SPRING 2007: MONDAY 6:30-9:10PM


David Goldberg

Location: DU212

Office Hours: Monday 4:30-6:30pm

Office: Zulauf 415

Phone: 942.3722

Email: goldberg@cod.edu


Course design and objectives: This class provides an overview to the field of comparative politics, a discussion of its major components and application of concepts to Mexico, France and Iran. We discuss the value of cross-national comparisons, provide some historical background, and evaluate political culture, institutions and current areas of disagreement within the states.


Assigned Readings:

Roskin, Michael G. 2007. Countries and Concepts: Politics, Geography and Culture.

            Prentice Hall Publishing. Ninth Edition.

Satrapi, Marjane. 2003. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. Pantheon Publishing.

_____. 2004. Perspolis 2: The Story of a Return. Pantheon Publishing.


Each of the books is available in the bookstore. Students are expected to complete the assigned readings in advance of class. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to subscribe to a national daily newspaper with an emphasis on coverage of international events. The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor are at least partially available at no cost on the internet.


I. Graded Requirements

A. Exams: There are two exams in the class. Each exam is worth 20% of the total grade. The first exam is tentatively scheduled for March 5, and the final exam is May 9.  The exams consist of identification and essay questions.


 B. Paper: Students are expected to write a paper, no less than seven pages of written text in length, on a subject of relevance to the themes of the class. Topics must receive prior approval. The final paper is due in class on April 9 and accounts for 30% of the total grade. Additional information on the paper will be distributed in class.



C. Participation/attendance: Arriving in class having already completed the assigned materials is necessary to succeed.

Participation is worth 10% of the total grade. The emphasis should be on quality not quantity.


Attendance is critical and if excessive absences present a problem I reserve the right to fail any student. Students are given two excused absences. Please use them only when necessary.


- Makeup exams will be given only in the rarest of circumstances. Students must contact the instructor in advance with an acceptable explanation. Please take this into consideration. Extensions for written work will only be granted with the rarest of circumstances.


D. Miscellaneous

- If you have a disability and would like to speak with someone regarding

accommodations please visit the Student Affairs. This should be done as early in the semester as possible.

-  Academic dishonesty will be treated with the utmost seriousness (course failure at a minimum). Make certain that all work is appropriately cited. See the student handbook and catalog for additional information.



II. Tentative Course Outline


Week 1: January 22  : Introduction and overview. What is comparative politics?

Week 2: January 29, Continue introduction. Roskin Chapter 1. Mexico historical

           background, Roskin pp.483-92, 498-501

Week 3: February 5: Continue history. Mexican political institutions.

           Roskin p.493-97.  Abstract due in class.

Week 4: February 12: Institutions continued. Economic development, immigration

                                    and illegal drugs Roskin pp.506-513.

Week 5: February 19: Catch up, review for exam

Week 6: February 26: Begin French history Roskin pp,86-99       

Week 7: March 5: First exam scheduled         

                               March 12 no class. Spring Break.

Week 8: March 19: French political institutions pp.100-115, 132-45

Week 9: March 26: French political culture pp.116-130, Disagreements in French

                                 society pp.146-59. Begin reading Persepolis, intro through p.86.      

Week 10: April 2: Begin Iranian history, Roskin pp.542-48. Begin discussing

       Persepolis. Finish reading Persepolis.

Week 11: April 9:. Iranian political institutions, pp.549-553. Paper due in class

     558-562. Begin reading Persepolis 2, intro through p.91

Week 12: April 16: Roskin pp.553-558. Iranian political Culture.

Week 13: April 23: Iranian areas of disagreement, Roskin pp.563-570. Recent events in

        Iranian politics. Finish reading Persepolis 2.

Week 14: April 30: Catch up, review for exam. Finish discussing Persepolis 2

Week 15:  May  7: Final exam.          


Final Exam: Monday May 9.

This is a tentative schedule, subject to change. It is the responsibility of the student to keep up with any alterations.