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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2020/2021

Introduction to Political Science

Category 'Best Course for Career Development'
Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Compulsory course (Political Science and World Politics)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 1 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Yury Kabanov
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The Categories of Political Science is an introductory course, aimed at providing students with basic knowledge on politics as the sphere of social activity and as an academic discipline. It aims at discussing the evolution of Political Science; the key political concepts, theories, institutions and processes are discussed in the global comparative perspective.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To give students a comprehensive overview of the basic scientific approaches to Political Science, its main theories and concepts
  • To develop the basic skills of describing and interpreting political and social processes in terms of Political Science concepts and theories
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to define basic characteristics of Political Science as a social science
  • Identifies and defines the basic concepts of Political Science
  • Enumerates and describes the main stages of Political Science development
  • Applies the basic concepts and assumptions of the Political Science theories to describe political phenomena
  • Able to explain similiarities and differences between political regimes in terms of their competitiveness and institutional design
  • Enumerates the basic institutions of political process, their subtypes, advantages and disadvantages
  • Enumerate the main actors of the political process, their functions and modes of interaction
  • Defines and illustrates the models of public participation in political process
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Politics and Political Science
    Science and Scientific Explanation. “Hard” and “Soft” Sciences. Political Science as a Social Science. Politics. Policy. Polity. Political Science vs. Politics
  • State and Political Power
    The State: Definitions and Theories. The Social Contract (T. Hobbes, J. Locke). The Monopoly on Violence (M. Webber). Stationary Bandits (M. Olson). The State and Modern Political Science. State Autonomy and State Capacity (B. Geddes, T. Skocpol). Political Power: Interpretations and Definitions. Despotic and Infrastructural Power (M.Mann). “Three Faces of Power” (S. Lukes). Legitimacy.
  • Behavioralist Revolution and Systems Theory in Political Science
    Explanation in Social Sciences: Agency vs. Structure. Old Institutionalism. Chicago School. Behavioral Revolution in Political Science. System Approach and Structural Functionalism.
  • Rational Choice Theory and New Institutionalism in Political Science
    Rochester School. Rational Choice Theory and Its Application to Political Science (A. Downs, W. Riker). New Institutionalism and Its Variations: Historic, Sociological, Rational Choice.
  • Political Ideologies
    The Notion of Ideology. Liberalism. Conservatism. Socialism and Social Democracy. New Ideologies. Ideologies in the Modern World.
  • Political regimes: Democracies
    Political Regime: Definitions. Aristotle’s Six Types of Government. Classic Definition of Democracy. Minimalist Concept of democracy (J. Schumpeter). Electoral Democracy. Polyarchy (R. Dahl).
  • Political regimes: Non-democracies
    Political Regime: Definitions. Aristotle’s Six Types of Government. Classic Definition of Democracy. Minimalist Concept of Democracy (J. Schumpeter). Electoral Democracy. Polyarchy (R. Dahl).
  • Interest groups and political parties
    Interest Groups and Advocacy in Politics. Lobbying. Models of Interest Representation. Pluralism, Corportatism, Neocorportatism. Origins of Political Parties. Types of Political Parties: Mass and Cadre Parties (M. Duverger). Catch-all Parties. Parties vs. Interest Groups. Functions of Political Parties. Party Systems Classifications (M. Duverger, G. Sartori). Effective Number of Parties.
  • Division of power
    Horizontal Division of Power. Head of State, Cabinet, Assembly (Legislature) and their functions. Hierarchical and Transactional Division of Power. Systems of Government: Presidential, Parliamentary, Semi-Presidential systems.
  • Unitary and federal systems
    Types of state: Unitary, Federal and Confederative. Federalism: Background and Distinctive Traits (W. Riker, P. Ordeshook, D. Elazar). Decentralization in Unitary States. Federalism and Political Regime. Regional Policy
  • Judiciary, bureaucracy and the media
    Non – elective Institutions. Judiciary and its Political Functions. Types of Judicial Systems. Bureaucracy: Weber’s Ideal Type and Its Limits. Political Role of Bureaucracy. Mass Media, Social Media and Media Effects
  • Electoral systems
    Electoral System. Types of Electoral Systems: Plural, Proportional and Mixed. Electoral Formula. Interaction between Electoral and Party Systems: Duverger’s Law. Electoral Engineering. Gerrymondering.
