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Undergraduate Courses

POLS 150

Introduction to Comparative Politics

An introduction to the comparative study of political systems emphasizing governmental structures, parties, electoral techniques, and recent trends in the field. The course also considers major differences between (1) representative and autocratic systems, and (2) developed and underdeveloped nations. 


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POLS 668/EALC 585 

Reform in Contemporary China

At present, China’s leadership and society are facing tremendous economic, social, and political challenges. This course presents an overview on the development of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the social challenges that average citizens face in China today. Among the topics covered are China’s political institutions, the economy, rural to urban migration, ethnic minorities and population policies. In addition, we will examine the achievements, failures, obstacles, and potential development in the fields of education, social equality, legal system, environmental protection and economic development.


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Land Reform Game (Simulation): this is a in-class role playing simulation of Land Reform in China. The Game link includes instructions and information for each player (role). Land Reform Game Link 

This is the accompanying Article for the Game.

POLS 678

Foreign Policy and the People’s Republic of China

This course will survey and analyze the foreign relations of the PRC from 1949 to 2018, including the evolving relationships between China and other major global and regional actors such as the United States, Japan, Korea (north and south), India, Taiwan, Vietnam and Russia as well as countries in Africa. In general, the course is divided into four parts: Ideology and Practice, Cold War and post-Cold War Relations (US-China), China’s Relations with its neighbors. Most of the course will focus on regional and bilateral relations including in-class debates from China and other country perspectives.

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Graduate Courses

POLS 850
Seminar in Comparative Politics

This course will provide an overview of the Comparative Politics field. We will examine the main topic such state formation, democratization, political parties, elites, corruption, political behavior and comparative methods. In addition, we will cover the key debates on the filed such as economic development and democratization, state centered approaches versus state society, ethnic identity and nationalism as well as institutional versus cultural influences on public opinion and elite behavior. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the theories, methods and empirical research in comparative politics.

The readings for this course are both theoretical and empirical. In our class discussion, we will attempt to connect the theoretical framework with the empirical findings in order to understand political development and behavior as well as institutional and regime change that may or may not lead to democratic transitions.

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POLS 878

Conducting and Analyzing Fieldwork in Developing Countries

An introduction to fieldwork and surveys conducted in developing and non-democratic countries. The course covers the challenges of conducting interviews and surveys in these countries. The intent is to develop the research skills necessary for data collection and fieldwork as well as evaluating an analyzing survey data collected by other researchers in developing countries.


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