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PSC280: Non-Western Comparative Politics

Course Prefix

Course Number

Course Title


Credit Hours



Non-Western Comparative Politics



Course Description

Examines the political systems of selected non-Western countries, including common governmental problems, causes of political instability and revolution, and techniques of political analysis.

Topical Outline

  1. Introduction to Comparing Non-Western Politics
  2. Framework for Studying Non-Western Politics: Techniques for Political Analysis
  3. Selected Countries in Africa, Latin American, Asia, and the Middle East
    1. Examination of their culture, history, governing institutions
    2. Study of how their policies are made and some of their policies
  4. Causes of Political Instability and Revolution 
  5. Common Governmental Problems and Issues
  6. Lessons of Non-Western Politics

Method of Presentation

  1. Lecture
  2. Videos
  3. Text
  4. Articles
  5. Class discussion
  6. Role-play and world simulation
  7. Guest lecturers
  8. Virtual field trips (internet)
  9. Various sites on the internet
  10. Non-Western literature
  11. Small group discussions

Student Outcomes (The student should…)

  1. Identify theories of comparing countries. 
  2. Compare and contrast specific countries in terms of their cultures, histories, governing institutions, and problems.
  3. Simulate the roles of different countries in a world summit.
  4. Analyze common governing problems. 
  5. Investigate causes of political instability and revolution.
  6. Apply different kinds political analysis in country studies. 
  7. Analyze scholarly articles and sources for content as well as bias. 
  8. Describe a particular non-Western political system in-depth.
  9. Search and evaluate sources on the Internet for information about non-Western political systems. 
  10. Evaluate the merits of studying non-Western politics.

Method of Evaluation

  1. Objective tests
  2. Short answer quizzes
  3. Essay exams
  4. Individual and group projects
  5. Newspaper logs
  6. Country reports/collages
  7. Research papers
  8. Case studies
  9. Portfolios
  10. Oral presentations
  11. Simulations 
  12. Class discussion
  13. Written and oral article reviews


Wiarda, Howard J., Non-Western Theories of Development: Regional Norms vs. Global Trends, Harcourt, 1999.

Prepared by: Bobby Summers

Fall, 2008