Ap comparative government syllabus



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AP Comparative GOVERNMENT SYLLABUS

2014-2015


Course Overview
This course is designed to provide students with the conceptual tools necessary to develop an understanding of some of the world’s diverse political structures and practices. We will examine six countries in detail: China, Great Britain, Russia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Iran. These countries are taught because they are excellent examples of the six core topics of a comparative course. These topics include methodology, power, institutional structure, civil society, political/economic change and public policy.
Please note that the 2015 Advanced Placement Examination in AP Comparative Government and Politics takes place on May 14 (Thursday) in the morning. The examination has two parts. The objective question (i.e., multiple choice) section consists of 60 questions, is 45-minutes long, and has a weight of one-half. The free-response section consists of five short answer and 3 free-response questions (one of these FRQs is purely conceptual-meaning not country specific-while the other two are country specific, with at least one requiring charts and graphs, is 100-minutes long (25 minutes for the five short answer and 25 minutes for each FRQ), and has a weight of one-half.
Your grade will be based on daily work, conduct, class participation, homework, tests, quizzes, the semester exam, and assigned projects (please see details below).


Assessments: Tests and quizzes will consist of identification, multiple choice, short answer and/or essay questions. Tests will be announced and there will be quiz EACH week over the assigned reading. Various projects will be assigned throughout the semester. Please note that there will be a test, consisting of multiple-choice and at least one free response question, at the conclusion of each chapter/topic.
Semester Exam: During finals week students will take a simulated AP US Government exam.
Tutorials: Please see the instructor for extra help if you are having trouble learning the material. It is crucial that you do this early in the semester so that you do not fall behind. Again, please see the instructor for help if needed. I am happy to assist you and very much want you to succeed!


Absences: Please see the instructor’s web page and the instructor should you miss assignments, tests, and quizzes due to absences.


Course Materials

Assigned Textbook: Kesselman, Mark., Joel Krieger, and William Joseph. Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas, Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2013.


Instructor assigned articles from: the BBC, the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Journal of Democracy, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and others as appropriate.

Course Outline

The following is a listing of topics/sample readings. Please consult your assignment calendar for specific due dates of actual assignments


Introduction to Comparative Politics (Weeks 1–2)

A. Reasons for Comparison

B. Methods of Comparison

1.) Normative/empirical, direct/inverse relationships, correlation/causation

2.) Issues to Compare

3.) Democracy/authoritarian, unitary/federal, presidential/parliamentary

4.) SMD/proportional, pluralism/corporatism, merit/patronage, OECD/LDC, modernization/globalization/fragmentation, judicial autonomy

5.) Sources of Sovereignty, Authority and Power


Readings

-Kesselman: Chapter 1: Seeking New Lands, Seeing with New Eyes (voc) Chapter 2: Industrialized Democracies (voc)

-Democratization Briefing Paper with questions

-“The Mountain Man and the Surgeon”, Economist 12/20/05

-“Democracy as a Universal Value”, Journal of Democracy, 7/99
Activities

1. Using CIA World Factbook, Freedom House website, the Economist website, construct comparison chart featuring population, territory, HDI, GDP, PPP, six countries and the United States. Analyze relationships using methods.

2. Using textbook, complete chart comparing six countries and United States on issues.
Assessment

Test: 50 multiple-choice questions, short answers, and interpretive Essay.


Great Britain (Weeks 3-4)

1. Historical Foundations: constitutionalism, Legitimacy, Nation/State,

Liberal Democracy

2. British citizens, Society, and the state: Demographics, Cleavages, Civil

Society

3. Political Institutions: Political Parties/Elections, Westminister Model

4. Role of E.U.: Sovereignty

5. Public Policy: Thatcherism, N. Ireland, Role of NHS, Immigration,



Terrorism
At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


  • Differentiate between parliamentary and presidential systems

  • Distinguish between unitary and federal political systems.

