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Political Science: Comparative Political Systems

POLS 071 OL1 (CRN: 61390)

3 Credit Hours

About POLS 071 OL1

Examination of political behavior, political structures, and political processes from a cross-national perspective.


Dates: July 15 - August 9, 2019

Section Description

The goal of this online course is to help students look at politics from a comparative perspective. On the one hand, we will obtain a better grasp of major differences between political systems, building our conceptual vocabulary and research skills so that we can more effectively discuss and describe politics in different countries. On the other hand, we will learn and apply techniques and theories that can be used to account for differences among countries. Questions we will explore include: Why does authoritarianism persist in the Arab world? Why has democracy failed to take hold in Russia? Why have some countries achieved peace and development while others have not? In answering these, you will not only learn about important issues, but also improve your ability to make informed evaluations about politics outside the United States.

Section Expectation

You will need to be engaged with the course on a daily basis. That is the best way to ensure that you do not fall behind. It is imperative that you keep up with assignments. The details for this work are laid out below.


Quizzes: There will be seven on-line quizzes that you will complete at the end of each of our modules. These will consist largely of multiple choice, identification, and short-answer questions. Each quiz will count for five percent of your final grade. Regular Assignments: You will complete a large number of assignments over our semester. Reading Synopses: You will complete four reading synopses. For these, you will read an academic article or chapter and write a brief (about 2 pages, double-spaced) summary and commentary. Discussion Contributions: Some of our assignments will ask you to contribute to discussions that we are having about material for the class. I will evaluate these separately from your other assignments. Your contributions will be evaluated on how effectively they demonstrate serious engagement with the material for the class and the contributions of other students who have posted on the discussion board Final Essay: You will write one brief final essay, about 2 pages (double-spaced) in length. I will provide a topic to be addressed and you will submit this on the last day of our course. Grades will be factored as follows: Quizzes (x7) 35 % Regular Assignments 25 % Reading Synopses (x 4) 20 % Discussion Contributions 15 % Final Essay 5 % ------------------ 100%




Online Course (View Campus Map)