PLS 132 - Comparative Politics

Course Description

This course provides a comparative analysis of political systems in developed and developing countries. Students learn about different forms of political organization as instituted and practiced in various countries. Students examine different methods of comparing political systems and learn to apply these methods in causal theories of political change. This course combines a focus on the basic structures of political systems with a thought-provoking analyses of the causal factors that influence the development of those systems and the impact these systems have on the people that live within them. Issues related to democracy, civil liberties, political rights, human rights, and economic development are analyzed throughout the course. Group 1 course.

Credit Hours


Contact Hours


Lecture Hours


Recommended Prerequisites or Skills Competencies

Placement into ENG 111/11

General Education Outcomes supported by this course

Communications - Direct, Critical Thinking - Direct

Other college designations supported by this course

Degree Req:Cultural Persp/Div, Infused: Writing Intensive

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Describe political culture: including religious aspects, ethnic divisions, ideological aspects, etc.
  • Describe social institutions such as associational groups, institutional groups, educational system, etc.
  • Define political parties, electoral systems, government institutions: legislative bodies, executive bodies, judiciaries, bureaucracies, and Democratic v. Authoritarian Systems.
  • Recognize political participation includes voting and other activities.
  • Describe how political systems are integrated wholes analyzed through structural functionalism.
  • Analyze complex social relationships.
  • Apply political science models to analyze outcomes produced in complex political systems.
  • Relate their political studies to their analysis of U.S. politics as participants.
  • Explain similarities and differences between political science comparisons and other modes of comparative inquiry.
Human Dimension:
  • Learn to see themselves as influenced by political and social practices.
  • Reflect on questions of diversity in the world and what constitutes a just and caring approach to others in the world.
Caring - Civic Learning:
  • Demonstrate empathy for people living in other countries.
  • Recognize how political systems influence the lives of individuals living within those systems.
  • Recognize that they can change the world for the better through factual understanding and analytical skills.
Learning How to Learn:
  • Recognize they have the power to influence the future of political systems in the world through rigorous empirical and normative inquiry.