POLI 105: Comparative Politics

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2022
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: D1. History and Political Science
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Catalog Course Description

An introductory course to acquaint students with the types of governmental systems which people establish in their various localities around the world and the competing values that tend to result in conflicts between opposing groups of people. An in-depth analysis of contending political ideologies, electoral procedures, and governing institutions is the course's main focus. This course is structured to provide a regional and comparative approach to the study of politics at the global level. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • identify and apply the comparative approach to the study of politics
  • recognize and assess the potential for the promulgation of peace, prosperity, and cooperation in the international community
  • assess the impact of globalization as it affects political and economic development in various regions of the world, as well as the the impact of globalization on political culture.
  • recognize and evaluate the various types of international systems that have existed in the world
  • identify and evaluate the problems associated with political and economic development faced in various regions of the world
  • recognize and evaluate the differences between the market-oriented and command approaches to political and economic development
  • identify and analyze the environmental setting in which nations attempt to create the social and political institutions that govern their lives
  • recognize and evaluate the historical and cultural background which have set the parameters in which peoples and governments must operate
  • identify and assess the various types of political institutions that are established in different parts of the worlds
  • recognize and evaluate the contending ideologies that drive the formation of political regimes and influence both their internal and foreign policies
  • identify and analyze the various conflicts that plaque the different regions of the world

Major Course Content

  1. Comparative approach to the study of politics
    1. Patterns of global economic and political development
    2. Political Systems
    3. Regional differences
    4. Prospects for cooperation and conflict
  2. International Systems
    1. Bipolar balance of power
    2. Unipolar hegemony
    3. Globalization
    4. Obstacles to development
    5. Civilizations and ethno-nations
  3. Western Europe
    1. Political setting: Western political heritage
    2. Institutions and policies: Triumph of parliaments and pluralism
    3. Case studies: United Kingdom, France, Germany
  4. Russia and Slavic Europe
    1. Political setting: The Slavic shatter zone
    2. Institutions and policies: Post-communist political culture
    3. Case studies: Russia, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia
  5. Asia
    1. Political setting: Civilizations and empires
    2. Institutions and policies: Continuity and change
    3. Case studies: China, Japan, India
  6. Latin America
    1. Political setting: The Spanish conquest
    2. Institutions and policies: Authoritarianism and democratic reform
    3. Case studies: Mexico, Brazil
  7. The Middle East
    1. Political setting: Politics and religion
    2. Institutions and policies: The search for peace
    3. Case Studies: Israel, Egypt
  8. Sub-Saharan Africa
    1. Political setting: Legacy of colonialism
    2. Institutions and policies: Long road to recovery
    3. Case studies: Nigeria, South Africa

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Class handouts and assigned essays from various academic journals and/or periodicals such as the "New York Times" and "The Economist".

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Students are asked to write an in-class Blue Book essay on an assigned topic showing knowledge of information provided through lecture, readings, discussion and/or media.
Students are asked to write a two to three page take-home response paper to a question presented by the instructor using readings other than the course textbook. (Supplements listed under "Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook").

Examples of Outside Assignments

The following two assignments serve as examples of what may be assigned so that students broaden their depth of knowledge through research and analysis outside of class. These are generally papers of about 5 pages in length that require research beyond the course textbook:
1) Compare the strengths and weaknesses of using a proportional representation electoral system rather than a single member plurality system. In answering this question you should identify a country that uses the former system, and one that uses the latter. Conduct some research on how the structure of the electoral system in each country affects the policy making process.
2) The instructor will assign to each student a country, other than the United States, to study the impact of globalization on the domestic political process. Each student will conduct outside research from a number of sources suggested by the instructor, and answer the following set of questions: --To what extent does globalization have an impact on this country’s politics, public policies, and economy? How so? --Which sectors of the country’s public policy or economy are especially impacted by globalization, and why? --Which sectors of public policy are least impacted? Why? --Is your case an example of a country which is losing a significant degree of sovereignty and/or democratic control to globalization, or not? --What evidence suggests this is so?
Each student will then prepare a 10 minute in-class presentation of findings to the class so that other students may broaden their understanding of the impact of globalization on the domestic politics of a variety of nations.
A paper of approximately five pages in length that summarizes the student's findings will be submitted to the instructor.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

4H. Political Science, Government & Legal Institutions