The University of Mississippi
Spring 2007, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 11:00-11:50, 105 Barnard Observatory
Instructor: Dr. Gang Guo * Office: 128 Deupree Hall * Telephone: (662) 915-5419 * e-mail: gg at olemiss dot edu
Office hours: by appointment

Course Syllabus Course Schedule On-line Resources World Map BlackBoard Students' Photo


This is an introductory course to the comparative study of politics. We shall cover the basic concepts and issues of comparative politics. The discussion of the political institutions and processes will be integrated into the comparison of different political systems in the contemporary world. The course focuses on three types of polities: industrialized democracies, postcommunist regimes, and the third world. Through this course students are expected to develop a familiarity with the politics of major countries in the world, to understand important topics in the comparative study of politics, and to be able to analyze some of the current political development in different countries.

The required textbook for this course is Comparative Politics Today: A World View, Updated 8th Edition paperback, by Gabriel A. Almond et al., published by Longman, 2006, ISBN: 0321350995.

It is essential for students to read the required materials as listed below in the course schedule before each class and attend all class sessions. Class participation accounts for 10% of the course grade.

There will be three exams for the course. The first and second exams in class on Wednesday, February 28 and Friday, March 30, respectively account for 30% and 25% of the course grade. The final exam starts at noon on Tuesday, May 8. It accounts for 35% of the course grade.

1. Beginning in Fall 2006, grades lower than C in political science courses will not be counted toward the political science major.
2. If you can not open the PDF files you may need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
3. If you can not open the PowerPoint files you may need to download and install the free PowerPoint Viewer.


DateDayTopicPowerPointRequired Reading
Part I: Introduction and Overview
January 17WednesdayCourse overview
January 19FridayIntroductionfileIntroduction
Part II: The Industrialized Democracies
January 22MondayIndustrialized DemocraciesfileChapter 4
January 24WednesdayChapter 5
January 26FridayPolitics in Great BritainfileChapter 8
January 29Monday
January 31Wednesday
February 2FridayPolitics in Francefile 1 & file 2Chapter 9
February 5Monday
February 7Wednesday
February 9FridayIslam in Europe"Young, Muslim and French"
February 12MondayPolitics in Germanyfile 1 & file 2Chapter 10
February 14Wednesday
February 16Friday
February 19MondayThe European Unionfile 1 & file 2Chapter 10
February 21Wednesday
February 23Friday
February 26MondayPart I reviewAll of the above.
February 28WednesdayFirst Exam
Part III: The Crisis of Communism
March 2FridayCurrent and Former Communist RegimesfileChapter 6
March 5MondayPolitics in Russiafile 1 & file 2Chapter 12
March 7Wednesday
March 19Monday
March 21WednesdayPolitics in Chinafile 1 & file 2Chapter 13
March 23Friday
March 26Monday
March 28WednesdayPart II reviewAll of the above since the first exam.
March 30FridaySecond Examexam
Part IV: The Third World
April 2MondayThe Third WorldfileChapter 7
April 4WednesdayPolitics in Indiafile 1 & file 2Chapter 17
April 9Monday
April 11Wednesday
April 16MondayPolitics in Middle EastfileChapter 16
April 18Wednesday
April 20Friday"Exclusive to al-Jazeera"
April 23MondayPolitics in NigeriafileChapter 18
April 25WednesdayPolitics in MexicofileChapter 14
April 27Friday
April 30MondayPolitics in Bolivia"Coca & the Congressman"
May 2WednesdayPolitics in UkrainefilePlease submit your suggestion for topics at BlackBoard.
May 4FridayFinal reviewAll of the above since the second exam.
May 8TuesdayFinal Examexam
Academic websites
Longman Comparative Politics
Comparative Politics Online
Comparative Politics Links (Boston University)
Comparative Politics Resources (University of Colorado)
Foreign Governments on the Internet
Government Publications and Maps: International Documents (Northwestern University)
Political Science Resources: Area Studies
Asia for Educators (Columbia University)
Media websites
Cable News Network
British Broadcasting Corporation
New York Times
Financial Times
Agence France-Presse
South China Morning Post
Government websites
The World FactBook by CIA
State Department of U.S.A.
Embassy of the United Kingdom, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the Republic of France, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the Russian Federation, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the People's Republic of China, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of Japan, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the Republic of Korea, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the United States of America, in London.
Embassy of the United States of America, in Beijing.
Embassy of the United States of America, in Tokyo.
Embassy of the United States of America, in Seoul.
Embassy of the United States of America, in New Delhi.