POL 101  Politics:  Comparative Introduction

 Course description (see also Catalog)

Democratic and authoritarian states are compared and contrasted from viewpoints of politicians, citizens, journalists, and political scientists.  Human relations and behaviors—public and otherwise—are analyzed with reference to how individuals and groups experience power.

 Text:  Robert J. Jackson & Doreen Jackson, A Comparative Introduction to Political Science (Prentice-Hall, 1997).

Reading lists are printed with each chapter.

Supplementary material is to be collected by each student from current news sources and is to be organized in clippings files: interesting countries, important persons, hot issues.  Suggested sources are The New York Times, The Economist.

An outstanding news source online is <www.bbc.co.uk>

Lexicon is available in paper copy at Library Reserve desk, on Blackboard for registered students, and in Political Science office for copying onto 3½” diskette.




Topic (read text before and after)

Written Items

Day 1

ch 1

Purpose, Definitions, Scope & Limits


Day 2

ch 2

Political Science


Week 2

3, 4

The Modern State, States & Forms


Day 5


Democratic/Authoritarian distinctions

Day 6




Week 4

ch 6

Culture, Socialization

#1 due/do

Week 5

ch 7



Week 6

8, 9

Ideologies, Dem/Auth


Week 7

10, 11

Constitutions, Dem/Auth

#2 due/do

Week 8

12, 13

Central Government, D/A

WD w/o permission

Week 9

14, 15

Public Administration, D/A

WD w/ permission

Week 10

16, 17

Parties & Interests, D/A

#3 due/do

Week 11

18, 19

Elections & Voting, D/A


Week 12

ch 20



Week 13

ch 21

Politics among States

#4 due/do



See schedule when issued



Attendance and punctuality are important.  Delinquencies are penalized.

Grading of written work weighs three (3) written items equally.  Projects are due on dates indicated and are unacceptable after graded papers are returned.  Graded papers are normally returned and discussed at the next class meeting.  Each paper must be collected by the author in order to get full value for the grade.  Consultation among students and helping each other is fine on projects #1 and #2, although individual papers should be submitted.  Collaboration is encouraged on projects #3 and #4—multiplying the number of cases compared by the number of authors.  If all four (4) items are done, the lowest grade is omitted from computation.  One item can be skipped entirely without penalty.  A reduction is taken per missing item fewer than four.  Any “due” date might be converted into a “do” date, to be done during class, in which case the work done on the project will have served as test preparation.

Selected Sources

Almond, Gabriel A., and G. Bingham Powell, Comparative Politics:  A Developmental Approach (Boston: Little, Brown, 1966).
Almond, Gabriel A., and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1963).
Crick, Bernard, The American Science of Politics (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1959).
Dahl, Robert A., Modern Political Analysis (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963…1997).
Dahl, Robert A., Polyarchy (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1971).
Duverger, Maurice, Political Parties (London: Metheun, 1951, 1976).
Easton, David, The Political System (New York: Knopf, 1953).
Easton, David, A Systems Analysis of Political Life (New York: Wiley, 1965).
Easton, David, The Analysis of Political Structure (New York: Routledge, 1990).
Eulau, Heinz, and Kenneth Prewitt, Labyrinths of Democracy (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973).
Herring, Pendleton, Group Representative Before Congress, (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1929).
Huntington, Samuel P., The Third Wave:  Democratization in the 20th Century (Norman, OK: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991).
Lasswell, Harold, Politics:  Who Gets What, When, and How (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936).
Lasswell, Harold, and Abraham Kaplan, Power and Society:  A Framework for Political Inquiry (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1950).
Lipset, Seymour Martin, Political Man (New York: Doubleday, 1960).
Macridis, Roy C., The Study of Comparative Government (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1955).
Merriam, Charles, The Making of Citizens (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1931).
Michels, Robert, Political Parties (orig. publ. 1915; Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1949).
Moore, Barrington, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Boston: Beacon, 1966).
Pye, Lucian, Politics, Personality, and Nation-Building (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1962).
Rawls, John, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1971).
Riker, Willian H., The Theory of Coalitions (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1962).
Sartori, Giovanni, Theory of Democracy Revisited (2 vols.; Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1987).
Schattschneider, E. E., The Semi-Sovereign People (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960).
Simon, H. A., Models of Man (New York: Wiley, 1957).
Smelser, Neil, Comparative Methods in the Social Sciences (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976).
Sorauf, Frank J., Perspectives on Political Science (Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Books, 1966).
Strum, Philippa, and Michael Shmidman, On Studying Political Science (Pacific Palisades, CA: Goodyear Publishing Co., 1969).
Verba, Sidney, Elites and the Idea of Equality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1987).
Wahlke, J., The Politics of Representation (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1978).