Political Systems

Richard WESTRA Designated Professor

Department: School of Law / Graduate School of Law

Class Time: 2012 Fall Friday
Recommended for: student of G30 program who belongs to Graduate School of Law

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Course Overview

This course introduces students to the academic study of comparative politics. Students will be exposed to a range of topics in the political science field. They will take up issues such as whether politics can be studied scientifically, what precisely is the state, how different structures of democratic government operate, what roles are played in democracies by social movements, interest groups and political parties and the extent to which globalization impacts the range of policy choices made by elected governments.

Key Features

Today's international student finds themselves embedded in an electronic universe composed of everything from social media to streaming movies and VOIP communications with friends and family. To capture and maintain students attention teaching must compete within that universe. This means that classes offered must use clever presentation techniques, encourage classroom student to student, students to teacher interaction, and deploy multimedia presentation and teaching.

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Study tips

Attend the lectures, read the course text, engage in the class discussion and ask questions!

Aim of class

Its first aim is to familiarize students with the basic concepts in the field of political science. The second aim is to build the capacity of students for comparing political systems in the advanced developed democracies. The third aim of the class is to cultivate critical thinking among students as to the benefits and drawbacks of a particular political model.


Robert Hislope and Anthony Mughan, Introduction to Comparative Politics: The State and its Challenges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)


  • Class participation........10%
  • Mid-term test......10%
  • Short take home essay......10%
  • Short final essay......30%
  • Final exam......40%
  • TOTAL......100%

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Page last updated November 27, 2012

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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