  • Public participation and political culture
    Electoral Participation. Political Participation: Types, Functions and Factors. Civic Culture. Civil Society and Social Capital. Public Opinion.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class activities
    Lecturers evaluate students’ progress, including assigned readings comprehension and contribution to seminar activities, as well as the ability to answer seminar questions fully and correctly. Teamwork is also evaluated (e.g. presentations), if applicable. The lecturer reserves the right to make changes in the literature list for the seminar. Students are informed about the changes well in advance via LMS, MS Teams or corporate emals.
  • non-blocking Quizzes
    Small quizzes that contain various questions (multiple choice, fill in the gaps, matching, open questions with short answer), aiming at assessing of students' progress or comprehension of a particular topics (or multiple topics), given at the beginning of the seminars.
  • non-blocking Final Exam
    The final exam is held online in Zoom and Microsoft.Forms. The student must have access to the Microsoft.Forms using his (her) own student email, and have a camera and a microphone. The students should log in to Zoom 5 minutes before the start of the exam, switch on the camera and mircrophone. share screen. Then the students receive a link to the test they must complete within 1 hour. The students should keep their cameras, micorphones and screen-sharing on during the entire examination. The short-term disconnection is 3 minutes, the long-term disconnection is 4 minutes and more. In case of long-term the student may not continue the examination. The final exam is organized during the session period and is conducted in a test form, including open questions. The duration of the test is 60 minutes. The final test covers the materials from lectures and mandatory readings of all the course content, contains: - part A with 10 multiple choice questions 1 point each, 10 points in total - part B with 5 questions of other types (fill in the gaps, ordering, matching), 2 points each, 10 points in total. - part C with 2 open questions, requiring short answers, 5 points each, 10 points in total.
  • non-blocking Written Assignment
    Written assignment is submitted no later than two weeks before the final seminar
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.25 * Class activities + 0.25 * Final Exam + 0.25 * Quizzes + 0.25 * Written Assignment
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Amadae, S. M., & Bueno de Mesquita, B. (1999). THE ROCHESTER SCHOOL: The Origins of Positive Political Theory. Annual Review of Political Science, 2(1), 269. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.269
  • Aves, V. (2004). The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and Results. Journal of International Affairs, 58(1), 274.
  • Berg-Schlosser, D., & Badie, B. (2011). International Encyclopedia of Political Science. SAGE Publications, Inc.
  • Dahl, R. A. (1961). The Behavioral Approach in Political Science: Epitaph for a Monument to a Successful Protest. American Political Science Review, (04), 763. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v55y1961i04p763.772.12
  • Easton, D. (1969). The New Revolution in Political Science. American Political Science Review, (04), 1051. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v63y1969i04p1051.1061.26
  • Hall, P., & Taylor, R. (1996). Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.45428ED0
  • Heywood, A. (2012). Political Ideologies : An Introduction (Vol. 5th ed). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1522818
  • Rhodes, R., Binder, S. A., & Rockman, B. A. (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions. Australia, Australia/Oceania: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.655BAF4C
  • Robert A. Dahl, Ian Shapiro, & José Antonio Cheibub. (2003). The Democracy Sourcebook. The MIT Press.
  • The Oxford handbook of comparative politics / ed. by Carles Boix . (2007). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.253058961

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Collier, D., & Levitsky, S. (1997). Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edssch&AN=edssch.oai%3aescholarship.org%2fark%3a%2f13030%2fqt5ft9n1jx
  • Klingemann, H.-D., & Goodin, R. E. (1996). A New Handbook of Political Science. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=273524
  • Ostrom, E. (1991). Rational Choice Theory and Institutional Analysis: Toward Complementarity. American Political Science Review, (01), 237. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v85y1991i01p237.243.17
  • The Oxford handbook of legislative studies / edited by Shane Martin, Thomas Saalfeld and Kaare W. Strøm. (2014). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.409632031
  • The Oxford handbook of transformations of the state / ed. by Stephan Leibfried . (2015). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.409903264