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150Far08a - P.Sc 150 Political Systems of the World Prof...

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P.Sc. 150 Political Systems of the World Prof. Farkas COURSE OBJECTIVES This is a basic university level course. It does presume that you are coming to the class with a focus and a commitment that you will do all the work assigned. It is designed to nurture the skills associated with thinking about politics in a more sophisticated way. To accomplish this, we need to learn to think conceptually, express our thoughts, and process ideas by linking facts. We also need to learn how to measure our level of confidence in an idea. This course will focus on introducing you to those ideas. It is a “comparative politics” course. That means that it will try to understand politics by looking to examples outside the American political system. We will try to understand in a systematic way how political systems are similar or are different from one another. In this way, we see a much larger range of systems and we encounter unfamiliar ways of dealing with challenges that some Americans presume can only be handled the way it is done in the USA. You must approach this course with an open mind and invest yourself in learning the key concepts! The ideas you will learn here are the "tools" that you will use to analyze political systems and indeed other social systems throughout your lives. The bulk of this class is learning about the concepts. Details about foreign political systems will serve to illustrate their use. Political Science offers many 200 level courses that fill in massive detail on particular regions of the world. Consider following this course with one of those if you develop the interest. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES Please read and THINK about the following list. If you choose not to do these things, it will not be possible for you to complete this course in a satisfactory way. (a) All readings from the text must be done on time … that is, BEFORE the lecture deals with the subject. (b) Class attendance is crucial. Virtually all of your questions can be addressed in class. This is the key opportunity to “complete” the process of understanding what you have read. Lectures will introduce information that is NOT in the text. Students are expected to attend EVERY class. You must engage yourself in these classes. (c) Preparation for clicker-quizzes in virutally every class. This will be done by use of "clickers" and will form an element of the way your performance will be evaluated. (d) A short oral essay (submitted on cassette audio tape or CD). (e) A short written essay. (f) A comprehensive final exam. (g) Preparation for class enabling one to ask or answer questions in the classroom setting. REQUIRED TEXT & Materials (a) Shively, Power & Choice , McGraw-Hill, 11 th edition, paperback (b) Graham, et al, The Politics of Governing , CQ Press, 3 rd edition, paperback (c) i-clicker (available in bookstore on campus)
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FACULTY-STUDENT CONTACT Experienced university students know that it is wise to use the opportunity to visit and consult with professors during their office hours. If those hours are impossible, propose to meet at another time.
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