PSCI 204
Introduction to Comparative Politics: Nationalism, Religion, and State Power Spring 2010
Division II
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Whereas the field of international relations focuses upon the actions of sovereign states toward one another, the comparative study of politics looks mainly at what goes on inside countries. It asks, for example, why political life differs so much from one country to another, how political regimes change, sometimes suddenly, and where sovereign states come from. Thus comparative politics is often about what citizens of countries with stable and relatively effective governments take for granted. In the spring section, we first read influential works of modern social thought and contemporary political science, as well as stories and novels, in order to ask general questions about the relationship between politics and economic development, the origins of revolution, nationalism, and terrorism, and the effects of war and religion on politics. We then clarify some of these ideas as we briefly consider the USA in comparative perspective. The course ends with short student projects applying key concepts to particular countries.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 35
Expected: 24
Class#: 3156
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: five 2-page reaction papers, a 5- to 7-page paper, and a final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students and sophomores
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PSCI Comparative Politics Courses

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