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POLS 1130 Week 1

by: Allison Harris

POLS 1130 Week 1 POLS 1130 - 002

Allison Harris

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About this Document

These notes cover the syllabus information we reviewed in class and the beginning of Unit 1 notes on comparative concepts.
Comparative Politics
Beth E Whitaker
Class Notes
comparative, Politics, political, Science




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Allison Harris on Wednesday August 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 1130 - 002 at University of North Carolina at Charlotte taught by Beth E Whitaker in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 54 views. For similar materials see Comparative Politics in Political Science at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Date Created: 08/24/16
POLS 1130-02 th August 24 , 2016 First Day of Class Syllabus Information  This is a 50% online class, we only meet once a week  Book readings need to be done every week before class  There are online videos to supplement part of what we would do in a fully seated session  Participation comes from Tophat quizzes and talking in class  Boost participation grade by doing the optional online discussion board posts  There is extra credit essays posted on Canvas  Five unit quizzes this semester, the lowest one is dropped – no makeups given  There is a midterm in place of a unit 3 quiz. The final is not cumulative but will pertain to topics learned throughout the semester  Midterm and final exams worth 25% each.  Can find a list of all the readings on Canvas. Unit 1 Comparative Concepts  Political Science is categorized into 4 subfields o International relations o Political theory o American Politics (some who study poli sci believe this is just a subcategory of comparative politics) o Comparative Politics  Comparative politics o Study of different countries domestic political systems, through comparing them to one another o Most comparativists focus on one region of the world (Proff Whitaker studies Africa so she would be known as an Africanist) o Aristotle is considered the father of comparative politics  Reasons to Compare o What other countries do affect the whole world b/c of globalization o We can learn how to handle domestic problems by taking examples from the rest of the world and looking at their outcomes (this is used a lot to look at education policy around the world and healthcare policies around the world) o We can develop useful general theories about politics. o Democratic peace: theory that democratic countries don’t typically go to war with other democracies.  This is one other reason for countries to promote democracy around the world; to help ensure that other countries don’t want to wage war against us.  How We Compare o Examine the similarities in order to compare political systems o Use political variables (type of govmt, leader, etc.) o Use economic variables (GDP, inequality, etc.) o Use social variables (literacy, human development index, etc) o Political scientists develop hypothesis about how these factors influence political outcomes  Usually use statistics to help support the hypothesis. Independent variables are explanations and dependent variables are the outcome.  Three Worlds vs. Six Arenas o Nations used to be classified as 1 world (democratic/industrialized), nd rd 2 world (communist/post-communist), 3 world (everyone else). o Our textbook classifies nations into six arenas instead.  Liberal democracies  Communist and post-communist  New democracies  Less developed states  Islamic countries  Marginal states  Assigned Article Discussion: “Dirt in the New Machine” o Article is about mining Coltan in Democratic Republic of Congo, coltan Is used a lot in electronic devices o There’s a lot of independent people mining to make money o The article explained how coltan has become a way for criminals to make money and to extort from the miners o the article questioned whether boycotting coltan from DRCongo would help to solve the problem, but ultimately decided that even though it is used as a way for criminals to make money, mining coltan also gives the independent miners an opportunity to make money when they wouldn’t really be able to otherwise so boycotting would hurt more than it would help


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