Approved by Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Proposal Form

 

 

1. Department or Program Political Science and Public Administration

2. Course Number 332

3. Semester Hours 3

4. Frequency of Offering Once in alternate years

5. Course Title European Political Systems

6. Catalog Description

A comparative study of the political ideological, social and economic development in European political systems with emphasis on the British, French and German political systems. Emphasis is placed on cultural and institutional aspects leading to the creation of the European Union.

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 provide the student with the basic knowledge of the historical developments that led to the present political structures and their functions in selected European countries. In pursuing this course of study, a systems approach will be followed. A comparison between these systems will be made with frequent reference to the American experience and other systems from different parts of the world. Students will be expected to have learned the basic principles of comparative politics and will be given the opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge through research and debate. The course will include a discussion of the EU and the future of European unification. Students will have the opportunity to watch the growth process of a newly created political system.

12. Course Outcomes

    1. Understand the principles upon which democratic governments are based;
    2. Students will learn the principles on which democracy is based and the different forms of democracy as applied in different political institutions. They will get the opportunity to compare establish and transitional democracies. They will learn about what makes a democratic regime stable and what leads to instability of the democratic institutions and governments. They will get to compare unstable governments such as those of Italy and France after WW II and those of Switzerland and Britain during the same period to understand the differences between the different forms of government and how they function.

    3. Understand the problems of democracy and the conditions that favor or disfavor it;
    4. That democratic institutions have been constituted in political system is not a guarantee that democratic processes will have the opportunity to survive. Like other living things, democracy cannot survive for long in a hostile environment. Woodrow Wilson claimed that the U. S. entered WW I to "make the world safe for democracy". "Democratic institutions" were introduced in Germany. These same institutions were used to bring Adolph Hitler to power. The same process applied in Italy with Benito Mussolini, and Serbia with Slobodan Milosovic. What was hoped for did not materialize. Students will be able to understand why democracy did not survive under the conditions of Germany and Italy after WW I and Serbia after the breakup of Yugoslavia, and why it has survived under other conditions.

    5. Identify, state, and justify value judgments related to democratic institutions;
    6. Under democratic government, one expects periodic selection of people’s representatives and, equal opportunity for citizens, rule by the majority and respect for the rights of the minority. When students have studied the various political systems in Europe, they will have gained a deep understanding of the values of democracy and will be able to take a stand in favor of democratic, over totalitarian and other authoritarian institutions.

    7. Understand the nature of non-democratic institutions;
    8. In the course of the study of political systems in Europe, students will study Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, among other systems of government. They will be conversant in the principles on which each of the different forms of government is based and understand the nature of non-democratic institutions.

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

When the masses took to the streets in Danzig and Berlin to bring down the Marxist regimes in Poland and East Germany, and when the Russian people stood up to the military’s attempt to overthrow Mikhael Gorbachev, the masses were able to change well-entrenched institutions. Likewise, when the Germans stood by and watched the dismantling of democratic institutions in the 1930’s, the consequences were felt throughout the world. Students will, through the study of these and other events, be able to understand the implications of taking action, and of inaction, for democratic and other institutions.

 

 

 

Department of Political Science

P.S. 332 European Political Systems

Fall, 2000

Year and Semester Professor Office Location Office Hours Telephone Fax E-Mail
Fall, 2000 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
Annotated Bibliography Textbooks Assignments Out of Class Assignments

 

Writing Your Report Academic Integrity

1. Major Focus and Objectives

This course is designed to provide the student with basic knowledge of the historical developments that led to the present political structures and their functions in selected Western European countries. In pursuing this course of study, a systems approach will be followed. A comparison between these systems will be made with frequent references to the American political system and other systems as might be appropriate. A study of the social, cultural, geographical and other environmental conditions will be offered. The course will include discussion of the EU and the future of European cooperation.

This course meets the requirements of the major and minor in political science as well as the Democratic Institutions requirement of the University Studies Program

Student Learning Objectives

Students in this class should have completed the course: Introduction to Comparative Politics, which laid the theoretical foundations of comparative analysis. They will be expected to have learned the basic principles of comparative study and will be given the opportunity through this course to apply the knowledge acquired earlier. The students are encouraged to read a wide variety of sources to help familiarize themselves with the topics of the course.

