--Alexis de Tocqueville
-- go here for practice quizzes and other useful stuff
-- includes readings and assignments
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of comparative politics. The study of the political and social experiences of other countries heightens our understanding of politics in general as well as here in the United States. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental structure of the governments of several key countries (the US, the UK, China and Russia, among others). Students will also demonstrate understanding of the institutional workings within these countries and how various personalities and forces interact with these countries’ political institutions and processes to shape policies. Students should be able to compare systemic and policy differences between countries in the hopes of obtaining some fundamental truths about politics in general.
To help you illustrate the similarities and differences around the globe, you will write a paper comparing some aspect of public policy. This would not be a ‘traditional’ research paper, but would be in the form of a policy proposal. The goal of the paper (and of the class) is for you to learn about an aspect of comparative politics as well as improve your understanding the relevance of comparative politics.