AP Syllabus: Comparative Government & Politics

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					AP Syllabus: Comparative Government & Politics
(USA, UK, Russia, Mexico, China, Iran, and Nigeria)


Texts:
    United States Government: Democracy in Action, 2003 edition by Richard C.
       Remy (Remy)
    American Government Readings and Cases, 16th edition by Peter Woll
    Global Politics, 8th edition by James Lee Ray and Juliet Kaarbo
    Introduction to Comparative Politics, 4th edition by Mark Kesselman, Joel
       Krieger, and William A. Joseph (KKJ)
    Readings in Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas by
       Mark Kesselman and Joel Krieger
    Annual Editions: Comparative Politics, May 2006 edition

Current Events:
    Every week, students are expected to type a one-page, single-spaced report on a
       contemporary article from a newspaper, a news magazine, or a reputable online
       news source (consult with the teacher if you have questions about this).
    Topic of current events reports: the political processes, government institutions,
       public policies, and political cultures of the following countries: Britain, Russia,
       Mexico, China, Iran, Nigeria, and the United States. All countries must be
       equally represented in your reports. Students may also elect to report on the
       European Union, but not at the expense of the countries mentioned above.
    All reports are to be collected in a separate folder to be submitted at the end of
       each marking period.
    Objectives:
                   to evaluate various news sources on evidence, accuracy, and bias
                   to apply concepts and theories learned in class to real world
                       situations
                   to interpret data contained within the articles
                   to identify trends in government and politics in each of the six
                       countries studied in the course
                   to make predictions on future policy and political outcomes based
                       on continuing news analyses


                  FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

   1. State of Nature & Social Contract Theory (reading: excerpts from Leviathan by
      Thomas Hobbes; “Of the State of Nature” from the Second Treatise of Civil
      Government by John Locke)
          a. describe the condition of humanity without government
          b. analyze the origins of government and civil society
          c. evaluate the Hobbesian and Lockean traditions of political thought
2. Political Concepts (read Remy 5-17)
       a. identify the essential features of a state
       b. distinguish between unitary and federal systems of government
       c. describe ways that government serve states
       d. understand the difference between constitutions and constitutional
           governments
       e. analyze challenges to governments in the 21st century in terms of
           economic inequality, growing interdependence, and nonstate international
           actors
       f. describe the relationship between power, authority, and legitimacy

3. Models of Democracy (read Remy 18-30)
     a. evaluate competing forms of democracy
     b. analyze criteria for liberal democracies
     c. compare democracy with other forms of government
     d. explain the relationship between democracy and free enterprise
     e. analyze the dilemma of minority rights in a democracy
     f. describe capitalism, socialism, and communism
     g. identify the basic economic decisions that every society confronts

4. Independence & Revolution (read Remy 35-47)
      a. explain the principle of limited government
      b. identify the factors that shaped America’s political heritage
      c. analyze the events leading to the Declaration of Independence
      d. evaluate the issues behind colonial protest
      e. compare the American revolutionary experience with other countries

5. Constitutional Convention (read Remy 48-58; excerpts from the Federalist
   Papers)
      a. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
      b. describe the structure of government under the Articles of Confederation
      c. summarize the problems that faced the United States after independence
      d. explain why the Constitution is often referred to as a bundle of
           compromises
      e. evaluate the arguments between the Federalists and Antifederalsists

6. Constitutional Principles (read Remy 63-75)
      a. evaluate the structure of American government
      b. describe the three parts of the Constitution
      c. evaluate the principles of government set forth in the Constitution

7. The Amendment Process (read Remy 76-81)
      a. describe the methods of changing the Constitution
      b. explain how the amendment process illustrates the principle of federalism
      c. evaluate the process and results of the Equal Rights Amendment
8. Federal-State Relations (read Remy 95-116)
      a. compare the powers of the national government with those reserved to the
          states and people
      b. identify expressed, implied, inherent, reserved, and concurrent powers of
          government
      c. describe the nationalist and states’ rights views of federalism
      d. evaluate constitutional provisions that have expanded the power of the
          national government
      e. explain the impact of federalism on political activity
      f. describe how federalism has affected public policy-making in the US

