Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
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:
A. compare and contrast variety of governmental systems and politics.
B. identify and distinguish among range of political forms.
C. analyze patterns, processes and regularities among political systems.
D. compare and contrast models of development strategies.
E. analyze theoretical formulations on comparative politics.
F. formulate research design of comparative politics study.

Course Content

A. 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
B. 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
C. 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

A. Multi-media equipment
B. overhead projector

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Prepared and analytical contribution to seminar
B. Oral presentations of assigned topics and continuous participation in seminar
C. Development of research project in comparative politics
D. Development of critical, analytical, research and writing skills
E. Development of significant assigned research paper
F. Instructors meet with all seminar students in a series of individual and small group learning communities, out-of-class, to work together on students' research and presentation preparation

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture, seminar-style discussions.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Nye, Joseph. Understanding International Conflicts: An Introduction to Theory and History. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2016.


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

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



Political Science