Roanoke College Department of Public Affairs

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Roanoke College

Department of Public Affairs

Introduction to Political Science (POLI 101 A)

Spring 2015

TuTh 8:30-10:00 a.m.

West 210

Office Hours: Tu, 2:40-3:40, W, 1-2,

Th, 10-11, and by appointment

Dr. Justin D. Garrison

West 121


Course Description
POLI 101 enhances the ability of each student to think analytically about politics. The course introduces students to the scientific study of politics and prevalent research methods. The course introduces students to subfields of political science such as American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.
Course Objectives
The course objectives for POLI 101 are the following:

  • Provide students with a general understanding of political science and its major subfields.

  • Introduce students to empirical research methods associated with political science.

  • Improve each student’s ability to think critically about politics.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completing POLI 101, each student should have:

  • Articulated the basic principles of the scientific study of politics on an exam.

  • Expressed an understanding of the major subfields of political science on exams.

  • Improved writing and critical thinking skills on exam essay questions.

Course Grading
Your final grade will be determined on the following basis:

  • Current Events Pres.: 10%

  • Exam 1: 15%

  • Exam 2: 15%

  • Exam 3: 20%

  • Final Exam: 25%

  • Participation: 15%

Grading Scale
The course has a total of 100 points. The final grade scale is as follows: Below 60 = F, 60-62 = D-, 63-67 = D, 68-69 = D+, 70-72 = C-, 73-77 = C, 78-79 = C+, 80-82 = B-, 83-87 = B, 88-89 = B+, 90-92 = A-, 93-100 = A.
Required Texts*
Dooley, Kevin, and Joseph Patten, Why Politics Matters: An Introduction to Political Science
* All readings listed as “(Inquire)” will be available on Inquire in PDF format.

* All in-class references to course readings will be from the required editions of these texts.

Course Requirements
Current Events Presentation:

Each student will give a PowerPoint presentation about a current event. The event can be on a topic related to local, state, national, or international politics and policies. During the presentation, each student must give an overview of his or her selected topic, explain how the topic is connected to the readings due for the day of the presentation, and provide a question to the class for discussion. More information about the current events presentation will be distributed to the class via Inquire.


This course will have a total of four examinations. The first exam will be on Thursday, 29 January 2015. The second exam will be on Tuesday, 24 February 2015. The third exam will be on Tuesday, 31 March 2015. The final exam will be on Friday, 24 April 2015. Exams may consist of objective, short answer questions and/or an essay question.

Exams may be taken on a date other than that which is stipulated on the syllabus only with the prior approval of the instructor under circumstances he determines to be compelling. The College has established the final exam date, and the exam must be taken on that date.
Attendance and Participation

Substantive class participation, expressing both familiarity with and contemplation of course readings, will be considered in the evaluation of final grades.
Attendance of all classes is mandatory and will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you are late to class, it is your responsibility to inform the instructor at the end of class. Otherwise, you will be considered absent. You are expected to be both mentally and physically present for every class. Distracting behavior will generate an absence for that class. 3 absences from class, excused or unexcused, are permitted during the semester. A 4th absence will incur a 3-percentage point deduction from the final grade. 5 absences will result in dismissal from the course with a failing grade (DF). A DF has a negative impact upon a student’s cumulative GPA. A formal written warning will precede such dismissal. With this in mind, please reserve your quantity of permitted absences for true emergencies.

Should it become necessary, the instructor reserves the right to give unannounced quizzes. Quiz grades will be incorporated into the participation grade for each student.