9. American Political Culture (reading: excerpts from Democracy in America by
   Alexis de Tocqueville; excerpts from the American Creed by Samuel Huntington;
   excerpts from The Civic Culture by Almond & Verba)
      a. analyze the contributions to American political culture made by geography, the
          Revolution, the nation’s religious heritage, and by the family
      b. identify key political values in America and describe how they change over time
          and how they often conflict
      c. describe the role of individual voters in the political culture

                                 AMERICAN POLITICS

10. Comparative Political Party Systems (read Remy 453-457)
      a. evaluate strengths and weaknesses of one-party, two-party, and multi-party
         systems
      b. explain why the United States has a two-party system
      c. analyze the role of third parties in American politics

11. American Political Party Structure (read Remy 458-470)
      a. describe the development and the dynamics of the Democratic and Republican
          Parties
      b. summarize the characteristics of political party organization
      c. describe the functions that political parties fulfill
      d. analyze the function of political primaries and caucuses
      e. evaluate the role of primary elections in the selection of political candidates

12. Campaigns & Elections (read Remy 475-480)
       a. analyze how the electoral system influences political campaigns
       b. evaluate campaign financing and recent attempts at reform
       c. describe the impact of mass media on campaigns and elections
       d. synthesize data about political party affiliation and election results

13. Political Participation (read 487-497)
        a. evaluate the personal and socio-economic influences on voters
        b. explain the impact of issues and image on voters’ decisions
       c. describe the registration and voting process as well as the importance of voting in
          a democracy
       d. analyze reasons why many Americans choose not to vote
       e. evaluate proposals aimed at increasing voter turnout

14. Interest Groups, Lobbyists, and PACs (read Remy 503-513)
        a. evaluate the role of interest groups on the political process
        b. describe the memberships and methods of various interest groups
        c. evaluate the methods of political lobbyists
        d. describe the activities of political action committees and recent attempts to reform
            them
        e. summarize the relationship between interest groups, lobbyists, and PACs

15. Political Socialization & Ideology (read Remy 514-517; additional reading t.b.a.)
        a. describe the ways in which political attitudes and beliefs are shaped
        b. evaluate the major political ideologies shaping American political life
        c. analyze how personal ideology affects opinion on important issues

16. Public Opinion (read Remy 519-523; additional reading t.b.a.)
       a. describe the methods of measuring public opinion
       b. explain the strengths and limitations of scientific polling
       c. identify the factors that shape public opinion
       d. analyze how elected officials shape public opinion
       e. evaluate the influence of public opinion on public policy
       f. design and apply a scientific public opinion poll on an important issue
       g. analyze data and share results from the opinion poll

17. Mass Media (read Remy 527-549)
      a. describe the framework of the mass media in the United States
      b. assess American attitudes toward world news
      c. analyze the interdependence between the mass media and the government
      d. analyze the media’s role in government investigations
      e. explain how and why the government regulates the media
      f. evaluate the ways that media influences politics and political candidates
      g. conduct a political interview

                             AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

18. Congressional Representation & Membership (read Remy 123-130; additional reading
    t.b.a.)
         a. analyze the characteristics of congressional members
         b. evaluate the effects of gerrymandering on redistricting and representation
         c. assess the power of incumbent members of Congress

19. Congressional Organization & Leadership (read Remy 132-150)
       a. describe the difference between the two houses of Congress
       b.   evaluate the committee system in both house of Congress
       c.   explain the significance of the filibuster in the Senate
       d.   evaluate the growth and influence of congressional staffs and support agencies
       e.   identify the roles of congressional leaders

20. Congressional Powers (read Remy 157-176)
       a. itemize the powers of Congress
       b. explain how the commerce clause has expanded congressional powers
       c. describe the methods of congressional oversight
       d. understand the dynamic relationship between Congress and the President

21. Legislative Process (read Remy 181-192, additional reading t.b.a.)
       a. examine how a bill becomes a law
       b. evaluate the role of the committee system on bills
       c. describe the authority of Congress over taxing and spending
       d. analyze the factors and effects of pork-barrel legislation
       e. simulate the legislative process

22. Electoral College (read Remy 220-227)
       a. evaluate the electoral college as a method for choosing the president
       b. describe alternative methods for selecting the president
       c. debate the pros and cons of the electoral college

