May 26, 2022
POL 221W - Comparative GovernmentCredits: 3
Instructional Contact Hours: 3
Studies major European and selected non-western political systems. Emphasizes the techniques of comparative analysis and concepts of modernization, political development, and political culture. (This course satisfies the American Government graduation requirement in all curricula.)
Prerequisite(s): READING LEVEL 2 or WRITING LEVEL 2
Lecture Hours: 45 Lab Hours: 0
Meets MTA Requirement: Social Science
Outcomes and Objectives
- Recognize the importance of studying the political systems, behavior, and values of other countries.
- Relate knowledge of the politics of foreign countries to a better understanding of our own political system.
- Demonstrate how knowledge of the politics of foreign countries allows us as citizens to discuss and evaluate more intelligently U.S. policy and attitudes toward those countries.
- Use the ways in which different governments respond to similar problems to suggest how a community of nations can manage global challenges.
- Assess conceptual frameworks used in political science to describe, explain, and classify different political systems.
- Explain and apply the Aristotelian Theory for classifying political systems
- Explain and apply Max Weber's stages of political development (traditional, charismatic, and bureaucratic).
- Explain and apply classifications of political systems based on structural differentiation and cultural secularization.
- Test how well these frameworks explain continuity and change in different political systems.
- Evaluate the ability of these frameworks to formulate generalizations based on unique and different political systems that advance our understanding of comparative politics.
- Analyze how individuals and groups influence political institutions in different political systems.
- Assess the influence on political behavior of: historical background, geography, economic and social conditions, ethnic and caste groups, religious beliefs and ideologies.
- Relate the nature of political institutions in different systems to: political culture and political socialization; the role of political parties and interest groups; the manner in which individual citizens participate in civic affairs; the ways in which rulers are chosen.
- Suggest causal links between forms of political behavior and how political institutions exercise power.
- Analyze forms of military involvement in politics in different political
- Describe the roles performed by the military in different political systems.
- Assess the ability of the military to act as modernizers in developing societies.
- Evaluate methods used in different political systems to assure civilian control of the military.
- Draw conclusions regarding the appropriateness of the military’s intervention in politics.
- Assess the ability of political institutions in different systems to make and administer public policies.
- Identify the basic functions performed by political institutions in all systems.
- Compare and contrast different political systems in terms of: use of constitutions or basic laws; geographical division of power (unitary or federal system); the nature of executive authority; legislatures and assemblies; the role assigned to courts of law.
- Evaluate the ability of political institutions in different systems to: maintain order, protect national security, resolve the competitive demands of individuals and groups, provide vital services.
- Judge the strengths and weaknesses of the policy-making processes used in different political systems.
- Draw conclusions regarding the appropriateness of political institutions and policy processes used in western and non-western democracies, and western and non-western authoritarian systems.
- Analyze the ability of different political systems to deal with social conflict.
- Describe the types and causes of social conflict in different systems.
- Evaluate approaches used in different systems to ameliorate conflict related to the process of modernization.
- Identify conditions that facilitate the export of conflict from one country to another.
- Assess prospects for successful intervention in extreme cases of social conflict by external actors (nations, regional, or universal).
- Develop a model for how unique political systems can manage social conflict.
- Write effectively for a specific audience and purpose.
- Articulate clearly important ideas.
- Select, organize, and present details to support a main idea.
- Employ the conventions of written, edited, standard English.
- Quote, paraphrase and summarize accurately.
- Document sources in a conventional style.
- Use appropriate vocabulary for the audience and purpose.
- Demonstrate the learning of concepts through writing
- Analyze course content in written form.
- Explain the subject matter in a coherent writing style.
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