POLIS 1104 - Introduction to Comparative Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    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 Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Czeslaw Tubilewicz

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At 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
    7-8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The Course Reader is available both online and in print
    Recommended Resources
    In 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.

    Internet Resources

    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
    http://www.appracticeexams.com/ap-comparative-government  
    Comparative Politics, Working Papers at Yale University:
    http://www.yale.edu/leitner/papers.html  
    Columbia University Resource Site:
    http://library.columbia.edu/subject-guides/social-sciences/compol.html 
    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/ 
    Development: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/development/index.html 
    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 Learning
    The 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 Modes
    All lectures will be in-class. They will be recorded. Lecture material will be discussed in each week’s tutorials. 
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 2-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 Experience
    All tutorial activities are structured around small group learning that encourages and supports team work and a lively exchange of ideas.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting
    SGD activities Formative and Summative 20%
    Individual submission Summative 10%
    Online tests Formative and Summative 25%
    Open-book exam Summative 45%
    Assessment Detail
    SGD activities: students will engage in interaction in class activities and the cooperative sharing of ideas and information - 15% weighting 
    Group project: students will engage in group work in order to produce an academic project on an assigned topic - 15% weighting
    Individual submission: each group member will submit electronically her/his contribution to the group project - 10% weighting 
    Online tests: students will be required to complete two online tests - 25% weighting.
    Open-book exam: students will sit a two-hour open-book exam (they will be allowed to bring all course materials and other printed resources to the exam room) - 35% weighting
    Submission
    For details regarding submission guidelines, please refer to the Course Guide.
    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.