Govt 130:  Comparative Politics
Fall 2019

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Schedule of Readings and Discussions

 Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
– Winston Churchill

We will discuss the written assignments and the paper well in advance. Readings are to be completed before the class meetings.  Additional required readings may be added to this syllabus. This is a tentative schedule, subject to revision at any time. The reading schedule below is suggestive and subject to revision; you will be given updates as appropriate.

(Bb) means on Blackboard

(Essential Readings) means O’Neil and Rogowski, Essential Readings in Comparative Politics, 4th ed.

Note: August 20 —  The schedule of topics is set.  The schedule of exams 1 and 2, the due dates for your papers and oral presentations, and final exam are set.  The readings for any particular week are subject to change, but are set for Weeks 1, 2, and 3.


Week 1 Aug 26 – Welcome
  Aug 29 – individual meetings
Week 2 Sept 2 – University Closed – Labor Day
  Sept 5 – What is Comparative Politics?
  Essential Readings, chapter 1, Lichbach and Zuckerman
  Wiarda, preface and ch 1, ch 2 – on Bb
Week 3 Sept 9 – Comparative Politics in Action, Part I
  Can we still learn from September 11th?
A Whole-of-Comparative Politics Approach
  Thomas Friedman, “Walls,” New York Times, September 11, 2001. Bb
  Thomas Friedman, “9/11 Lesson Plan,” New York Times, September 4, 2002.  Bb
  Sept 12 – Comparative Politics in Action, Part II
  Ayn Rand, Anthem – A Comparative Politics case study:
– any edition or free online (try ePub)
  Surprise Pop Quiz:  What is Comparative Politics?
Week 4 Democracy and Democratization – Introduction
  Sept 16-19
  O’Neil and Rogowski, Essential Readings in CP:
        Tocqueville, Democracy in America (selections, chapter 8)
        Schmitter and Karl, “What Democracy Is…and is not” (chapter 5)
  Wiarda, ch 3 – political development (summary: wiarda ch 3 – pol dev)
Wiarda, ch 5 – alternatives to political development (summary: wiarda ch 5 – alts to dev)
  Diamond’s summary of Lipset, “Some Social Requisites…”, on Bb
  Larry Diamond, What is Democracy? at Hilla University, Iraq, on Bb
  Fareed Zakaria, Illiberal Demcracy, on Bb
  Optional: Comparative Politics in Action, Part III: A Case Study
  Brownlee – Can America Nation-Build?  on Bb
  Dobbins – Beginner’s Guide to Nation-Building, pages xvii-xxxviii
  Quirk – Is it too late to learn lessons for Iraq?
Week 5 Political Economy
  Sept 23-26
  O’Neil, Essentials of CP – selections from chapter 4, “Political Economy”
  Keynes and Hayek in Yergin, Commanding Heights, Bb
  Acemoglu and Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, selections, Bb
  De Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, selections, Bb
  Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, selections, Bb
  Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures, selections, Bb
  Keynes, General Theory, selections, Bb
  Hayek, Road to Serfdom, selections, Bb
  M. Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, chapter 1, Bb
  Keohane and Nye, Power and Interdependence, selections, Bb
  Sept 26 – working on exam 1 – no class meeting
Sept 27 EXAM 1 DUE on Blackboard by 5pm, Friday, Sept 27 – on weeks 2, 3, 4
Week 6 Political Culture
Sept 30 – October 3
  O’Neil and Rogowski, from ch 3: Hobsbawm on nationalism
  Notes on Shi and Lu, The Shadow of Confucianism, Jl of Democracy Oct 2010
  Anzuldua, Borderlands, selections, Bb
  Dalai Lama, Buddhism and Democracy, Bb
  Huntington, Clash of Civilizations, Bb
Week 7 Political Violence
  Oct 7 – Oct10
  Essential Readings, in ch 7: Skocpol on Revolutions;
  Essential Readings, in ch 3., Fearon/Laitin
Milosevic, 600th Anniversary Speech, Bb
  Essential Readings in CP:
       Crenshaw, Causes of Terrorism (ch 7)
       Abrahms, What Terrorists Really Want (ch 7)
  Comparative Politics in Action, Part IV:  intra-state violence

Washington MLKjr Riots 1968

Milosevic 1987

Blood Diamonds, doc, 1998

Beginning of attempted Liberation of Mosul 2016




EXAM 2 DUE on Blackboard by 5pm, Friday, Oct 11 – on weeks 5, 6, 7

Week 8 Oct 14 – Beginning your Papers – individual meetings
  48-Hours Crisis Response Project
  Oct 15-17
  In teams of four students each, you will be assigned to handle a series of international crises over 48 hours.  You will receive the assignment incrementally,  A one-page interim report will be due midway.   The assignment, including written and oral presentations, will be due in class, Thursday, Oct 17.  We will discuss the assignment in class in advance.  But I’m asking you here, with plenty of notice, to address any work, internship, or other obligations you might have for Wednesday night, Oct 16, to be available to meet your group to prepare your presentation for Thursday Oct 17
Week 9 Comparative Autocracy: The End of the End of History, Part I
  Oct 21-24
Week 10 Comparative Populism:  The End of the End of History, Part II
  Oct 28-31
Week 11 Democracy, Economics, and Culture: Putting the Pieces Together
  Nov 4-7
  Przeworski, What makes democracies endure? Jl of Democracy Apr 1996
  Ross, Does oil hinder democracy? World Politics Apr 2001
Ross, Oil, Women, and Islam, APSR Feb 2008, and subsequent debate
  Shirky, The Political Power of Social Media, Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 2011
  Essential Readings, Easterly (ch 10)
  Essential Readings, Collier and Gunning (ch 10)
Week 12 PAPERS DUE.    ORAL PRESENTATIONS DUE, Nov 11 and Nov 14
  We will discuss.
Week 13  Nov 18 – Nov 21 – TBA
Week 14 Comparative Politics in Action, Part V
  Dec 2 – Dec 5 – Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Be sure to see the note above from Aug 20 – that the topics, due dates, and readings for Weeks 1 – 3 are set, but any future week’s readings might be changed.  Thanks