Introduction to Political Science University of Tsukuba
This course introduces students to the fundamental of political science. The goal of this course is to become familiar with major concepts and theories that we often use in empirical political science research. To this end, this course covers a wide range of topics including modern states, political regime, political institutions, political violence, and identity politics. Another goal of this course is to improve your critical thinking skill. I encourage you to move from memorizing factual knowledge to evaluating explanations and interpretations of a variety of political phenomena you observe. Of course, having accurate factual knowledge is important, but it is only the basis with which you start a journey of looking for rigorous explanations of what is happening in the world today.
By the end of this course, students are expected to (1) be able to explain major concepts and theories in the field of political science (2) be able to apply the knowledge to evaluate political phenomena.
This course is based on lectures so that students are exposed to a wide range of topics in the field of political science. More importantly, in order to improve your critical thinking skills and the ability to apply your knowledge to actual political phenomena, I give quizzes during the class. With this exercise, you can immediately apply what you learn to the set of problems that helps improve your understandings of political events.
No course is required.
Course grades will be based on: In-class quiz (10%), Two midterm exams (30% each), and Final exam (30%) No extra/optional credit assignments will be offered to individual students.
The course schedule is tentative and subject to change.Course Introduction; StatesNation and SocietyPolitical EconomyMidterm Exam #1; Democratic RegimesNondemocratic RegimesPolitical ViolenceMidterm Exam #2; Developed DemocraciesCommunism and PostcommunismDeveloping CountriesFinal Exam
Online Course Requirement
Class Attendance Although attendance does not factor explicitly in your grade, to do well in this course it is important that you come to class regularly. Most importantly, if you miss class meetings more than three times (i.e., if you skip the class four times or more), your grade becomes D (Fail) regardless of your in-class performance and exam scores. This is a university rule that I will follow strictly, and therefore I will take attendance at the beginning of each class.
Site for Inquiry
Link to the syllabus provided by the university