor: Michael Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: DuSable 476
Office hours: M , W , F , and by appointment
Introduction to Comparative Politics
This course aims to introduce
students to the comparative study of politics.
Furthermore, students will become familiar with the terms, concepts, and
factual content necessary to engage in comparative analysis of several major
players in the international system. The
major players that will be the focus of in depth study are: the
In order to understand better the countries, concepts, and terms we will use for this course, students will read a contemporary comparative politics text authored by Michael G. Roskin whose title is Countries and Concepts: Politics, Geography, Culture. In order to participate actively and to understand better the material discussed in class, it behooves students read the assigned chapters and articles (if applicable) before each session.
In addition, I will make an effort to solicit information about current affairs. Typically, I will ask students at the beginning of class to volunteer what they have heard about goings-on in our world. By keeping abreast of current events around the globe and by learning about others with whom we share the globe, we are able to construct a basis for comparison that allows us to analyze and understand better our own politics.
-Michael G. Roskin, Countries and Concepts, Politics, Geography, Culture, Ninth Edition, Prentice Hall
-if there are any reading assignments in addition to the Roskin text, I will either announce in class where they can be found or I will distribute hard copies directly to the students.
Participation and Attendance 10% (regular attendance and active participation are assessed)
Essay (comparative analysis) 25%
Mid-term Exam #1 20%
Mid-term Exam #2 20%
Final Exam* 25%
I will distribute more information
about the essay a little later in the course.
Essentially, the students will have to choose two of the countries we
will have discussed in class, and they must compare them. For example, a student may wish to compare
the political cultures of
Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities
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
Department of Political Science Web Site
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.
The Department of Political Science Statement on Academic Integrity
Cheating will not be tolerated in class. There are many types of cheating. The NIU Undergraduate Catalog states that: "Students are considered to have cheated if they copy the work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or an assignment written whole or in part by someone else….If any student aids another student in either cheating or engaging in plagiarism, both students will be held responsible for their behavior."
Undergraduate Writing Awards
The Political Science Department recognizes annually outstanding 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. It is expected that winners will attend the department’s Spring graduation ceremony, where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by faculty or students, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28th. 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 year can be considered for the award. Papers completed in the Spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition, even if the student has graduated.
Late Work and Make-up Exams
As a general rule, I do not permit the submission of late work or the make-up of missed exams. In extraordinary cases—and only with the presentation of a doctor’s note or the like—I will allow students to take exams outside of the scheduled sessions. Since you are given the due date of the paper in advance, you must plan accordingly, if you know that you are going to miss class. It is imperative that you, as soon as possible, make me aware of days you intend to miss. If an emergency situation arises, please send me a notification via email at your earliest convenience. Keep me posted!
Tentative Schedule of Lectures,
***I reserve the right to modify the schedule as I deem it necessary.***
Introduction to Terms and Concepts in Comparative Politics
August 27th, introduction to course
August 29th, Ch. 1, introduction to terms and concepts
August 31st, class and office hours cancelled
September 3rd, class and office hours cancelled (Labor Day)
September 5th, Ch. 2
(this the first chapter for the
September 24th, catch-up day; review for exam #1
September 26th, mid-term exam #1
September 28th, discussion of exam #1
October 17th, Ch. 17, distribution and discussion of comparative analysis essay assignment (DUE NOVEMBER 20TH)
October 19th, Ch. 17 continued
October 26th, mid-term exam #2
October 29th, Ch. 25 and discussion of exam #2 (not as extensive as the discussion of exam #1, since the students should be familiar with the format and should be better equipped to anticipate what will appear on the exam)
November 16th, catch-up day; review of the first five units
November 19th, submission of papers
December 7th, review for final exam
Wednesday, December 12th in DuSable 459 at