POLSC211-20B (HAM)

Political Systems around the World

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Political Science and Public Policy


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: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

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Lab Technician(s)


: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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The principle dynamics of global politics, with reference to a required text and major periodicals (such as the Economist, and Foreign Affairs) with an of analysis of the conceptual bases, background and presumptions of articles dealing with the political systems of the world.
The reigning paradigms of comparative politics; prevailing ideologies and ideological determinants; major paradigms in the development of post-Cold War political patterns, including authoritarianism, democracy and democratisation; familiarity with the major related data and literature; familiarity with the most prominent literature on the broad area of comparative politics.
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Paper Structure

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This paper is available entirely online for B-Trimester 2020 only, with the option of a face-to-face tutorial for students who desire this classroom option. There will be five daily 15-20 minute recorded lectures per week available on Panopto, 10 brief Friday open-book quizzes online (the best 8 out of 10 scores recorded), three online open-book tests and an online tutorial or an in-class face-to-face tutorial, for students who prefer this option, with participation in one online or face-to-face tutorial per week expected. Students should sign up for the online tutorial or one of the in-class tutorial times on the Moodle site for this paper. Tutorials will start in the second week of the semester. Close attention should be paid to lectures and tutorials.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Understand: basic concepts of comparative politics; approaches to research in the field; political systems and institutions of government; distinctions between authoritarianism and democracy; development & modernizatrion; political transitions and change
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Internal assessment/examination ratio: 1:0

  • First 2 open book tests: 20% each
  • Last test: 20%
  • Ten Pre-announced Discussion quizzes (online, on Fridays at 4:00 PM-5:00 PM, top eight scores will be averaged): 20%
  • 7-9 page essay from a list of topics (provided), to be submitted online on the Turn-It-In.com button: 15%
  • Participation in online or in class tutorials (one tutorial per week): 5%

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Test 1
11 Aug 2020
1:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Test 2
15 Sep 2020
1:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Last Test
16 Oct 2020
4:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Weekly quizzes
  • Email: Lecturer
5. Participation in Tutorials
  • In Class: In Tutorial
6. 7-9 page essay, from list of topics (provided)
12 Oct 2020
5:00 PM
  • Email: Lecturer
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Hague, R., M. Harrop, and McCormick, J. 2019. Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction, 11th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave. (available in Bennetts and in two hour reserve in the Library). An e-book copy is available from Amazon at a reasonable price.

Samuel P. Huntington, “Clash of Civilisations,”For. Affairs, 72 (3) 1993 (available electronically from the Library).

and other readings to be assigned during the semester on the Moodle page.

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Online Support

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This paper is provided entirely online, although there are provisions made for an in-class tutorial for those students who desire a face-to-face tutorial. The paper Moodle website will give students access to the recorded lectures, and students will receive quizzes and tests via the Moodle site. Students are required to complete the quizzes and tests within the allotted time. Student term essays are to be turned in by the deadline via the Turn-It-In button on the paper Moodle site.
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The expected workload for the paper is an average of about 12 hours per week for 12 weeks. Counting the last test, students whould expect to spend 150 hours on this paper during the trimester.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: POLS211

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