23. Comparative Executive Systems (read Remy 213-219 and 252-259; additional reading
    t.b.a.)
         a. examine the constitutional and personal qualifications for president
         b. describe the duties of the vice president
         c. describe the different public roles the president
         d. compare the US president and the British prime minister

24. Presidential Powers & Leadership (read Remy 245-250 and 261-267; additional reading
    t.b.a.)
         a. assess the growing sources of power for the president
         b. evaluate Congressional attempts to check and balance presidential power
         c. describe what is meant by the “imperial presidency”
         d. itemize the skills needed for an effective presidency
         e. evaluate the leadership styles of modern presidents by using objective criteria

25. Presidential Advisers (read Remy 228-239)
       a. explain how the cabinet is selected
       b. evaluate the role of the cabinet in presidential decision-making
       c. describe the agencies and positions that comprise the executive office of the
           president and the historic changes that made them necessary
       d. explain the difference between the President’s cabinet and the executive office

26. Federal Bureaucracy (read Remy 275-298)
       a.   describe how the federal bureaucracy is organized
       b.   evaluate recent trends in government regulation
       c.   explain why the civil service system was created
       d.   assess how the federal bureaucracy influences public policy
       e.   explain why the role of the federal bureaucracy has grown in recent decades
       f.   analyze the influence of Congress and interest groups on bureaucratic decisions

27. Federal Judiciary (read Remy 305-317; additional reading t.b.a.)
       a. explain the jurisdictions, procedures, and principles of the federal judiciary
       b. describe the functions of lower federal courts and the Supreme Court
       c. evaluate the method of selecting federal judges
       d. distinguishing fact from opinion in critical thinking

28. The Supreme Court (read Remy 320-348; excerpts from Tempting of America by Robert
    Bork)
       a. explain how cases reach the Supreme Court
       b. describe the significance of Supreme Court decisions
       c. analyze the origins of judicial review
       d. evaluate competing philosophies of judicial interpretation
       e. explain the heightened publicity over judicial confirmation hearings

                             AMERICAN PUBLIC POLICY

29. First Amendment (read Remy 358-382; additional reading t.b.a.)
        a. identify the issues related to the separation of church and state
        b. describe the right of free speech and cite the limits on it
        c. summarize the meaning of freedom of assembly and limits placed on it
        d. explain important dilemmas created by the existence of a free press
        e. describe the meaning of the clear and present danger test and evaluate the use of
           national security in limiting civil liberties

30. Rights of the Accused (read Remy 398-405; additional reading t.b.a.)
       a. describe the development of constitutional protections by analyzing Supreme
           Court case studies
       b. identify the rights of citizens and students

31. Equal Protection and Civil Rights (read Remy 406-418; additional reading t.b.a.)
       a. describe how the Supreme Court has applied the concepts of equal protection and
           due process in cases of discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual
           orientation
       b. identify contemporary civil rights/civil liberties issues in America today and
           explain how the issues are being dealt with in government and society

32. Social Policy (read Remy 590-602)
       a. explain the purpose of social security and present-day problems with it
       b. understand recent changes in federal public assistance programs
       c. describe recent changes in the federal government’s support of public education
       d. describe federal policies regarding public housing and transportation

33. Foreign Policy (read Remy 607-630)
       a. analyze the objectives of US foreign policy
       b. evaluate the changes in US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War
       c. describe how Congress and the President share foreign policy powers
       d. explain the functions of federal agencies involved in US foreign policy
       e. identify 21st century challenges to US foreign policy

        COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT & THE INTERNATIONAL SETTING

34. Comparative Government Concepts (read KKJ 5- 13 and 21-23; The End of History of
    Francis Fukuyama)
       a. describe the concepts and theories that political scientists use to study the
           processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of countries
       b. summarize typical patterns of political process and behavior and their
           consequences
       c. analyze and interpret basic data relevant to comparative government and politics
       d. evaluate Fukuyama’s claim about the end of conflict based on broad ideological
           visions