  • Distinguish between head of state and head of government

  • Explain why the prime minister is considered to be the “first among equals”

  • Define collective responsibility

  • Define constitutional democracy

  • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

  • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

  • Describe how the iron triangle applies to British politics by using specific examples

  • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

  • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

  • Trace the watershed events in the United Kingdom's evolutionary democracy

  • Identify and explain Britain’s political, economic and social sources of legitimacy

  • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to the United Kingdom

  • Discuss the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing the United Kingdom and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

  • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

  • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in Britain

  • Explain how the political parties, interest groups, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and political actors have impacted political life in the United Kingdom

  • Describe the basic political tenets of Britain’s major political parties

  • Describe how the Britain’s democracy compares with other democracies

  • Describe the impact ethnicity has had on British politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Explain how the British participate in politics

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Identify and describe the major political actors and their offices

  • Understand immigration’s impact on Great Britain


Class Activities and Projects:

  • Mock Parliament

  • Political parties position papers


Reading

  • Hauss: Chapter 4: Great Britain (voc)

  • A Revised British Constitution: Tony Blair's Lasting Legacy?, Donley T. Studlar, McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Learning Series, 2007

  • Who Killed the British Prime Minister? The Economist, September 14, 2006

  • Electoral Politics in the United Kingdom,Donley T. Studlar, McGraw-

Hill/Contemporary Learning Series, 2007

  • “A Constitutional Revolution in Britain.” Donley T. Studlar 2006

  • “Weighing the Votes: Why the Electoral System Favours Labour.” Annual Editions

  • “The British General Election of 2005.” Donley T. Studlar AE

  • “The Strange Tale of Tony Blair.”


Activities

  1. Watch current Prime Minister’s Question Hour (C-SPAN)

  2. PM Question Time Simulation: Party and Topic to be assigned.

3. Analyze recent election returns for trends.
Assessment Test

50 multiple-choice questions and short-answer (ID and interpretive essay)


European Union (Weeks 5-6)



At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


  • Highlight the watershed events in the history of the European Union

  • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

  • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

  • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

  • Describe how the iron triangle applies to EU politics by using specific examples

  • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

  • Discuss how the European Union has gained and lost legitimacy over time

  • Discuss the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing the European Union and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

  • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

  • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in the European Union

  • Explain how European citizens participate in EU politics

  • Discuss how the political parties, interest groups, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and political actors impact political life in the European Union

  • Define supranational organizations

  • Compare and contrast the European Union with other supranational organizations

  • Discuss how the EU and other supranational organizations affect the domestic and international policies of the core countries

  • Describe the impact of ethnicity had on the European Union's politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Identify and explain the European Union’s political, economic and social sources of legitimacy

  • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to the European Union


Reading

  • Kesselman: Chapter 9: Iran


Videos:

  • “The European Union (selected segments).” Delegation of the European

Commission. 2004

Russia (Weeks 7-8)

1. Historical Foundations: Soviet Union/Russia, glasnost, post-Cold War

2. Russian Citizens, Society, and the State

3. Political Institutions: President/PM, Illiberal Democracy



4. Policy: G8, Chechnya
At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


  • Explain Russia’s hybrid presidential system and explain the rationale for its use

  • Explain the basic tenets of Marxism

  • Explain the basic tenets of Leninism and Stalinism

  • Compare Marxism to Russia's Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism

  • Explain how Russia's 20th and 21st century history influenced its current attempts at democracy

  • Describe Russia’s 1917 revolution

  • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

  • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

  • Describe how the iron triangle applies to Russian politics by using specific examples

  • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

  • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

  • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

  • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in Russia

  • Explain how Russians participate in politics

  • Describe the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing Russia and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

  • Describe the basic political tenets of Russia’s major political parties

  • Explain how political parties, interest groups, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and political actors have impacted political life in Russia

  • Compare Russia's political culture with other countries

  • Describe the impact ethnicity has had on Russia's politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Identify and explain Russia’s political, economic, and social sources of legitimacy

  • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to Russia

  • Understand how personal politics and informal means of power play a role in Russian politics

  • Understand the characteristics of a centrally planned/command economy

  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of a centrally planned/command economy


Reading

  • Kesselman: Chapter 4: Russia

  • Communist Manifesto Karl Marx and Frederich Engels

  • “Putin Gambles on Raw Power.”Steven Lee Myers

  • “What Does Putin Want?” Peter Lavelle

  • Smith, Tony. Thinking Like a Communist: State and Legitimacy in the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba. Norton, NY: 1987.

