Political Science | Intro to Comparative Politics
Y107 | 3546 | Johnson


	Comparative politics is global politics.  Of course, we can't study
the world, but we can "travel" to a wide variety of political systems.  We
will visit the more established political systems such as United Kingdom,
France, and Germany as well as those in the process of transitioning from
communism such as Russia and China and those which are developing, such as
Brazil, Nigeria, and Iran.  By examining and comparing each country's
political history, political structures and processes, and current important
policy issues, we can begin to understand what makes certain political
systems work and others prone to problems.  We can also explore the major
contemporary global problems.  One such important problem is the force of
"globalism" pulling countries together into bigger political entities (such
as the European Union) opposing the forces such as ethnic self-determination
dividing countries.
	As this course leans towards explanation rather than description of
these political systems, the most important asset you will gain is skills
necessary to analyze, evaluate, and compare the foreign events in the news.
In this increasingly global world, there are few careers that do not require
the ability to explain events and political systems around the world.  This
course is especially useful for those of you who are thinking about majors
or careers in political science, journalism, or business.
	The major requirements of the class include following international
news on a daily basis (you will turn in a summary of several articles every
other week), four quizzes, and a final exam.  In addition, attendance is
mandatory as much of the course will come from classroom discussion,
projects, and current information not available in the texts.  There are two
required textbooks, Kesselman et. al., Comparative Politics at the
Crossroads and Annual Editions: Comparative Politics, located at the
bookstores.  Also, you will be required to subscribe to a newspaper (at
student rates) which will discuss in class on the first day.