35. Democratization & Authoritarianism (read KKJ 17-19 and 23-27; Toward Consolidated
    Democracies by Linz & Stepan; The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism by Levitsky
    & Way)
       a. analyze the challenges posed by citizen demands for greater control and
          participation in democratizing and authoritarian regimes
       b. describe the new forms of authoritarianism that have emerged since the end of the
          Cold War
       c. explain the difference between a democratic transition and democratic
          consolidation
       d. identify factors that support democratic consolidation

36. International State System (read KKJ 13-16; Global Politics 3-16; The Clash of
    Civilizations by Samuel Huntington)
        a. describe the various theories that explain how states relate to each other in an
            international setting, including Realism, Liberalism, Idealism, and Marxism
        b. evaluate Samuel Huntington’s theory about the “Clash of Civilizations,” and its
            impact on international relations
        c. assess how the events of September 11 have influenced international relations

37. International Alliances & Organizations (Global Politics 215-226, 257-277)
        a. describe the significance of balancing and bandwagoning in alliance formation
        b. summarize the establishment and evolution of NATO
        c. evaluate the effectiveness of alliances and collective security organizations
        d. describe the difference between the League of Nations and the United Nations
       e. evaluate the UN’s record in international relations

38. International Economic System (read KKJ 16-17; Global Politics 312-322)
        a. summarize the institutions that govern the international economic system,
            including the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and
            the World Bank
        b. describe contemporary challenges of the international economic system

39. Economic Development (Global Politics 338-363)
       a. analyze strategies in developing economies for promoting economic development
          and competitiveness
       b. evaluate development strategies of various developing economies

40. European Union (Global Politics 373-385)
       a. explain the history and process of integration of the European Union
       b. describe the component agencies of the EU and assess their effectiveness
       c. evaluate the likelihood of creating similar organizations in other parts of the globe
       d. identify future challenges of the EU

41. Transnational Actors (Global Politics 446-484)
       a. compare the objectives and policies of multinational corporations in their home
           states and host countries
       b. identify important nongovernmental organizations and their objectives
       c. analyze the origins of terrorism and evaluate attempts to deal with terrorist groups
       d. summarize how transnational actors have changed traditional concepts of the state
           system and international relations

42. Globalization (Global Politics 487-498; Globalism’s Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz)
       a. describe the economic forces that characterize trends in globalization, including
           trade, finance, labor markets, technology, and consumerism
       b. describe the social forces that characterize trends in globalization, including
           migration, education, religion, and popular culture
       c. summarize the reasons that different groups either support or oppose globalization
       d. assess the costs and benefits of globalization to traditional cultures, the
           environment, and the poor

43. The Politics of Collective Identity (read KKJ 19-21; The Claims of Culture by Seyla
    Benhabib)
       a. evaluate the consequences of the political mobilization of groups based on race,
           ethnicity, gender, religion, and socioeconomic status
       b. analyze why countries experience different degrees of success in terms of
           interating disparate groups of politically-mobilized citizens
       c. summarize how collective identity affects a country’s distributional policies
       d. describe the extent to which the rights of minority groups and women are
           protected
44. Comparative Government Test #1 (test will include analytical and interpretive free-
    response questions on economic development and democratization).


The following objectives will be applied individually to each of the six countries studied in
the comparative portion of the course: Britain, Russia, Mexico, China, Iran, and Nigeria

The Making of the Modern State
 summarize the political, economic, and social forces that have shaped the particular
   character of the country
 analyze specific events in the country’s recent history that illustrate critical political
   issues
 describe the geographic setting of the country and assess the political implications of that
   setting
 explain how the country assumed its current political, economic, and social order

Political Economy and Social Development
 assess how economic development has affected political change
 summarize the basic organization of the country’s economy, especially the role of the
   state in managing economic life
 analyze the country’s social welfare policies, such as healthcare, education, and pension
   programs
 describe the country’s role in the international economic system, and evaluate how the
   country has benefited from participation in that system

Governance and Policy-Making
 describe the country’s major policy-making institutions and processes
 analyze the country’s historical experiences, prevailing ideologies, and constitutional
  principles in determining the country’s power structure
 explain how the country’s governmental institutions relate to each other in the policy-
  making process, including the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, the bureaucracy,
  the military, and other agencies
 describe the informal aspects of policy-making, such as patron-client relations and
  interest-group activity

