Dec 09, 2023  
2022-2023 General Catalog 
    
2022-2023 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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POL 125 - Comparative Government and Politics


Last Date of Approval: Spring 2021

3 Credits
Total Lecture Hours: 45
Total Lab Hours: 0
Total Clinical Hours: 0
Total Work-Based Experience Hours: 0

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the comparative study of government and politics across and within countries. It utilizes comparative methods to analyze questions of political systems, such as how they are created and organized; how and why they change; and why various political institutions generate different outcomes. The differences between nations and states, democratic and authoritarian regimes, presidential and parliamentary systems, and federal and unitary systems are emphasized. Sources of political, ethnic, and religious conflict across and within countries are also explored. Country cases are drawn from different regions of the world to ground students in a set of tools for comparative analysis. The ability to engage in comparative analysis is important for success in many occupations and professions; thereby directly contributing to a higher quality of life. In addition, the course encourages civic responsibility among students by comparing the U.S. government to other governments around world and recognizing the similar problems and challenges faced by such governments.

Prerequisites/Corequisites: None

Mode(s) of Instruction: traditional/face-to-face

Credit for Prior Learning: There are no Credit for Prior Learning opportunities for this course.

Course Fees: None

Common Course Assessment(s): None

Student Learning Outcomes and Objectives:
A. Demonstrate an understanding of the main concepts of comparative government and politics and apply those concepts to the modern global experience.

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the field of comparative politics and provide examples in selected countries.
  2. Distinguish between the concepts of government and politics and provide examples of each in selected countries.
  3. Distinguish between the concepts of nations and states and provide examples of each in selected countries.
  4. Identify and compare the main powers and functions of government and provide examples of those powers and functions in selected countries.
  5. Identify and compare the main political actors found in political systems and provide examples of those actors in selected countries.

B. Demonstrate an understanding of the main methods of comparative government and politics and apply those concepts to the modern global experience.

  1. Describe the comparative method and how different cases are systemically studied to test hypotheses, build theories, and make inferences.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the most similar approach of the comparative method and apply it to the study of various political systems.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding to the most different approach of the comparative method and apply it to the study of various political systems.
  4. Distinguish between qualitative, quantitate, and historical methods of comparative government and politics.
  5. Provide examples of the potential methodological pitfalls of the comparative method, including selection bias, value bias, and confirmation bias.

C. Classify political systems and compare the main political institutions and their functions and processes in the operation of government in selected countries.

  1. Classify the main types of political systems found in the world and provide examples found in selected countries.
  2. Compare and contrast the main institutions and processes of the legislative branch of government in selected countries.
  3. Compare and contrast the main institutions and processes of the executive branch of government in selected countries.
  4. Compare and contrast the main institutions and processes of the judicial branch of government in selected countries.
  5. Compare and contrast the relative importance of branches of government in selected countries.

D. Analyze the social and historical influences on the development of political systems in selected countries.

  1. Evaluate the role of monarchy, republicanism, and democracy in the evolution of political systems in selected countries.
  2. Compare and contrast democratic and authoritarian forms of government.
  3. Evaluate the importance of constitutional principles and the rule of law in the political systems of selected countries.
  4. Compare the importance of revolutions and civil wars on the evolution of political systems in selected countries.
  5. Evaluate the role of capitalism, fascism, socialism, and communism in the evolution of political systems in selected countries.

E. Evaluate and compare the past and present roles of government in selected countries.

  1. Distinguish between confederal, federal, and unitary systems of government.
  2. Trace the development of confederal, federal, and unitary systems of government in selected countries.
  3. Distinguish between parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential systems of government in selected countries.
  4. Trace the development of parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential systems of government in selected countries.
  5. Distinguish between strong states, weak states, and failed states in selected countries.

F. Evaluate and compare the most common forms of political participation and the main influences on that behavior in selected countries.

  1. Identify the most common forms of political participation and the main influences on that behavior in selected countries.
  2. Compare the main functions of the media in the political systems of selected countries.
  3. Compare the main functions of political campaigns and elections in the political systems of selected countries.
  4. Compare the main functions of political parties in the political systems of selected countries.
  5. Compare the main functions of interest groups and social movements in the political systems of selected countries.

G. Identify and evaluate the role of culture, the economy, and ideology in the evolution of political systems in selected countries.

  1. Identify common forms of culture that influence the development of political systems in selected countries.
  2. Evaluate the role of ethnicity, race, religion, and social class in the political systems of selected countries.
  3. Evaluate the role of political ideologies in the political systems of selected countries.
  4. Evaluate the role of business and industry, international trade, and globalization in the political systems of selected countries.
  5. Compare the role of government in addressing social problems of selected countries, as articulated by major political ideologies.



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