  • “Vladimir Who?”, Economist 2/9/06

  • “The Kremlin’s Control Freak”, Economist 9/16/04

  • “The Shock of the Old”, Economist 1/20/05

  • “Still Calling for Help (Chechnya)”, Economist 1/13/05


Videos:

  • “Yeltsin,” A & E Biography

  • “Putin, Democrat or Dictator?” 60-Minutes Interview


Activities

1. Watch movie clip on Russian Revolution (People’s Century).

2. Watch movie clip on Gorbachev coup attempt (ABC special).

3. Complete comparison chart of institutions/policies between

USSR/Russia.

4. Complete comparison chart of Russia/Iran/Great Britain.

5. Class Debate: “Should Russia be in the G8?”

6. Analyze recent election results for trends.

7. Evaluate economic indicators.
Assessment

Test: 60 multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions

(ID and interpretive essay)

China (weeks 9-10)

1. Historical Foundations: Revolution, Cultural Revolution, Economic Modernization

2. Chinese Society: Rich/Poor Cleavages

3. Political Institutions: Guanxi, Corruption, Mass Line, Democratic

Centralism

4. Policy: Privatization, Google, Falun Gong, Taiwan and Tibet


At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


    • Describe the basic structures and functions of China’s political system.

    • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

    • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

    • Describe how the iron triangle applies to Chinese politics by using specific examples

    • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

    • Describe the political philosophy and ideologies of the CCP

    • Explain the contributions of China’s major leaders.

    • Assess political performance and results of China’s leaders

    • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

    • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

    • Explain how Chinese participate in politics

    • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in China

    • Describe the China’s political culture and political values.

    • Explain the interactions between important politically relevant groups and individuals that influence the China’s policies.

    • Describe and understand the historical events that have impacted and aided in the establishment of current political institutions in China.

    • Describe and assess China’s transformation of its economic systems from a centrally-planned to a capitalist system.

    • Describe how China’s ancient history influenced its history in the 20th century.

    • Explain how Mao influenced modern Chinese politics.

    • Compare Marxism and Maoism.

    • Compare the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology compare to Maoism and Marxism.

    • Describe the impact has geography and population have on Chinese politics.

    • Compare the accomplishment of recent leaders to Mao.

    • Asses Chinas’ level of democracy.

    • Explain how China is politically organized nationally, regionally, and locally.

    • Understand the role the “democratic” parties play in Chinese politics.

    • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of China’s economic model.

    • Understand why China’s conviction rate is almost 100%.

    • Explore how China’s judicial system is reforming.

    • Explain the progress minorities and women have made in Chinese politics and discuss what still needs to be done.

  • Describe the impact ethnicity has had on Chinese politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Explain how Chinese participate in politics

    • Explain how China has controlled the military.

    • Explain the role of the press in China’s politics.

    • Describe China’s role in globalization.

    • Explain the relationship between China and Taiwan.

    • Identify and explain China’s political, economic and social sources of legitimacy

    • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to the United Kingdom

    • Explain the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing China and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

    • Understand how personal politics and informal means of power play a role in Chinese politics

    • Explain the role of the People’s Liberation Army


Reading

  • Kesselman: Chapter 8: China

  • Great Leap Forward,” Economist 9/30/04

  • “China: The Quiet Revolution.” Doug Guthrie

  • “China's Leader, Ex-Rival At Side, Solidifies Power.” Joseph Kahn

  • Smith, Tony. Thinking Like a Communist: State and Legitimacy in the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba. Norton, NY: 1987.

  • “China: The Quiet Revolution.” Doug Guthrie

  • ““Country Profile: China.” BBC

  • “Worried in Beijing, ”Economist 8/5/99

  • “China’s Intolerance of Dissent, ” BBC 3/8/05


Activities

  1. Watch movie clip on Chinese Revolution (People’s Century)

  2. Watch movie clip on Tiananmen Square (ABC special)

  3. Watch movie on China’s economy (Wall Street Journal)

  4. Create comparison chart for China/Russia/Iran/GB

5. Class Simulation: CCP leading small group economic proposals

6. Analyze and evaluate economic indicator data

Assessment

Test: 60 mulitple-choice and short-answer questions (ID and essay)



Iran (Weeks 11-12)

1. Historical Foundations: Revolution (Political Change)

2. Iranian Citizens, Society, and the State: Globalization/Fragmentation

3. Political Institutions: Role of Islam, Theocracy



4. Policy: Petropolitics, Nuclear Weapons, Iraq
At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


  • Describe the basic structures and functions of the political system of Iran.

  • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

  • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

  • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

  • Describe how the iron triangle applies to Iranian politics by using specific examples

  • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

  • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

  • Describe the variation of political philosophies and ideologies in Iran.

  • Recognize the important people in leadership positions in Iran.

  • Describe the political culture, and political values in Iran.

  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of democracy for Iran

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of parliamentary and presidential political systems for Iran.

  • Explain the interactions between important politically relevant groups and individuals that influence Iranian politics.

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of federalism for Iran.

  • Describe and understand the historical events that have impacted and aided in the establishment of current political institutions in Iran.

  • Describe the impact ethnicity has had on Iranian politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in Iran

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Explain how Iranians participate in politics

  • Describe the basic political tenets of Iran’s major political parties

  • Identify and explain Iran’s political, economic, social sources of legitimacy

  • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to Iran

  • Explain the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing Iran and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

  • Understand how personal politics and informal means of power play a role in Iranian politics

  • Describe Iran’s 1979 revolution and compare with Mexico’s Chiapas Revolt of 1994 and China’s 1989 Tiananmen crisis

  • Compare Iran’s 1979 revolution with Russia’s 1917 revolution


Outside Readings:

  • Kesselman: Chapter 7: Iran

  • “The True Clash of Civilizations.” Ronald Inglehart And Pippa Norris

  • “Middle East Democracy.” Marina Ottaway And Thomas Carothers

  • “Bin Laden, The Arab "Street," And The Middle East's Democracy Deficit.” Dale F. Eickelman

  • Hiron, Dilip. The Iranian Labyrinth: Journeys Through Theocratic Iran and Its Furies, Nation Books: 2005.

  • “Victory for a Religious Hardliner in Iran,” Economist 6/27/05

  • “As Iran Presses Its Ambitions, Its Young See Theirs Denied,” Washington Post 4/24/06

Activities

  1. Watch movie on Iranian Revolution (PBS)

  2. Complete comparison chart for Great Britain and Iran.

  3. Class Debate: “Should Iran develop nuclear weapons?”

  4. Analyze recent election returns for trends.

  5. Evaluate economic indicators.


Assessment

Test: 60 multiple-choice questions and short answer (ID and essay)




Nigeria (Weeks 13-14)

1. Historical Foundations: Colonialism, Military Coups, Authority

2. Nigerian Citizens, Society, and the State

3. Political Institutions



4. Public Policy: Corruption, Terrorism, Poverty, Oil
At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


  • Discuss different theoretical approaches to development

  • Explain how democracy has helped and hindered Nigeria’s development.

  • Understand how politics operates in Nigeria’s authoritarian political climate.

  • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

  • Describe the basic political tenets of Nigeria’s major political parties

  • Describe the basic structures and functions of the political system of Nigeria.

  • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

  • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

  • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

  • Describe how the iron triangle applies to Nigerian politics by using specific examples

  • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

  • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in Nigeria

  • Describe the variation of political philosophies and ideologies in Nigeria.

  • Recognize the important personages in leadership positions in Nigeria.

  • Describe the political culture, and political values in Nigeria.

  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of democracy for Nigeria

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of parliamentary and presidential political systems for Nigeria.

  • Explain the interactions between important politically relevant groups and individuals that influence Nigerian politics.

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of federalism for Nigeria.

  • Describe and understand the historical events that have impacted and aided in the establishment of current political institutions Nigeria.

  • Describe the major political parties in Nigeria

  • Describe the internal and external effects of nationalism

  • Describe the impact ethnicity has had on Nigerian politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Explain how Nigerians participate in politics

  • Discuss the significance of state-owned and operated industries in the countries.

  • Describe Nigeria's recurrent transitions from military to civilian rule.

  • Explain how democracy has helped and hindered Nigeria’s development.

  • Understand how politics operates in Nigeria’s authoritarian political climate.

