Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in POLI 2.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will be able to research and develop 20 page research paper on any of the contending theoretical formulations in Comparative Government and Politics.
  • Compare and contrast governmental systems to understand theories concerning both democratization and social justice (human rights, unemployment, equitable distribution, etc.).
  • Critically analyze concepts and apply research to support hypothesis about course content.


Introductory analysis of comparative governmental systems and politics emphasizing a variety of political forms; theory of political differentiation and development; and patterns, processes, and regularities among political systems in developing and developed world. As an honors course, it is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading, and research assignments, student class presentations, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast variety of governmental systems and politics
  2. Identify and distinguish among range of political forms
  3. Analyze patterns, processes, and regularities among political systems
  4. Compare and contrast models of development strategies
  5. Analyze theoretical formulations on comparative politics
  6. Formulate research design of comparative politics study

Course Content

  1. Introduction to comparative politics: what is it?
    1. Comparative politics as a field of study
    2. Comparative study of state, society, country, political system
    3. Comparative politics as different from international relations
    4. Defining key concepts in comparative politics: state, nation, nation-state, government
    5. Historical overview of field since World War II
  2. Some methodological issues in comparative politics
    1. The structural-functional approach
    2. The three legs of comparative analysis: theory, evidence, method
    3. The systems theory approach
    4. The historical/structural/dialectical approach
    5. World systems theory approach
  3. Review of some major studies in comparative politics
    1. The Cold War and its impact on capitalist and socialist societies
    2. The stages of capitalist economic growth
    3. Dependency, structural dependency, and dependent underdevelopment
    4. Incorporation of of nation-states into core, semiperiphery, and periphery
    5. Modernity

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Multi-media equipment, overhead projector.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Prepared and analytical contribution to seminar
Oral presentations of assigned topics and continuous participation in seminar
Development of research project in comparative politics
Development of critical, analytical, research, and writing skills
Development of significant assigned research paper

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Seminar-style discussions

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

O'Neil, P.. Essentials of Comparative Politics, 7th ed.. 2021.

O'Neil, P., K. Fields, and D. Share. Cases in Comparative Politics, 7th ed.. 2021.

O'Neil, P., and R. Rogowski. Essential Readings in Comparative Politics, 5th ed.. 2017.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Students may be required to read longer, more complex journal articles in political science
  2. Students may be required to write research papers of 12-20 pages in length with 10-20 sources


Political Science