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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL 101"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Political Science"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Eszter Salgo
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 11:30 AM 12:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The course introduces students to basic concepts, methods, and theories of the scientific study of politics. In so doing, the class provides a systematic understanding of the foundations of government, political systems, and political behavior. The course familiarizes students with the functioning of political institutions and political power, constitutional frameworks and procedures to obtain public legitimacy, and approaches to different fields, problems and issues of—domestic, comparative, and global—politics in the 21st century.

SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

At the end, those students who complete the course successfully will be able to understand and think critically about the core topics (political regimes, the social bases of politics, public policies and administration, political communication, political participation, political parties, interests groups, global politics, etc.), the methodological foundations of and the current issues in political science.

 

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Political Science: A Global PerspectiveMorlinoSage1412962137  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Class participationStudents should participate actively in the discussions that will take place both in the classroom and online.10%
Oral presentationStudents will work in pairs and conduct a research project - a case study relating either to a specific interest group or to elections (parliamentary, presidential or local elections or a referendum) that took place in a specific country in the last five years. They will prepare a 10-minute-long oral (and video-recorded) presentation for March 22.15%
Term paperEach student will submit individually a 1500-word (plus bibliography) research paper about the same topic on Moodle by April 7.20 %
Midterm examThe midterm exam will consist of two essay questions. Students are graded on accuracy, depth of analysis, logical content, creative thinking, on their ability to formulate a sophisticated argument, provide evidence for their statements, discuss and show understanding of alternative explanations.20%
Final examThe final exam is cumulative; it will consist of three essay questions.35%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

The course introduces students to basic concepts, methods, and theories of the scientific study of politics. In so doing, the class provides a systematic understanding of the foundations of government, political systems, and political behavior. The course familiarizes students with the functioning of political institutions and political power, constitutional frameworks and procedures to obtain public legitimacy, and approaches to different fields, problems and issues of—domestic, comparative, and global—politics in the 21st century.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Week 1
Class 1: Introduction
Class 2: Issues in political science 
Assignment: Each student will choose and illustrate an article and an image on any issue relating to political science

Part I. Origins, definitions, political thought

Week 2
Class 3: Origins and definitions 
Reading: Textbook, Introduction    
Class 4: Epistemological and methodological foundations and approaches 
Reading: Textbook, Chapter 1 

Week 3
Class 5: Relationship with neighboring disciplines 
Reading: Textbook, Chapter 3

Class 6: The social basis of politics

Reading: Textbook, Chapter 4


Week 4
Class 7: History of the Discipline: Positivism and Its Critique 
Reading: 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook

Class 8: Workshop with Livia Piotto on how to conduct a research project in political science
Class 9: Class discussion: The Ancients and Christian Political Thought
Reading: 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook 
 
Part II. Macropolitics

Week 5
Class 10: Democracies
Reading: Textbook Chapter 5
Class 11: Democratization 
Reading: Textbook Chapter 6

Week 6
Class 12: Non-democratic regimes 
Reading: Textbook Chapter 7
Class 13: Review 

Week 7
Class 14: Midterm exam 
Class 15: Government, parliament, judiciary
Reading: Textbook Chapter 8


Week 8 SPRING BREAK

Week 9

Part III: Meso- and micro-politics 
Class 16: Public policies and public administration  
Reading: Textbook Chapter 9

Class 17 Political parties
Reading: Textbook Chapter 13

Week 10

Class 18: Oral presentations Elections and electoral behavior
Class 19: Oral Presentations Interest groups

Week 11 
Class 20: Political communication and media
Reading: Textbook Chapter 11

Class 21 Political participation, social movements, protests revolutions
Reading: Textbook Chapter 10


Week 12
Monday: HOLIDAY

Part IV: International politics
Class 22 The globalization of international politics 

Reading: Textbook Chapter 15

WEEK 13

Class 23: International organizations and regionalism
Reading: Textbook Chapter 16
Class 24: The Future of Political Science 
Reading: Gary King, Kay L. Schlozman, Norman Nie, The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives

Week 14
Class 25: The Future of Political Science
Reading: Individual research
Class 26: Review