  • Identify and explain Nigeria’s political, economic, and social sources of legitimacy

  • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to Nigeria

  • Explain the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing Nigeria and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

  • Understand how personal politics and informal means of power play a role in Nigerian politics

  • Explain the role of the military in Nigerian politics


Reading

  • Kesselman: Chapter 6: Nigeria

  • “Nigeria: Chronicle of a Dying State.” Ike Okonta

  • “A Spectre of Turmoil and Conflict”, Economist 2/23/06

  • Oladimeji Aborisade and Robert Mundt, 2002. Politics in Nigeria, 2/E. Longman [PIN]
    Suberu, Rotimi. 2001. Federalism and Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace. [excerpts]

  • http://nigeriaworld.com

  • Kenyatta, Jomo. Gentlemen of the Jungle.




Mexico (Weeks 15-16)

1. Historical Foundations

2. Mexican Citizens, Society, and the State

3. Political Institutions: Camarilla, Corporatism, Legitimate Elections

4. Public Policy: NAFTA, Chiapas, Immigration, Structural

Adjustment



At the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Describe the basic structures and functions of the political system of Mexico.

  • Identify and describe the sources of authority, political power, and governance

  • Describe the three branches of government and other basic political institutions and their major functions and power

  • Explain the powers and role of the bureaucracy

  • Describe how the iron triangle applies to Mexican politics by using specific examples

  • Understand how political elites are recruited and interests are aggregated and articulated

  • Describe the legal system and the extent of judicial independence

  • Describe the variation of political philosophies and ideologies in Mexico.

  • Recognize the important people in leadership positions in Mexico.

  • Describe the political culture, and political values in Mexico.

  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of democracy for Mexico

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of parliamentary and presidential political systems for Mexico.

  • Explain the interactions between important politically relevant groups and individuals that influence Mexican politics.

  • Describe the impact ethnicity has had on Mexican politics

  • Explain the ways in which women and ethnic, religious, regional and socioeconomic groups articulate their interests

  • Evaluate the political efficacy of women and ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups

  • Explain how Mexicans participate in politics

  • Discuss how the five-stage policy process operates in Mexico

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of federalism for Mexico.

  • Describe and understand the historical events that have impacted and aided in the establishment of current political institutions Mexico.

  • Describe the basic political tenets of Mexico’s major political parties

  • Identify and explain Mexico’s political, economic, and social sources of legitimacy

  • Explain the specific agents of socialization as they apply to Mexico

  • Explain the social, political, and economic challenges currently facing Mexico and the associated policies implemented or proposed to address them

  • Understand how personal politics and informal means of power play a role in Mexican politics

  • Describe the Chiapas Revolt of 1994 and compare with China’s 1989 Tiananmen crisis

Reading

  • Kesselman: Chapter 5: Mexico

  • Briefing paper on Mexico with questions

  • “Redrawing the Federal Map”, Economist 3/27/03

  • “Putting The Brakes on Change”, Economist 7/10/03

  • “At Least I’m No Dictator, says Mr. Fox”, Economist 9/8/05

  • “The Sinking of a Flagship”, Economist 2/23/06

  • “The War on the Border Streets,” Economist 6/30/05

  • “A Few Shots at Power”, Economist 9/18/03



Activities

-Watch movie on Mexican economy (Wall Street Journal).

-Create comparison chart for Mexico/China/Russia/Iran/Great Britain.

-Analyze recent political election data for trends.

-Evaluate economic indicator data.
Assessment

Test: 60 multiple-choice with short answers (ID and essay)



V. Final Comparisons (Weeks 17-18)

A. Compare six comparative government countries and United States to review

for AP Exam
Activities


  1. Country Group presentations/discussion

  2. Complete final comparison charts


Assessment

Test: 60 multiple-choice questions and short answers

(ID and essay)


V. Final Comparisons (Weeks 15–16)

A. Compare six comparative government countries and United States to review for AP Exam


Activities

  1. Country Group presentations/discussion

  2. Complete final comparison charts


Assessment

Final Exam: To be taken before the national AP Comparative Government and Politics Exam scheduled for May 14 (as usual AP style test questions, both MC and ID/FRQ.


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