This course is NIU’s introduction to the study of political
systems outside the United States.As such, it has two main 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 analytical
approaches 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
understanding from this class should enhance your roles as citizens in a
democracy, i.e., enable you to make more informed judgments on the policies
that our leaders propose to follow in dealing with foreign countries.
To achieve its comparative goal, this course will examine
the political systems of Great Britain,
Iran and South
Course Policies and
1.The Learning Environment. Your instructor
is committed to the principle of active learning.This principle requires students’ active
involvement in, commitment to, and responsibility for their own education.Hence, it is important that students conduct
themselves in ways that indicate respect for the learning community and the
learning process.Respect for the
learning community should preclude such behavior as persistent tardiness,
leaving the room during class time (unless prior advice was given to the
instructor or in case of emergency), falling asleep, reading the newspaper, turning
your cell phone on, studying for another class, or chatting with others.
2. Readings and Lecture. Please purchase a copy of
the textbook for this course:Michael G.
Roskin, Countries and Concepts: Politics,
Geography, Culture 8th edition at the StudentCenter or at the Village Common
Bookstores.Some short readings may also
be distributed in class.
Lectures will parallel and compliments the readings.As such, students cannot just rely solely on
the lectures or the readings.
3. Class attendance
and Participation.Attendance at all
class session is expected, and the instructor will check the attendance
regularly.Class participation and
attendance will account for 10 percent of the total course grade.More significantly, informed participation in
class discussion will significantly help students in borderline grade
4. Exams.This course will have three exams.Two will be midterms written in class on February
16 and April 06.Each of these exams
will be worth 25 percent of the total course grade.A final exam, worth 30 percent, will be taken
during the regular final exam day, May 11 from .The format of each exam
will be a combination of essay, short answer, and multiple-choice.No make up exam will be offered, except in
cases of emergency, as defined by the instructor, and with advance
notification.There will also be some
pop quizzes given without prior notice.The total points from all quizzes will be worth 10 percent of the total
5. Course Grade.Course Grades will be distributed as follows:
Integrity.Students are expected to
know and comply with NIU polices on academic integrity (see p. 47 of 2001
Undergraduate Catalog).Any student
found guilty of cheating or plagiarizing will receive an “F” for the
examination and the course.He or she
may also be subject to additional sanctions imposed by the university.
7. 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 secretary by February 28. 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.
8. 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 HealthServicesBuilding. 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.
9. 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
of Lectures, Required Readings, and Exams
to the Course
Roskin, pp. 1-18
Britain: Impact of the Past, Roskin, pp.
Britain: Political Culture, Roskin, pp.
Britain: Elections and Parties, Roskin, p.
50, box on p. 51, pp. 66-73
Studlar, “A Constitutional Revolution in Britain?”
in ChristineSoe ed., Annual
Edition: Comparative Politics, 03/04, (Guilford:
McGraw, 2004), pp. 12-17. [to be
Britain: Key Institutions, Roskin, pp.
36-50, pp. 74-77
Order! Order! Order!
Britain: Quarrels, Roskin, pp. 79-92
Impact of the Past, Roskin pp. 96-111
Political Culture, Roskin pp. 130-145
Elections and Parties, Roskin pp. 147-160, pp. 124-125, box on p. 126
Key Institutions, Roskin pp. 113-124, p. 127, box on p.128
France: Quarrels, Roskin: pp. 162-175; Matine Durand
and John Martin, “The 35-hour
week: Portrait of a French Exception,” OECD
Observer, No. 244 (September
04), pp. 10-12; The Economist, “France’s
Failure,” and “An Underclass
Rebellion,” November 12, 05); pp.11-12, 24-26 [to be handed out].
Impact of the Past, Roskin, 262-277, box on p. 286, box on p. 287,
on p. 312, box on p. 313, box on p. 315, box on p. 317, box on p. 320,
on p. 321,
Political Culture, Roskin, pp. 295-309.
Government Institutions, Roskin, pp. 279-293, p. 314, pp. 319-322, box on p.
Parties and Elections, Roskin, box on p. 288, pp. 310-312, p. 293 (A Party
System Under) box on p. 292,
Quarrels, Roskin, pp. 314-318, pp. 324-336, p. 314
“Putin and the Oligarchs,” Foreign
Affairs Vol. 83, Issue 6 (Novemebr/December
2004), pp. 33-44 [to be handed out].
Economist, “The Challenger,” December
11, 2004, p. 9; “Vladimir
III?” p. 46-47 [to be handed out].
Impact of the Past, Roskin, pp. 416-424, box on p. 434
“Two Coasts of China.”
Political Culture, Roskin, box on p. 420, box on p. 421, pp. 430-432,
on p. 433, box on p. 435, box on p. 436
Government Institutions, Roskin, PP. 424-429
Quarrels, Roskin, box on p. 426, pp. 433 (from Chrouching)-446
Chandler, “Inside The New China: Part Communist, Part Capitalist-and full
speed ahead,” in Suzan Ogden, Global Studies: China 11th
2004), pp.104-107. [to be handed out].
Impact of the Past, Roskin pp. 340-353
Meiji: “Asia’s Response to the West.”
Political Culture, Roskin, pp. 367-381.
Elections and Parties, Roskin pp. 359-363, box on p. 364, pp. 387-389,
pp. 391 (danger of)-394
Government Institutions, Roskin pp. 363-66, pp. 382-386,
389 (No One)-391
Quarrels Roskin pp. 396-411
The Economist, “The Sun Also Rises,”
(October 8, 05), pp. 3-6 [to be handed out].
Africa: Impact of the Past, Roskin, pp.
482-487, box on pa. 488, box on p. 493, box on p. 497.
Africa: Political Culture, Roskin, pp.
Africa: Elections and Parties, Roskin, pp.
495-496, pp. 503-509.
Africa: Government Institutions, Roskin, pp.487-494.
Africa: Quarrels Roskin, pp. 509-515.
Impact of the Past, Roskin, 518-525
Herbst, “Mbeki’s South Africa,”
Foreign Affairs (November/December
84, Issue 06, pp. 93-105 [to be handed out].
Political Culture, Roskin, pp.529-535, box on p. 536
Election and Parties, Roskin, Box on p. 526, pp. 528-529, pp. 535-539
Key Institutions, Roskin, p. 525, pp. 526-528
Quarrels, Roskin, pp. 540-548.
Molavi, “Buying Time in Tehran: Iran
Model,” Foreign Affairs,
Vol. 83, Issue 6, 2004, pp. 9-16.
[to be handed out];
Economist, “Still Failing, Still Defiant,” pp. 23-25 [to be handed out].