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CPO 2001 Syllabus


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CPO 2001 INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS Instructor: Dr. Alan B. Beck Office: A207K Class Meetings: MWF, 12-12:50 pm Phone: 395-352-5009 T-TH 12:30-1:45 pm E-mail: [email protected] Web Site: http://people.sfcollege.edu/alan.beck/ Office hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10 am to noon Wednesdays/Fridays, 1-3 pm Goals of this course : This course provides the opportunity to learn about politics in a variety of different societies: the structure of their political systems and the ways in which people participate, as well as the factors that have contributed to the differences among countries—historical, cultural, political, geographical, and economic circumstances, and the impact of international events and trends. We will explore the cultural and political values that contribute to their politics, the impact of world affairs on their political systems, and how the differences in their political systems affect the lives of people. I approach all Political Science courses as opportunities to help to empower students and to prepare students for a life of engaged citizenship. For Political Science majors, the study of comparative politics will provide a foundation for further studies in the field. But most students in this course are majoring or planning to major in other fields. For everyone here, this course will help you to gain knowledge of politics and its importance to your lives, to obtain a base of knowledge of politics and tools of analysis that will help you to understand political phenomena, the reasons they occur, and how they affect people. The knowledge and intellectual tools you gain here will hopefully enhance your ability to understand the importance of political matters, to stand up for yourselves politically, to think in a sophisticated way about politics, and to participate meaningfully in democratic governance. In the study of politics, the world is our laboratory. Therefore, we will have frequent discussions of current events—the reasons they are happening, the motivations of the actors, the problems they reflect, the implications for us, etc. Required Readings : Text Book: John McCormick: Comparative Politics In Transition, 6 th Edition (Wadsworth, 2010) Newspapers: The Washington Post ( www.washingtonpost.com ) Other articles: Handed out or posted on my web site during the term Freedom House human rights reports: At freedomhouse.org
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About some of the readings: The Newspaper : Reading the newspaper on a regular basis will give us the opportunity to discuss what is going on politically in the real world. It is meant to encourage you to realize the importance of being interested in and aware of issues, situations, and ideas that will affect you in your lives; and perhaps to build in you the habit of newspaper reading. Whether there will be social justice, democracy, reasonable living conditions, extraordinary social inequities, etc., depends on whether your generation learns to be politically aware and engaged, and building that
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