POLS 260: Foreign and Comparative Politics

Spring 2004, MWF, DuSable 459

Section 2: 12:00 – 12:50 p.m.

Instructor: N. J. Yi-Wohlers Office Hours: M: 10:30-12:00 p.m. & by appointments

Office: DuSable 461 (753-1818) E-mail: soldate@aol.com (Best way to reach me)

Course Overview

Welcome to the world of comparative politics. This course is designed to introduce and examine political systems outside of the United States. Since it is impossible to study all 170+ nation-states in the world, we will focus on several countries that serve as examples of different styles of politics conducted in various settings. Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and China are selected to illustrate their political history, key political institutions, and political culture. By focusing on these countries, this course has the following goals. First, it will give you a chance to study the politics of particular countries you probably know little about. Second, it seeks to convey an analytical approach to the study of politics and to provide you with an opportunity to reflect on some of the essential questions, old and new, with which students of politics have to grapple. Your new understandings should enhance your role as citizen in a democracy, i.e., enable you to make more informed judgments on the policies that our leaders propose to follow in dealing with these nations.

Course Policies

 

Course Requirements and Grading

Exam Schedule: Exam 1 - February 23 Exam 2 - April 2 Exam 3 - May 3

These short essays are due on Friday at the end of class every two weeks. (See journal deadline below) You may turn in up to 7 journals and the 5 best will be counted toward your final grade. Late journals will not be accepted.

Some excellent sources of international news include the hard copy and online versions of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor and the BBC World News.

Journal due dates:

Journal 1 - January 23 Journal 4 - March 19 Journal 7 - April 28

Journal 2 - February 6 Journal 5 - April 2

Journal 3 - February 20 Journal 6 - April 16

- Please do not leave the class early without prior permission, as this is very distracting. I will count any

"walkouts" as absences unless the student has permission or there is an emergency.

- If you have 2 or fewer recorded absences, 2 points will be added to your course average. If you have 3 or 4

recorded absences, 1 point will be added to your course average. (This is the only extra credit available).

- The participation portion of your final grade is designed to reward those students who come to class prepared. Satisfactory class participation requires that students are present, attentive and contribute to class discussion in a manner that reflects they have read the required materials. Your participation will be a key technique for covering materials in the textbook and relevant current events. In addition, to further facilitate class participation, regular essay exercises may be given.

Journals (12.5%)

Quizzes (10%)

Participation (including the essay exercises) (12.5%)

 

Additional Important Policies

COURSE SCHEDULE

 

TOPICS

READINGS (R = Roskin)

  1. Introduction: Comparing Political Systems.
   

January 12

Introduction to Course

 

January 14 and 21

The Concept of Country and

Looking for Quarrels

R: Chapter 1.

January 23

Comparing Polities: Democratization

Chapter 1 continued.

  • GREAT BRITAIN.
  •    

    January 26 – 30

    Impact of the Past and Political culture

    R: Chapter 2 and 4.

    February 2 – February 6

    Government Institutions and

    Election and Parties

    R: Chapter 3 and 5.

    Quarrels

    R: Chapter 6.

  • FRANCE.
  •    

    February 9 – 13

    Impact of the Past and Political Culture

    R: Chapter 7 and 9.

    February 16 – 20

    Government Institutions and

    Election and Parties

    R: Chapter 8 and 10.

    Quarrels

    R: Chapter 11.

  • February 23
  • EXAM # 1.

  • GERMANY.
  •    

    February 25 – March 1

    Impact of the Past and Political Culture

    R: Chapter 12 and 14.

    March 3, 15 – 17

    (No Classes 3/5 – 3/12)

    Government Institutions and

    Election and Parties

    R: Chapter 13 and 15.

    Quarrels

    R: Chapter 16.

  • JAPAN.
  •    

    March 19 - 24

    Impact of the Past and Political Culture

    R: Chapter 22 and 24.

    March 26 - 31

    Government Institutions and

    Election and Parties

    R: Chapter 23 and 25.

    Quarrels

    R: Chapter 26.

  • April 2.
  • EXAM # 2.

  • RUSSIA.
  •    

    April 5 - 9

    Impact of the Past and Political Culture

    R: Chapter 17 and 19.

    April 12 - 16

    Government Institutions and

    Election and Parties

    R: Chapter 18 and 20.

    Quarrels

    R: Chapter 21.

  • CHINA.
  •    

    April 19 - 23

    Impact of the Past and Political Culture

    R: pg. 416-422 and pg. 430-433.

    April 26 - 28

    Governmental Institutions

    R: pg. 424-428 and pg. 436-439.

    Quarrels

    R: pg. 440-447.

  • May 3.
  • (Monday: 12 – 1:50 pm.)

    EXAM # 3.