Representation and Participation
 describe the relation between a country’s state and its society in terms of how people
   organize to promote political interests and how they participate in the political system
 assess the legislature’s success in representing different interests in society
 evaluate political parties and elections as vehicles for citizen participation in politics
 describe how people perceive themselves as members of an effective political community
 analyze the nature and source of political values and attitudes, including tolerance
   towards minorities
 describe how citizens engage in protest and how the government responds to protest
Politics in Transition
 evaluate major unresolved issues facing the country and assess which are most likely to
   dominate the country’s politics
 identify emerging leaders or groups who will influence the country’s politics in the near
   future

Data Interpretation and Analysis
 process information from tables, graphs, charts, diagrams, and political cartoons about
   the country’s leaders, economics, political processes, government institutions, and public
   policies.
 understand the major geographical features of the country and analyze how they shaped
   the history and culture of the country

45. Development of the Modern British State (read KKJ 39-51)

46. British Economic Development (read KKJ 51-57)

47. British Social Policy (read KKJ 57-61)

48. The British Prime Minister (read KKJ 61-70)

49. British Parliament and Political Parties (read KKJ 70-77; A Constitutional Revolution in
    Britain by Donley Studlar)

50. British Political Culture (read KKJ 77-81; Judgment Day by Emma Duncan)

51. Contemporary British Politics (read KKJ 81-86)

52. Development of the Modern Russian State (read KKJ 145-158)

53. Russian Economic Development (read KKJ 158-165)

54. Russian Social Policy (read KKJ 165-170)

55. The Russian President (read KKJ 170-182; Putin Gambles on Raw Power by Steven Lee
    Meyers; What Does Putin Want by Peter Lavelle)

56. The Russian Duma and Political Parties (read KKJ 182-190)

57. Russian Political Culture (read KKJ 190-194)

58. Contemporary Russian Politics (read KKJ 194-201)

59. Comparative Government Test #2 (test will include analytical and interpretive free-
    response questions focusing on Britain and Russia).
60. Development of the Modern Mexican State (read KKJ 207-218)

61. Mexican Economic Development (read KKJ 218-224; From North-South to South-South
    by Ross & Chan)

62. Mexican Social Policy (read KKJ 224-226)

63. The Mexican President (read KKJ 226-232)

64. The Mexican Legislature and Political Parties (read KKJ 232-240)

65. Mexican Political Culture (read KKJ 240-245)

66. Contemporary Mexican Politics (read KKJ 245-250; Mexico at an Impasse by Delal
    Baer)

67. Development of the Modern Chinese State (read KKJ 361-374)

68. Chinese Economic Development (read KKJ 374-379; The Quiet Revolution by Doug
    Guthrie; In March Toward Capitalism by Henry Chu)

69. Chinese Social Policy (read KKJ 379-385)

70. The Chinese State & The Chinese Communist Party (read KKJ 385-400: Hu Takes Full
    Power in China by Joseph Kahn)

71. Chinese Political Culture (read KKJ 400-408)

72. Contemporary Chinese Politics (read KKJ 408-414)

73. Comparative Government Test #3 (test will include analytical and interpretive free-
    response questions focusing on Mexico and China).

74. Development of the Modern Iranian State (read KKJ 313-328)

75. Iranian Economic Development (read KKJ 328-330)

76. Iranian Social Policy (read KKJ 330-336)

77. The Iranian Regime & Political Parties (read KKJ 336-344)

78. The Iranian Majlis & Iranian Political Culture (read KKJ 344-354)

79. Contemporary Iranian Politics (read KKJ 354-357; Middle East Democracy by Ottaway
    & Carothers; Bin Laden…and the Middle East’s Democracy Deficit by Dale Eickelman)
80. Development of the Modern Nigerian State (read KKJ 255-268)

81. Nigerian Social & Economic Development (read KKJ 268-281)

82. Nigerian Governance and Policy-Making (read KKJ 281-293; Nigeria’s Democratic
    Generals by Robert Lloyd)



83. Nigerian Representation & Participation (read KKJ 293-303)

84. Nigerian Politics in Transition (read KKJ 303-307)

85. Comparative Government Test #4 (test will include analytical and interpretive free-
    response questions focusing on Iran and Nigeria).

				
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