PS103-08 - Comparative Politics 790 103(Section 08...

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Comparative Politics - 790: 103 (Section 08) Department of Political Science Rutgers University – New Brunswick Spring 2009 Syllabus -tentative and subject to change- Prof. Patricia T Young Email: [email protected] Class location: Murray Hall 210 Class schedule: 6:10 – 7:30 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays Office hours: 5:30 – 6:00 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, Kreeger Learning Center Course Description It may come as a surprise that the political issues we encounter everyday are not unique to our specific political, economic, social, geographical and cultural conditions. The task of comparative politics is to help us understand political phenomena through systematic comparisons with other countries or entities. This course is organized around three main themes in political science: the state, democracy and development, as well as around three overlapping theoretical concepts that have guided the study of each theme: interests, institutions and ideas. We will use examples from both industrialized and developing countries to study the main topics comprising our three themes. These topics will shed light on some of the most basic questions students of politics ask, such as how political change can be accomplished, how political power is maintained, how the political system and the economy interact, and how diverse social groups and societies relate to the state. The course will give you the tools you need for a more sophisticated understanding of hot political issues of the day, from ethnic violence in Iraq and the erosion of the Russian democracy to why Africa is so problem-ridden and to the rise of China an India. The second part of the course will apply the concepts learned in the first part to the study of some countries/regions relevant to US interests: China, India, the EU, Russia and Mexico. Objectives: By taking this course, students will be able to: 1. Understand and apply political science concepts and theories to compare politics in different environments. 2. Critically discuss and write about various aspects of politics in other countries and internationally in a systematic fashion. 3. Become familiar with the political systems and problems of several specific countries.
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Course Organization Each scheduled lecture period will have some readings assigned to it. You are expected to have completed that reading assignment prior to the lecture. The lectures are designed to sensibly summarize the information presented in the textbook, as well as to present novel information about Comparative Politics that you will be expected to know. The lectures will not replace the need to do the reading, nor will doing the reading cover all the material presented in the lecture. Required Texts
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PS103-08 - Comparative Politics 790 103(Section 08...

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