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INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS Political Science 790:103:01 Spring Semester, 2009 Benjamin A. Peters Class Meetings [email protected] Mon., 9:50-11:10am Office Hours: Thurs., 12-2pm Thurs., 9:50-11:10am Kreeger Learning Center Voorhees Hall 105 Course Description This course serves as an introduction to the Political Science subfield of Comparative Politics. Our starting point is an inquiry into the origins and development of the modern state. Here we ask what differentiates the modern state from prior political communities and what explains the varying courses of development of different states. Through this inquiry students will learn how to assess different political systems and institutions from a comparative perspective. If the modern era is defined by the rise of the territorially sovereign state, it is equally associated with new forms of political economy and the emergence of civil society. Understanding what these terms mean and what consequences their variance as political phenomena has is another important undertaking in explaining and evaluating the differences between political communities in terms of the balance between competing interests. In addition to our examinations of institutions and interests, we will also turn our attention to issues of political culture and identity. Here we will employ a qualitative approach to study the collective identity of nationalism. Finally, we will analyze perspectives on globalization and social movements. Required Texts 1. Readings in Comparative Politics , Mark Kesselman and Joel Krieger, Houghton Mifflin (2006) ISBN: 0618426256 Available for purchase at the Rutgers University Bookstore at the Ferren Mall, One Penn Plaza, New Brunswick. 2. Other required readings for this class are available online where indicated or on electronic reserve . To access electronic reserves, choose the “Find Reserves” option on the left-hand side of the RU Libraries homepage and then enter my last name and course title. It is your responsibility to access and read the assigned materials before each class. Course Requirements and Grading Because this class serves as an introduction to a broad field of research literature, we will analyze a wide variety of texts as well as three films during the course of the semester. Keeping up with the readings and attending class faithfully is essential to satisfactory completion of the course. The purpose of our twice- weekly meeting time is to analyze and discuss our course materials in a systematic and analytically precise manner. Class attendance and participation is one component of your evaluation and counts for 5% of your grade for the semester. To receive full credit for attendance and participation, students will attend class regularly and actively contribute to the class. Actively contributing to the class can include asking informed questions, answering questions that I pose to the class, engaging in amiable discussion and debate, and applying the theoretical frameworks that we engage to cases outside those we cover in class. Through your active participation, you should aim to demonstrate your mastery of the key concepts,
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This note was uploaded on 07/25/2009 for the course 790 103 taught by Professor Baker during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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