Comparative Government and Politics [CRN 27404]

Discipline: Political Science
Instructor: Martinez
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1530
End: 1650
Field Work: Day 2 Hong Kong | February 5, 2018 | China
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course will empower you to “make sense” of the myriad of observations and experiences you will have during our Spring 2018 voyage as we visit over 11 highly diverse countries. As an introductory course into the study of comparative politics, you will learn to analyze political, economic, and societal factors that help explain why some countries are today stable democracies, while the governmental systems of others are mired in seemingly endless ethnic strife; and why some countries have steadily improving standards of living, while others find economic and societal development a continual challenge.

The course focuses on how you can use comparative analytical approaches to explain both the political diversity of countries, as well as their peoples’ widespread strivings for democracy, human rights, equitable economic development, and cultural respect. As an introductory course, POLS 241 will prepare you for more advanced political science subjects as you study how legislative, executive and judicial functions are addressed by a range of institutional and constitutional arrangements in countries marked by their diversity as well as their commonality. Regardless of your ultimate academic goals, this class will acquaint you with powerful theoretical approaches and useful factual knowledge about some of the world’s most influential countries that we will visit during the Spring 2018 Voyage.

Field Work

Country: China
Day: 2 Hong Kong
Date: February 5, 2018

Students will use their experiences in the PRC prior to arrival in Hong Kong as a basis for comparing their textbook and classroom materials with what they have actually observed and heard from the speakers in the Field Class itinerary. The Field Class Report will be an opportunity for them to critically compare these views as they consolidate their perspectives about governance in the PRC and HK SAR.

Reflecting the colonial heritage of Hong Kong, the field class begins with a visit to the landmark Peninsula Hotel. We will then move on for a briefing at the US Consulate General of Hong Kong which is concerned with politics and governance today in both the PRC and HK SAR. The HK LegCo is the third visit representing the politics and governance going forward between the HK SAR and the PRC.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will learn about Hong Kong’s and Chinese colonial experience and how it continues to influence the evolution of 21st Century Chinese politics and government.
  2. Hong Kong’s evolution from U.K. colony to a Special Autonomous Region mirrors parallel developments in other states/regions with different governmental relationships to Beijing, such as Macao, Taiwan and Xinjiang.
  3. Students will learn about both the challenges and opportunities presented by rapidly evolving communication technologies linking both domestic and international markets, cultures, and organizations.
  4. Mr. Carson Glover, Director of Global Communications for Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, will meet and brief students on the online and real world marketing strategies for one of the trademark cultural icons of China and the world.
  5. Mr. Gregg Daffner, President of the Asia Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC) will brief students about how modern communications are instrumental in fostering national unity in highly diverse Asian countries.
  6. Students will submit a Field Class Report in which they compare analytical frameworks focusing on communication dynamics in cultural contexts.