Political Science | Introduction to Comparative Politics
Y107 | 3287 | Firmin-Sellers


	Many of us have a basic understanding of American politics.  Often,
however, what we learn about the United States doesn't hold for politics in
other nations.  Why, for example, does the United States have only two
political parties, while Germany has many parties, and China only one?  Why
do American interest groups work through existing political institutions,
while Mexican and Kenyan groups often voice their opinions outside those
institutions, sometimes through violent protest?
	This course provides students with the tools they need to understand
politics in other nations.  We focus specifically on six countries: Britain,
Germany, Russia, China, Kenya, and Mexico.  For each, we examine the
nation's political institutions (the legislature, executive, and electoral
system, for example).  We then ask how those institutions influence the way
in which citizens mobilize to express their political opinions, and how the
institutions affect the way in which the government responds to citizen
demands.  Students will leave the course with a basic knowledge of these
nations, and with the analytical tools necessary to learn independently
about others.
	Readings for the course average 30-40 pages per week.  Students are
required to take two in-class examinations and one final examination.  The
examinations will be a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and
essay questions.  The examinations will cover all assigned readings,
lectures, movies, class discussions, and current events.  The two in-class
examinations are each worth 30% of your grade; the final is worth 30%.
Students are also required to write a series of one page current events
analyses, based on class readings and student research.  These papers are
worth 30% of your grade.  The remaining 10% of the student's grade are based
upon in-class assignments and discussion.