POLIS 1104 - Introduction to Comparative Politics
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021
General Course Information
Course Code POLIS 1104 Course Introduction to Comparative Politics Coordinating Unit Politics and International Studies Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Incompatible POLI 1104 Course Description The Rise of China, India and the European Union, alongside other regional powers such as Japan and Russia, has raised questions about the United States' continued dominance in global politics and economics. It has also opened a debate about competing models of political and socio-economic development and their effectiveness in promoting economic growth, political stability and social equity. Employing theories, concepts and methods of Comparative Politics, this course compares and contrasts the developmental paths taken by major global and regional powers. While analysing their political history, political and economic systems, as well as political cultures and social issues, it also reflects upon the policy-making processes, the efficacy of diverse political and economic arrangements and solutions to critical social problems states and nations face in the early 21st century.
Course Coordinator: Dr Czeslaw Tubilewicz
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesAt the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1 Define the key terms in Comparative Politics 2 Discuss the political history, institutions, political cultures, political parties, interest groups, political issues, cleavages, and the major political conflicts of various contemporary political systems 3 Compare and contrast major aspects of democratic and non-democratic political systems 4 Compare and contrast economic challenges facing developed and developing states 5 Debate the role of a state in economic development 6 Participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view 7 Navigate the large amounts of research material available in this subject through both traditional academic sources and through the use of information technology 8 Demonstrate career readiness and leadership skills appropriate for beginning professional practice, including lifelong learning skills characterised by academic rigour, self-direction and intellectual independence
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1-5 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
1-6 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
7-8 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
6 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Required ResourcesThe Course Reader is available both online and in print
Recommended ResourcesIn the past, this course used the text by Gabriel Almond, G. Bingham Powell, Russell J. Dalton and Kaare Strom (eds.), Comparative Politics Today: A World View (New York: Longman, 2010). There should be numerous second-hand copies of this textbook if you wish to go beyond the Course Reader.
Recommended academic readings are also made available on Myuni.
ABC News Radio http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/links/useful.htm (A useful collection of world newspaper URLs)
Longman Comparative Politics Reference Site http://k-12.pisd.edu/schools/pshs/soc_stu/comp_gv/links.htm (a good geography test, some useful basic country data, and a few internet links)
Comparative Politics: practice tests
Comparative Politics, Working Papers at Yale University:
Columbia University Resource Site:
Democracy at Large: http://www.ifes.org/Content/Publications/Democracy-at-Large.aspx
Foreign Government Resources: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~graceyor/govdocs/foreignnew.html
Governments on the WWW: http://www.gksoft.com/govt/en/
Poly-Cy Guide to Internet Resources for Political Science: http://crl.du.ac.in/Publication/E-Resources%20in%20Public%20Domain-Final/Political%20Science/Bird%27s%20Eye%20View/Websites/Internet%20Resources%20for%20Political%20Science.htm
Country Study Sites
Area Studies (@ Keele University): http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area.htm
BBC Country Profiles: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/country_profiles/default.stm
CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
Cultural Profiles Project: http://www.cp-pc.ca/english/index.html
Economist Country Briefings: http://www.economist.com/topics
Human Development Reports: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/
Library of Congress Country Studies: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html
The National Bureau of Asian Research: http://www.nbr.org/
Political Database of the Americas: http://pdba.georgetown.edu/
Profiles of Countries and Regions: http://www.imf.org/external/country/Index.htm
A Selection of Comparative Politics Journals:
African Studies Quarterly: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/
Asian Survey: http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublication?journalCode=asiansurvey
Comparative Politics: http://www.jstor.org/journals/00104159.html
Comparative Political Studies: http://cps.sagepub.com/
Problems of Post-communism: http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/results1.asp?ACR=ppc
Third World Quarterly: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/01436597.asp
Journals in area studies: http://www.tandf.co.uk/libsite/productinfo/journals/onlinecollections/politics/
Cambridge series in comparative politics (books): http://www.cambridge.org/ar/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/comparative-politics/series/cambridge-studies-comparative-politics
Online LearningThe POLI 1104 MyUni site contains announcements, copies of many course materials such as lecture notes, lecture recordings, assigned and recommended readings, a discussion forum, and links to useful web sites. You should check this site regularly.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesAll lectures will be online (via Zoom). Recorded lectures will be posted online as well. Some tutorials (SGDs) will be held online, while some in-class.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
1 x 3-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester 1 x 1-hour tutorial per week 24 hours per semester 2 hours tutorial preparation per week 24 hours per semester 3 hours assignment preparation per week 36 hours per semester 2 hours reading per week 24 hours per semester 2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
Learning Activities Summary
Schedule Week 1 What is Comparative Politics?
Methods in Comparative Politics
Week 2 States and nations
Key concepts in Comparative Politics
Week 3 The United States: political history and political system Week 4 The United States: domestic contests
China: political history
Week 5 China: political system and domestic contests Week 6 Comparing the USA and China
The European Union: history of European integration
Week 7 The EU: political institutions and processes; contemporary challenges Week 8 India: political history and political system Week 9 India: domestic contests
Comparing the EU and India
Week 10 Japan: political history and political system Week 11 Japan: domestic contests
Russia: political history and political system
Week 12 Russia: domestic contests
Comparing Japan and Russia
Small Group Discovery ExperienceAll tutorial activities are structured around small group learning that encourages and supports team work and a lively exchange of ideas.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching.
Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Online tests Formative and Summative 50% Take-home exam Summative 50%
Assessment DetailOnline tests: students are expected to complete two or more online tests
Take-home exam: students will sit a two-hour open-book exam at home
SubmissionFor details regarding submission guidelines, please refer to the Course Guide.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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