Department of Political Science
Instructor: Srie Ramli POLS 260
Office: ZH 422 Section 01
Phone: 753-7044 MWF, 10-10.50
Office hours: DuSable 459
FOREIGN AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS
This course is an introduction to the comparative study of government and politics. It seeks to understand how political authority is organized and how it operates in a variety of nations. In its effort to understand why political systems vary in form and substance across time and space, the course will examine both historical processes of political change and development and contemporary political institutions, practices and policies.
The course focuses on six
important contemporary states:
The objective of this course is that students who successfully complete this course can have the ability to examine different political systems by contrasting and comparing aspects of them and by seeking generalizations about them.
Michael G. Roskin, Countries and Concepts: Politics, Geography, Culture, 8th edition (Prentice Hall, 2003)
Videos (if time and scheduling permit)
Course Requirements and Grading:
Students are expected to keep up with the readings, which means 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 reading and lectures.
Attendance and class participation
Attendance at all class sessions is expected and I will check attendance regularly. An attendance score will be calculated as the percentage of the class sessions that you attend, and this score will determine 15% of your course grade. 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 discussion in a manner that reflects they have read the required materials.
After the first week of class, I request that you try to sit in approximately the same place to facilitate our learning to associate names with real live people and quickly monitoring attendance.
The Learning Environment
Respect for the learning community and the learning process would normally include coming to class on time and remaining in ones seat, requesting permission to speak and exclude persistent lateness, leaving the class room during class time (I will count any "walkouts" as absences unless the student has permission or there is an emergency), studying for another class, and reading a newspaper. 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 three exams. Two of these will be the midterms in class on February 23 and March 29. Each one will count for 20% of your course grade. The final exam is comprehensive, but approximately more than half of the questions will be on material covered after the second exam. The final exam will count for 35% of your course grade and take place during the regularly scheduled final exam period (May 3). The format of each exam will be a combination of essay, short answer, and multiple choice. NO MAKE-UP EXAMS WILL BE GIVEN, except at the discretion of the instructor in the case of emergencies. If there are any problems or conflicts, contact the instructor well in advance of the exam.
There will be 6 unannounced quizzes given in class throughout the semester. These quizzes will deal with the reading assigned for that particular day and the best 4 will be counted toward your final grade.
Components of Final Grade:
A. Attendance and participation = 15%
B. Quizzes = 10%
C. Midterm exam (1) = 20%
D. Midterm exam (2) = 20%
E. Final exam = 35%
Course grades will be distributed as follows:
Final average and any extra credit Final Grade
Below 50% F
A. NO INCOMPLETE will be given for reasons other than a medical or personal emergency and then only after presentation of verifiable documentation. Academic hardship does not qualify as an acceptable excuse.
B. Handouts, including study guides, are privilege for students who attend class on a regular basis. No student is entitled to supplemental materials simply because they are registered for the course.
C. Email: please allow 24 hours during the week and 36 hours during the weekend for receipt and response.
D. Important dates to remember:
February 23 midterm 1
March 29 midterm 2
May 3 Final exam
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
Undergraduate Writing Awards
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
one with the student's name and one without the student's name. Only papers
written in the previous calendar 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.
January 12 Introduction
Concepts: Nation and State, Comparing Polities
January 14, 16 Read: Roskin chapter 1
January 19 MLK Day no class
January 21, 23 Political Systems,
Political Institutions, Political Process
January 26 Impact of the Past Read: Roskin Ch.2 pp 22-35
January 28, 30, February 2 Political Institutions Roskin ch.3 pp. 36-52
February 4, 6 Political Culture, Patterns of Interaction, Quarrels
Roskin ch 4 pp 53-65
Roskin ch.5 pp.66-78
Roskin ch.6 pp. 79-93
February 19 Impact of the Past Roskin ch.7 pp. 96-112
February 11, 13, 16 Political Institutions Roskin ch. 8 pp. 113-129
February 18, 20 Political Culture, Patterns of Interaction Roskin ch 9-10 pp. 130-161
Roskin ch. 11 pp. 162-175
February 23 Midterm 1
February 25 Impact of the Past Roskin ch. 27 pp. 416-446
February 27, March 1, 3 Governance and Policy Making
March 5 Representation and Participation
(March 6-14: Spring break) Have a nice break!
March 15 Impact of the Past Roskin ch. 22 pp. 340-353
March 17, 19, 22 Key Institutions Roskin ch. 23 pp. 354-366
March 24, 26 Political Culture, Pol. Interactions, Quarrels
Roskin ch. 24 pp. 367-381
Roskin ch. 25 pp. 382-395
Roskin ch. 26 pp. 396-411
March 29 Midterm 2
March 31 - April 2 The Making of
April 5, 7, 9 Governance and Policy Making
April 12 Representation and Participation
April 14, 16, 19 Traditional and Colonial influence,
April 21, 23,
April 26 Reformation, Looking
April 28 Review Study Guide
April 30 (reading day, no class)
May 3 Final Exam 10-11.5