Electronic Devices Policy
Students must turn off cell phones before the beginning of class. Electronic devices, including but not limited to laptops, iPads, and e-readers, are prohibited in the classroom. The use of any electronic devices on exams or in class is strictly prohibited. The use of such devices during lectures and class discussions will generate an absence on the grounds that the student is not mentally present in class.
Academic Integrity
All Roanoke College students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity in all classes and on all exams and assignments. Violations of the College’s Academic Integrity (AI) policy include but are not limited to plagiarism, cheating, lying, and unauthorized use of an electronic device.
As stated in the Academic Integrity Handbook: “Barring unusual circumstances, an F in the course is the minimum penalty for a student found to be in violation of academic integrity.” More severe penalties may also apply to violations of the AI policy. Ignorance of the AI policy is no defense against violations. Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the AI Handbook, which can be found at
Disability Support Services
The Office of Disability Support Services, located in the Goode-Pasfield Center for Learning and Teaching in Fintel Library, provides reasonable accommodations to students with identified disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are provided based on the diagnosed disability and the recommendations of the professional evaluator. In order to be considered for disability services, students must identify themselves to the Office of Disability Support Services. Students are required to provide specific current documentation of their disabilities. Please contact Richard Robers, M.A. Ed., Coordinator of Disability Support Services, at 540-375-2247 or e-mail
Students on record with the Disability Support Services are strongly encouraged to discuss accommodations with the instructor during the first two weeks of class. Please note that students with approved accommodations in need of testing accommodations must make arrangements with the instructor at least one week in advance of any exam.
Subject Tutoring
Subject Tutoring is an internationally certified tutor training program through CRLA ITTPC (College Reading & Learning Association International Tutor Training Program Certification) and is coordinated by Shannon McNeal at The Center for Learning & Teaching. Tutoring sessions are held Sunday through Thursday, 4-9 p.m. For a list of tutorials or to make an appointment, go to
Writing Center
The Writing Center @ Roanoke College, located in Room 15 on the Lower Level of Fintel Library, offers writing tutorials for students working on writing assignments/projects in any field. Writers at all levels of competence may visit the Writing Center at any point in their process, from brainstorming to drafting to editing, and talk with trained peer writing tutors in informal, one-on-one sessions. The Writing Center is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 9 pm. We open for Spring Semester on Sunday, January 19th. Simply stop in, or schedule an appointment by going to, where our schedule of writing workshops and creative writing playshops is also posted. Questions? Email or call 375-4949.
Schedule of Classes
Week 1: Introduction to Course
January 13: Introduction to the Course; Introduction to Subfields of Political Science
January 15: Careers in Political Science
Week 2: Empirical Social Science Research and Political Science
January 20: Theories and Hypotheses

Readings: Babbie, Chapter 1 (Inquire)

January 22: Research Design and Variables

Readings: Babbie, Chapters 4 and 5 (Inquire)

Exam Tutorial
Week 3: Empirical Social Science Research and Political Science
January 27: Surveys and Analysis

Readings: Babbie, Chapter 9 (Inquire)

January 29: Exam 1
Week 4: Ancient Political Theory
February 3: Plato and Political Theory

Reading: Dooley, pp. 23-43

February 5: Aristotle and Political Theory

Reading: Dooley, pp. 44-50

Week 5: Modern Political Theory
February 10: Machiavelli and Political Theory

Reading: Dooley, pp. 52-65

February 12: Locke and Political Theory

Reading: Dooley, pp. 73-81

Week 6: American Political Theory
February 17: Origins of the American System

Reading: Dooley, pp. 83-100

February 19: The U.S. Constitution and The Federalist

Reading: Dooley, pp. 101-118, “Federalist No. 10” (Inquire)

Week 7: American Government
February 24: Exam 2
February 26: Creation of U.S. Congress

Reading: Dooley, pp. 120-134

Week 8: Spring Break
March 3, 5—Spring Break—No Classes
Week 9: American Government
March 10: Congressional Decision Making

Reading: Dooley, pp. 135-144

March 12: The United States Presidency

Reading: Dooley, pp. 162-170

Week 10: American Government
March 17: The United States Presidency

Reading: Dooley, pp. 162-170; “Presidential Character” (Inquire)

March 19: The United States Judiciary

Reading: Dooley, pp. 186-199

Week 11: Parliamentary Systems: The United Kingdom and Japan
March 24: Parliamentary Systems: United Kingdom

Reading: Dooley, pp. 145-151, 170-177; Burke “Thoughts” (Inquire)

March 26: Parliamentary Systems: Japan

Reading: Dooley, pp. 145-151, 170-177

Week 12: International Relations: Theory and Practice
March 31: Exam 3
April 2: Realism, Liberalism, Marxism-Leninism, and International Relations

Reading: Dooley, pp. 250-274; “Theories International Relations” (Inquire)

Week 13: International Relations: Theory and Practice
April 7: International Relations and Democratic Government

Reading: “The Ethical Problem of Democratic Statecraft” (Inquire)

April 9: Applying International Relations Theories (In-Class Exercise)
Week 14: International Relations: Theory and Practice
April 14: Nation States, Balance of Power, and the Concert of Europe

Reading: Dooley, pp. 286-299

April 16: Real Politick, World Wars, and Collective Security

Reading: Dooley, pp. 300-310

Week 15: Final Exam Week
April 24: Final Exam—Block 9—Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

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