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1 Proposal: number 23

23. PSCI 103: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Contact:Joe Rollins
Abstract:Comparative Politics (CP) is the study of nations in cross-cultural contexts).
The focus of inquiry is on how, where and why political systems are different
across nations. At its most general, the subfield introduces students to these
concepts through comparative analysis whereby their own “orientalism” is
destabilized by looking at the differences among political systems in
historical, cultural and political contexts; hence, the term “comparative.”
Traditional approaches to the area emphasize the influence of players from
three levels of analysis: historical (economic modernization and political
development), cultural (political cultures and socialization), and structural
(party systems, government institutions). Faculty trained in CP specialize in
particular geographic areas (e.g., the Middle East, Latin America, Asia) and
thus all courses are, by definition, comparative and concerned with world
cultures. The attached sample syllabus emphasizes the theoretical elements of
CP and apply these to the study of countries across three worlds: early
developers, late developers and developing countries (the Global North, Global
East and Global South). Other faculty in the Political Science Department rely
on the same theories and concepts, but may apply them to different regions of
the globe. The methods favored by the subfield of CP are two:


qualitative and
quantitative. Qualitative analytic strategies inform students about the
historical evolution of political forms, sources of political change and
behavior, and structures and functions of institutional features. The
quantitative aspect of CP relies primarily on economic modeling and game theory
in order to provide students with a more comprehensive, linear, set of analytic
tools for exploring change and development in their world.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
PSCI 103 2008-04-20 SS Submitted Dept
PSCI 103 2008-04-20 WC Submitted Dept
PSCI 103 2008-04-20 QR Submitted Dept
PSCI 103 2008-11-05 SS Approved GEAC
PSCI 103 2008-11-05 WC Approved GEAC
PSCI 103 2008-12-04 SS Approved UCC
PSCI 103 2008-12-04 WC Approved UCC
PSCI 103 2009-02-05 SS Approved Senate
PSCI 103 2009-02-05 WC Approved Senate