Monday and Wednesday:12:15-3:00
Dana Ward: phone, 723; office, 304
Julia Karet: phone, 732; office, 407

The political science discipline is divided into three broad categories: Political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. The three fields are not sharply divided, and there is often overlap between fields (most commonly between political theory and the other two fields). In general, philosophical and theoretical issues are covered in theory courses. In comparative courses the focus is on the internal politics of a country or set of countries. In contrast, courses on international relations focus on politics among nations or international organizations. This course takes a comparative perspective. We will be examining how individual countries address a broad array of political issues. Some of the issues covered are the following: poverty, political and economic stratification, war, violence, migration, population growth, ecology, censorship, nuclear proliferation, human rights, ethnic and gender conflicts, transitions to democracy, homelessness, capital punishment and labor relations. Generally, each week will focus on a different issue, although some issues will take longer to cover.

In studying each issue, we will focus on how governments address the issue, how ordinary citizens and citizen groups deal with the issue, and how organized groups have confronted the issue. You will be asked to analyze governments', citizens' and organizations' efforts to respond to these issues. You will also be asked to reflect on how these efforts might be improved. To do so, you may have to employ various theoretical perspectives on governing, decision-making, and citizen participation. In some cases you may also have to address international relations, but you should always remember that the main focus should be on comparing how nations deal with the issues.

This class probably will not be like any class you took during the first year. The goal in this class is not to learn English. The primary goal is to learn how to use political science tools in order to analyze political issues. Using English in pursuit of that goal is of course necessary, particularly since we do not speak Japanese, but English is not the only language you can use to learn about these issues. To do your research for the required papers and to prepare for class discussion, you may use any language. In class and for all written work, only English may be used. If you quote from a source in a language other than English, you must translate both the quotation and the citation.


1. Papers

You will be expected to write two research papers. One paper is due on each of the following dates: May 22, the other July 15. Full drafts of each paper are due two weeks in advance. The "draft" should be what you consider to be a finished paper. Topics for each paper must be approved one month before the paper is due, which means you must select your first paper topic immediately. Each paper should be between five and seven pages. The papers must analyze, not describe, an issue, and the issue must be thoroughly researched. While it is possible to use a comparative approach in studying a single country, it is often useful to compare two or more countries. Therefore, only one of the two papers can focus on a single country. Furthermore, Japan can be the source of comparison in only one of the papers. At least one of the other countries used for comparison in each paper should be a country in which English is either the official or the predominant language, e.g., the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, but also India, Sierra Leone, etc.. Each paper must have an argument (take a point of view) concerning the problem studied. You must document your sources, and therefore must learn proper bibliographic techniques. All papers must be typed on a computer so that drafts can be edited and re-written. If typing is difficult for you, there is a typing tutor available in the computer lab called "Mavis Beacon". If you cannot type at least thirty words per minute, you should practice on the tutor until you can raise your speed. Everyone should work hard during the first few weeks of the semester to raise your typing speed. A good place to start your search for information is this list of search engines. To make your search efficient, review these search tips.

You can view examples of papers from the previous class here.

2. Weekly Reading Log

You are required to turn in a weekly reading log. The log should list all the materials you have read during the week for this course. Each reading should be cited using APA format. Each article or section of a book should be characterized in at least a sentence or two. The more elaborate you are in your log, the easier it will be to write the papers. As a rough guide, you should be reading a minimum of two hours for each content hour of class time. If you are a serious student, of course, more than two hours per content hour will be necessary to explore a topic to your satisfaction. A very good tool for your reading log can be found by clicking here.

3. Internews Subscriptions

You are also required to subscribe (it's free) to the appropriate bulletin boards on "internews", the interface for reading USENET. We will go over how to subscribe in class. Each week, you must forward at least one article you have read on a bulletin board dealing with your paper topic. Of course, you can use these articles for your research paper and for your reading log.

4. Quizzes

There will be several "pop" quizzes covering readings and lectures during the period between quizzes.

5. English Language Component

In the English language component of Comparative Political Issues the focus will be on:

Essay writing which analyzes and synthesizes academic material using common rhetorical modes, including compare and contrast, argumentation and persuasion. In other words, the language component will provide support for your writing assignments. We will work on developing ideas, putting them down on paper, revising, and editing.

