Friday, January 11, 2008

Syllabus for Introduction to Comparative Politics

ICP 120
3 Credits
International and Comparative Politics
American University Central Asia
Spring Semester 2008
J. Otto Pohl, Ph.D.
Emir Kulov, AFP Fellow

Meeting Time: Lecture on Tuesdays at 8:00 am and Seminars on Fridays at 8:00 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am.

Course Description: This is an introductory course to comparative politics. It will compare and contrast the existing political systems of six different countries. These countries are the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Mexico, the United States and South Africa.

Requirements: The course will consist of assigned readings, lectures, discussions, five surprise quizzes, a mid-term examination and a final examination. The five surprise quizzes cannot be made up. Students that are absent that day will forfeit the 5% of the grade from the quiz. Being more than fifteen minutes late will count as an absence. Students will lose one letter grade after four unexcused absences and fail the course after seven. Written proof of an emergency from a doctor or other appropriate authority is required for an absence to be excused. Please turn off all cell phones while in class. We will eject any students carrying on cell phone conversations during class from the room. This will count as an unexcused absence. Please see the separate handout on mobile phones. Finally, I (Dr. Pohl) have a significant hearing loss and may have to ask people to repeat their questions or statements from time to time. You can minimize this by speaking loudly and clearly. This syllabus is tentative and subject to change.

Readings: All the readings are contained in the Introduction to Comparative Politics reader and Mark Kesselmann, Joel Krieger, William Joseph (eds.), Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas, Second Edition.

Policy on Plagiarism: Plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment for the first offense. A second offense will result in a grade of F for the course. Please be sure to cite your sources. Please also see the separate handout on plagiarism.


Five surprise quizzes – 25% (5% each)

Mid-term Examination – 20%

Final Examination – 30%

Attendance – 10%

Participation - 15%

Grading Scale:

100-96 = A
95-91 = A-
90-86 = B+
85-81 = B
80-76 = B-
75-71 = C+
70-66 = C
65-61 = C-
60-56 = D+
55-51 = D
50-46 = D-
45 and lower = F

Class Schedule

Week One: Introduction to the course and review of the syllabus

Introduction, pp. 3-25 in Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph.

Weeks Two and Three: The United Kingdom

Richard Rose, pp. 161-212 in reader and Joel Krieger, pp. 28-77 in Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph.

Weeks Four and Five: Germany

Russell J. Dalton, pp. 271-324 in reader and Christopher S. Allen, pp. 134-186 in Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph.

Weeks Six and Seven: Russia

Thomas F. Remington, pp. 373-414 in reader and Joan DeBardeleben, pp. 426-483 in Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph.

Week Eight: Mid-Term Exam

Weeks Nine and Ten: Mexico

Wayne A. Cornelius, pp. 463-513 in reader and Merliee S. Grindle, pp. 378-423 in Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph.

Weeks Eleven and Twelve: The United States

Austin Ranney, pp. 733-777 in reader and Louis DeSipio, pp. 288-319 in Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph.

Week Thirteen and Fourteen: South Africa

Reader, pp. 420-449.

Week Fifteen and Sixteen: Review

Week Seventeen: Final Exam

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