SS 101 Introduction to Political Science/Spring 2002

Instructor: Mariana Ben-Dereas                                                                 

Office Hours: 2:00-3:00PM Daily

COM-FSM/Social Science Division/F-102                                               

or by appointment: 320-2480 ext.4510

  1. General Objectives


1.       To introduce basic terminologies and concepts of political science.

2.       To introduce major areas of political system.

3.       To discuss the evolution of political thoughts from the early Greek philosophers to contemporary political theorists.

4.       To discuss the importance of non-governmental dimensions of the political systems such as public opinion, interest groups, political parties, and political action committees.

5.       To introduce the structures of modern political systems.

6.       To introduce the concept of international relations and global politics. 


B.      Methodology


        Different modes of teaching will be utilized in order for students to have a comprehensive understanding of the field of political science.  They will include lecturing, class discussion, group work, unit test  (total of 5), videos, and extra-reading assignments aside from the textbook.  Occasional quizzes will be given as means of evaluation for both student and instructor.  In order for our class discussion to stay within topic, you must read assigned chapters before class; chapters to be read are those indicated in the class schedule (next page).

ό      If we watch a video, a reaction/reflection paper will be due after the class; 1-2 pages long.  This will be count as your in-class activity.


C.      Reading Materials


        The required textbook for the course is Power and Choice; An introduction to Political Science (7th ed.) by W. Phillips Shively.  The textbook is available at the COM-FSM Bookstore for $49.00.  Extra-reading assignments, if any, will be handed-out in class.  Students are expected to read the materials and be prepared to discuss in class.


D.      Student Evaluation and Grading


       The grading system is as follows:

                        90-100 = A

                        80-89   = B

                        70-79   = C

                        60-69   = D

                          0-59   = F


Students must complete all assigned readings and take all the quizzes, mid-term evaluation, and tests.  If, for some unforeseen reason, a student cannot take a test on the date and time prescribed, a full 24-hour notice has to be given and approved.  Student will forfeited his/her chance to take the test after the 24-hour has expired, unless otherwise a special arrangement is made granted by the instructor. 


Attendance is required pursuant to the academic regulations in the General Catalog.


The final grades will be according as such:   

Tests                                        = 60%

                                                            Homework                                = 15%                                     

In-class Activities                      = 15%

                                                            Participation/Attendance                        = 10%


Weekly Schedule for Discussion



Week One: January 14/16/18

I.                    Introduction of Class

II.                 What is Political Science?

III.               Part I:  Chapter 1 – Setting the Stage

v      January 18th – last day of add/drop


Week Two:  January 21/23/25

I.                    Finish chapter 1

II.                 Chapter 2 – Modern Ideologies and Political Philosophy

III.               Finish chapter 2


Week Three:  January 28/30 and Feb. 1st

I.                    Review

II.                Test #1 (Wednesday)

III.               Chapter 3 – The Modern State


Week Four:  February 4/6/8

I.                    Chapter 4 – Policies of the State

II.                 Chapter 5 – Political Economy of the State

III.               Video – Upside down economy *take notes and write a reaction paper to the video

IV.              Discussion on video in relation to chapter 4 and FSM’s current economic status


Week Five:  February 11/13/15

I.                    Chapter 5 – Continue chapters 4 and 5 

II.                 Chapter 6 – Political Choices

III.               Video:  “Revolution”

IV.               Video:  “WAR”


Week Six: February 18/20/22

I.                    Review

II.                Test #2 (Wednesday)

III.             NO CLASS FRIDAY February 22nd – Staff Development Day….


Week Seven: February 25/27 and March 1st

I.                    Chapter 7 – Authority and Legitimacy

II.                 Chapter 8 – Democracy and its recent surge in the world


Week Eight: March 4/6/8

I.                    Continue chapter 8

II.                 Chapter 9 – Autocratic Government


Week Nine:  March 11/13/15

I.                    Continue Chapter 9

II.                 Review

III.             Test #3


Week Ten:  March 18/20/22

I.                    Chapter 10 – Constitution and the Design of Government

II.                 Chapter 11 - Elections



Week Eleven:  March 25/27/29

I.                    Chapter 11 – Elections Continue

II.                NO CLASS Wednesday MARCH 27th and Friday MARCH 29th – Easter Recess and Good Friday…


Week Twelve: April 1/3/5

I.                   NO CLASS Monday APRIL 1st – Cultural Day…

II.                 Chapter 12 – Parties: A linking and leading Mechanism in Politics

III.               Video: Your vote our vote


Week Thirteen: April 8/10/12

I.                    Chapter 13 – Structured Conflict: Interest Groups and Politics
II.                 Chapter 14 – National Decision-Making Institutions: Parliamentary Government


Week Fourteen:  April 15/17/19

I.                    Chapter 15 – National Decision-Making Institutions: Presidential Government

II.                 Chapter 16 – Bureaucracy and the Public Sector

III.               Chapter 17 – Law and the Courts


Week Fifteen:  April 22/24/26

I.                    Finish PART 4 of textbook

II.                 Review

III.             Test #4


Week Sixteen: April 29 and May 1/3

I.                    Chapter 18 – Global Politics Among States and others


Week Seventeen: May 6/8/10

I.                    Review

II.                Test #5

III.             NO SCHOOL FRIDAY MAY 10th – FSM Constitution Day…