Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Proposal Form

1. Department or Program Political Science and Public Administration

2. Course Number 135

3. Semester Hours 3

4. Frequency of Offering Twice annually

5. Course Title Comparative Political Systems

6. Catalog Description

Comparative study of different political systems with an emphasis on the frameworks used to compare them, and the concepts used to analyze and describe politics in different countries. Also includes treatment of case studies.

7. This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2 Yes

8. This is a new course proposal No

9. University Studies Requirement this course would satisfy Democratic Institutions

10. Department Contact Person for this course Yogesh Grover – 457-5415 ygrover@winona.edu

11. General Course Outcomes

This course is designed to give students an appreciation of the prevailing political systems and values in different parts of the world. In so doing, the course takes a regional approach to the study of politics. True understanding starts with comparison. The course will help the students understand how the past has affected the present and how it might affect the future. Students are expected to expand their data bases by availing themselves of the vast knowledge made available on the Internet and the printed media.

12. Course Outcomes

    1. Understand the principles upon which democratic governments are based
    2. As students study different forms of government, both existing and vanquished, in different parts of the world, they are expected to understand the principles upon which different forms and styles of government are based. Students will understand that "democracy" is not a monolithic form of government and that there numerous ways of implementing it. Two of the most commonly discussed forms are the Parliamentary and Presidential. These and other forms will become familiar to the students.

    3. Understand the problems of democracy and the conditions that favor or disfavor it
    4. The fact that democracy guarantees equality of opportunity at the theoretical level, it does not guarantee equality of results. The consequence is the emergence, or reconfirmation of the status, of privileged and disadvantaged classes. The best and most talented are not always assured of the opportunities that democratic theory portends to offer them. Students are expected to learn the conditions under which democracy can function or become dysfunctional.

    5. Identify, state, and justify value judgments related to democratic institutions
    6. As students study and compare different forms of government, they are expected to understand the principles upon which the different governmental institutions, including democratic ones, are based. They will understand that democratic institutions can be considered the best form of government under certain conditions. But when poverty, disease, and illiteracy are highly in evidence democratic institutions are not likely to prosper or to properly operate. Instability can be the outcome.

    7. Understand the nature of non-democratic institutions
    8. The counter-force to democracy is not always totalitarianism or dictatorship. Patrimonial rule has been found to work best in societies emerging from colonial rule. Students are expected to learn and understand the conditions under which patrimonies, autocracies, military dictatorships, meritocracies, pluralist regimes and totalitarian ones can emerge, be maintained and legitimized.

    9. Understand the implications of taking responsibility for the consequences of their own actions for democratic institutions

One of the greatest nemeses of democracy is apathy. Some have defined democracy as "government by those who show up." Students are expected to examine and assess this premise and to understand the consequences of their participation. They will also be expected to learn that participation in the game does not guarantee the outcome. Like games in sports, the game of politics requires pre-game preparation, winning performance during the game, proper mental attitude, and external support. Most of all, a player must never underestimate the power or the resolve of the opposition. When students understand all the rules of the game they should be able to understand the consequences of their participation in democratic institutions.

 

 

 

P. S. 135

COMPARATIVE POLITICAL SYSTEMS

Spring, 2001

Year and Semester Professor Office Location Office Hours Telephone Fax E-Mail
Spring, 2001 Dr. Ahmed El-Afandi 119 Minne
Hall
1:00 - 2:30 MW
or by appointment
(507)457-5403 (507)457-2621 wnelafand@winona.edu

 


SYLLABUS

Course Focus Instructional Plan Attendance Course Requirements
Academic Integrity Textbooks Assignments Bibliography

 

Discussion Results

 

1. Major Focus and Objectives

This course meets both the social science requirements of the General Education program, as well as the major and minor requirements for the Department of Political Science majors.  It also meets the requirements of Democratic Institutions under the University Studies Program.  This course is designed to give the student an appreciation of the prevailing political systems and values in different parts of the world. In so doing, the course takes a regional approach to the study of politics. True understanding starts with comparison. One compares the present situation with past experiences. Different regions of the world have had different and, sometimes, similar experiences in their histories. This course will attempt to understand how the past has affected the present and will attempt to draw conclusions about future directions.

Students, who are satisfied with getting by, may rely on the course presentations as their "load of knowledge". However, students who are interested in more depth of knowledge are expected to expand their database by acquiring information that was not presented in class. Extensive use of the library, the news stand, and the professor’s time should help in attainting this objective. To gain the needed knowledge students will be expected to consult one or more of the following daily newspapers and news services, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ , http://www.csmonitor.com/ , http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/, http://www.cnn.com, http://www.cbs.com, http://www.nbc.com, http://www.abc.com. Other regional, national and international newspapers may also be consulted. For a more complete list of these papers, please consult the Research Links section of the Department of Political Science home page. Contacting and conversing with students from different parts of the world should help enhance greater understanding of world politics.