Other academic study skills to prepare you for studying abroad. This will include research skills, note-taking from books and lectures, reading strategies, documenting sources, and so forth.

6. Grading

Your final grade is jointly determined by the two faculty members and will reflect your grasp of both the content and English language material presented during the semester as follows:

Content Grade:

Seventy-five percent of the content grade is based on the two papers.

Twenty-five percent of the grade is based on the other assignments.

English Language Grade:

Fifty percent of the language grade is based on the two papers (How well did you express your ideas in English?)

Fifty percent of the language grade is based on the satisfactory completion of regular assignments related to language skill development (preparation of reference lists, drafts, revisions, reading and language exercises etc.)

7. Required Readings

Clicking on the topic heading for each week will bring you to a set of internet resources dealing with that topic. You can use these resources for your reading logs and for research on your paper topics. The readings listed after each date are required readings and must be completed by that date.

Comparative Political Issues Syllabus

April 8: Introduction

Homelessness and Poverty

April 10: Kroloff, Rabbi Charles A., 54 Ways You Can Help The
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

April 15: The Homeless, From Focus, 16:2, Winter 1994/1995
One Family's Path to Homelessness, Part 1, from
Monmouth County Division of Social Services.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

April 17: One Family's Path to Homelessness, Part 2, from
Monmouth County Division of Social Services
One Family's Path to Homelessness, Part 3, from Monmouth County Division of Social Services.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

April 22: Updates on the Sjoblom Family

April 24: Aaron Bernstein, "Inequality--How it Hurts
The Economy", Business Week, 8/15/94.
Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

Labor Issues

May 1: Schwarz, John, The Forgotten Americans, pp. 3-31.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

May 8: Schwarz, John, The Forgotten Americans, pp. 32-52.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.


May 13: Mike Godwin, Solo Contendre: Free Speech vs. Sex
Discrimination Online, Internet World, February, 1995. pp. 90-93.
Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

May 15 Ronald Dworkin, "A New Map of Censorship",
Index on Censorship, vol. 23, 1/2, 1994, pp. 9-15.
Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

Recommended: On Liberty, J.S.Mill

Crime & Violence

May 20: Polsby, D D, The False Promise of Gun Control, March
1994, The Atlantic Monthly.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

May 22: "Murder in the Cities".
"When Violence Invades Young Lives".
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

Capital Punishment

May 27: Costanzo, Mark & White, Lawrence (1994), "An Overview
of the Death Penalty and Capital Trials: History, Current Status, Legal Procedures, and Cost", Journal of Social Issues, vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 1-18.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

May 29: Bailey, William, & Peterson, Ruth (1994), "Murder,
Capital Punishment, and Deterrence: A Review of the Evidence and an Examination of Police Killings", Journal of Social Issues, vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 53-72.
"ACLU Case Against", on "html" syllabus.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.


June 3: Unz, R., Immigration or the Welfare State, Policy Review,
Fall 1994.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus

June 5: Hollifield, J., "The Migration Challenge: Europe's Crisis in
Historical Perspective", Harvard International Review, Summer 1994.
Reading Log: Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

June 10: Continue reading previous assignments.

June 12: Continue reading previous assignments.

Ethnic & Gender Conflicts

June 17: Richard Kahlenberg, An Affirmative Action That Works:
Class, Not Race, The New Republic, April 3, 1995
Explore resources on "html" syllabus

June 19: Kathrine Dunn,Just as Fierce, Mother Jones,
Nov/Dec 1994
Explore resources on "html" syllabus

June 24: Continue Reading Previous Assignments
Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

June 26: Continue Reading Previous Assignments
Explore resources on "html" syllabus.

Population Issues

July 1: Carl Haub, "World Growth Rate Slows, But Numbers
Build Up", Population Today, November 1994.

July 3: Explore other articles in Population Today

Environmental Problems

July 8: Explore the html resources under this heading.

July 10: Asia Growth Sacrifices Environment

Human Rights

July 15: "Universal Declaration on Human Rights".
"Human Rights: Universal or Cultural", Antislavery Newsletter, Issue No. 22, June 1993.

July 17: "Review of Human Rights in a Pluralist World".
Explore resources on "html" syllabus

July 22: Review Readings