University Studies 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;
f. Understand the relation of equal rights to democratic institutions;
g. Understand the need to exercise responsibility for the expression of their ideas.

Students who complete this course are expected, at a minimum, 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;

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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.

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.

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.

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3. ATTENDANCE:

While there is no mandatory attendance policy in the University, students will discover that their level of interest in the subject matter will decline with frequent absenteeism. Since this is a basic course and a prerequisite to other political science courses, it is essential that the students be punctual and well informed on the subject. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that absenteeism be held to a bare minimum. In any case, students will lose a full letter grade from their final course grade for every two days of unexcused absences. An absence will be excused prior to the absence or immediately after returning to class. It is your responsibility to supply the necessary documentation to support your case. An absence will be inexcusable if a week had expired prior to seeking approval from the instructor after return to class. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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4. Course Requirements

A. Class participation:

The class will be conducted on an informal basis. Hence, participation by the students in presentation of the material is of vital importance. Not only is the quantity of participation by individual students important, but so is the quality. The quality of participation is to be measured by criteria such as reading of assignments prior to class sessions and proof thereof, relevance of questions and answers to the topic under consideration, originality of ideas and thoughts, breadth of knowledge of the subject matter, degree of progress...etc. Participation in class will be a determining factor in marginal grades.

B. Examinations:

There will be a mid-term and a final examination. Material in the examinations will not overlap. Each of the examinations will account for one third of the grade.

C. Annotated Bibliography or Research Paper:

In addition to the examinations, all students are required to submit an annotated bibliography containing three separate entries on each of the political systems covered, for a total of twelve entries. Material for the annotated bibliography may come from research books, books of readings, or major research articles. No more than one entry can be taken from the same source of information. Material that could be used must relate to political problems of current or relatively recent interest. Students may NOT use encyclopedias or news weeklies to meet this requirement. Journal articles should normally be in excess of 25 pages in length to allow for a reasoned presentation of their contents.

Each of the entries should be typed and no more than 250 words. The annotated bibliography maybe handed in at any time during the quarter but not later than two weeks prior to the week of final examinations. (Exceptions in cases of valid emergency may be made with the instructor's approval.)

Alternatively, students may choose to write a research paper ranging between 15 and 20 pages, double-spaced, in length, on a topic to be mutually agreed to by the instructor and student.

Students are encouraged to make their choice within the first three weeks of the semester.

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D. . Out of Class Assignments:

Students will participate in at least three class discussions on the course’s web page on the Internet. Discussion topics will be assigned during the course of the semester. Grading for this assignment will be based on the quality, not quantity, of participation. The professor will give the students feedback on their participation, but will not be part of the discussion. It is hoped that this approach will give the students the opportunity for free dialogue, unhindered by professor’s interference.

Other out of class assignments will be announced in class and posted on the web page intermittently.

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5. Required Texts or Alternatives

Almond, Gabriel A., Russell J. Dalton and G. Bingham Powell, Jr., eds. European Politics Today. New York: Longman. 1999. ISBN 0-321-00281-4

Hancock, M Donald, et al., Politics in Western Europe, 2nd ed. Chatham, NJ: Chatham House Publishing, Inc. 1998.

Wood, David M. and Yesilada, Birol A. The Emerging European Union. White Plains, NY: Longman Publishers. 1996.

6. Recommended Readings

The textbooks provide minimum required readings. In addition, students are encouraged to do as much supplementary readings as their time permits. A supplementary reading list will be provided.

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7. Weekly Assignments

 

Weeks

Topic

Expected Outcomes

Assignment

1 - 2

Introduction
  The European Context
  Democratic Political Culture and Participation in Europe
  Democratic Government in Europe

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Almond, chs. 1 – 3

3 - 4

The Established Democracies
  Politics in England
  Politics in France

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Almond, Chs. 4– 5

5 - 7

  Politics in Germany
Democratic Transitions
  Politics in Spain

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Almond, Chs. 6 – 7

8– 10

  Politics in Russia
  Politics in Poland

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Almond, Chs. 8 – 9

11 - 13

  Politics in Hungary
Politics in the European Union
Presentation of Research project results

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Almond, Chs. 10 - 11

Mid-term Examination Date to be announced

Final Examination as scheduled.

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