2. Instructional Plan and Expectations of Students:

Students are expected to read the required material before coming to class in order to facilitate discussion. Class periods will consist of a mixture of lectures and class discussions. Students are expected to attend class regularly and be prepared to respond when called upon during discussions.  Students who do not participate in class discussions will not learn as much as those who do.

In as much as possible, students are expected to participate in class and to contribute to each other’s learning. They can do that by sharing their knowledge and opinions, existing or newly acquired, with their colleagues. They will normally bring to the attention of their classmates information gained from their readings. They will also participate in discussion forums established on the Internet.  Students are encouraged to ask questions at any time in class or during office hours.

Academic dishonesty of any type will not be tolerated and will result in serious penalty. College-wide and departmental policies regarding this issue will be followed scrupulously. For an explanation of the departmental policy, see the "Statement on Academic Integrity" link in this syllabus. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

University Studies Outcomes for the Democratic Institutions category:

a. Understand the principles upon which democratic governments are based;
b. Understand the problems of democracy and the conditions that favor or disfavor it;
c. Identify, state, and justify value judgments related to democratic institutions;
d. Understand the nature of non-democratic institutions;
e. Understand the implications of taking responsibility for the consequences of their own actions for democratic institutions;
f. Understand the relation of equal rights to democratic institutions;
g. Understand the need to exercise responsibility for the expression of their ideas. 

Outcomes expected of students in this class:

As a minimum, when students complete this course, students are expected to have attained the following outcomes:

a. Understand the principles upon which democratic governments are based;
b. Understand the problems of democracy and the conditions that favor or disfavor it;
c. Identify, state, and justify value judgments related to democratic institutions;
d. Understand the nature of non-democratic institutions;
e. Understand the implications of taking responsibility for the consequences of their own actions for democratic institutions;

 

3. ATTENDANCE:

While there is no mandatory attendance policy in the University, students will discover that their level of interest in a subject matter will decline with frequent absenteeism. It is strongly suggested that absenteeism be held to a bare minimum.  Unless there is a truly valid excuse, you should plan to be in class every time it meets.

 

4. Course Requirements

A. Three exams (20% each) and a final (20%) (multiple choice and short essay combinations)

B. Class participation (10%)

C. Participation in the discussion segment on the web page of this course. (10%)

Students' grades will be posted on this site and can be checked by clicking on Results, above or through http://course1.winona.edu/aelafandi/polsci135/results.htm

 

5. Expectations of students:

Students are expected to:

  1. Do the assigned readings and come to class prepared;
  2. Participate in class discussions by offering opinions and raising issues for discussion;
  3. Take responsibility for their learning process by consulting with the professor regarding any unclear issues and any difficulties they might have in the course. The professor is not a mind reader. He has no way of knowing what difficulties students might be having if they are not brought to his attention.
  4. Attend class regularly and be prompt in their attendance. To fully participate in the class and gain the expected insights, students should make every effort to be present in every class period not only physically but also mentally.
  5. Participate in the discussion portion of the course.  Students may access the discussion "room" by clicking on the hotlink at the top of this syllabus, or by using this URL: http://course1.winona.edu/aelafandi/polsci135/discussion.htm
  6. Take examinations and hand in assignments at the designated times.

 

6. Expectations of professor:

The professor is expected to:

  1. Be present during class periods, but if he must miss one or more class periods to inform the students in advance, whenever possible;
  2. To come to class prepared and to present the material in a clear and concise manner that helps students comprehend the topics;
  3. Communicate with the students at their level of comprehension;
  4. Explain issues by different ways and means that enable the greatest comprehension of the material;
  5. Foster student enthusiasm and interest in the topic;
  6. Be accessible to students in and outside the classroom;
  7. Show even handedness and impartiality between the students, and offer no favoritism;
  8. Evaluate students’ performance objectively on the basis of its quality, not on the basis of whether or not their views agree with his;
  9. Provide students with feedback on their assigned tasks in a timely and constructive manner;
  10. Not act as a substitute for the students’ efforts to gain knowledge;
  11. Help build self-confidence in students by encouraging and guiding students to find solutions for their problems, but to not solve the students’ problems for them.

 

7. Textbook

Kesselman, Mark and others, Introduction to Comparative Politics. 2nd ed. Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. 2000.  ISBN0-395-93704.

 

8. Weekly Assignments

Week Topics Expected Outcomes Assignment Exam Date
1-4 Introduction
Introducing Comparative Politics
Britain
France
 

A, B, C, D, E

Kesselman, Chs. 1-3 Feb. 8, 2001
5-9 Germany
Japan
India
A, B, C, D, E Kesselman, Chs. 4-6 March 15, 2001
10-12 Brazil
Mexico
Russia
A, B, C, D, E Kesselman, Chs. 8-10 April 5, 2001
13-14 China
Nigeria
Iran
A, B, C, D, E Kesselman, Chs. 11-13 May 2. 2001 3:30-5:30 p.m.

 

8. . Bibliography

See bibliographical list in your textbook.