AP Comparative Government Course Outline

The AP course in Comparative Government and Politics focuses on the introduction of fundamental concepts used by political scientists to the students, to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of different country settings. Goal of the following course is to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to integate with students the importance of global political and economic changes. Comparison assists both in identifying problems and in analysing policymaking. For example, we came to know about a country has a high population growth rate or serious corruption issues only when we compare it to other countries. Comparison of political systems give useful and concrete knowledge about the policies. Countries have even started to address problems, or indeed what they have done to make things worse. We can compare the effectiveness of policy approaches to poverty or overpopulation by evaluating how different countries solve familiar and known problems. Also, by comparing the political institutions and practices of wealthy and poor countries, we can understand the political consequences of economic wellbeing. Atlast, comparison assists explanation. Why are some countries stable democracies and Why not others? Why do many democracies have prime ministers instead of presidents?

Along with covering the core concepts that are used for organization and interpretation, what we know about political phenomena and relationships, the course should cover particular countries and their governments. 6 countries form the core of the AP Comparative Government and Politics course. Like China, Great Britain, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia are covered in college-level introductory comparative politics courses. Including Iran adds a political system from a very important region of the world and i.e.subject to distinctive political and dynamics in culture. By these 6 core countries, the course can enhance the discussion of concepts from abstract definition to concrete example, it is important to know that all concepts are equally useful in all country settings.

The topics quoted below will be covered in the course:

Introduction to Comparative Politics (5%)

  • Purpose and methods of comparison and classification
  • Concepts (state, nation, regime, government)
  • Process and policy (what is politics; purpose of government; what is political science/comparative; common policy challenges)

Sovereignty, Authority, and Power (20%)

  • Political culture, communication, and socialization
  • Nations and states
  • Supranational governance (e. g. European Union)
  • Sources of power
  • Constitutions (forms, purposes, application)
  • Regime types
  • Types of economic systems
  • State building, legitimacy, and stability
  • Belief systems as sources of legitimacy
  • Governance and accountability

Political Institutions (35%)

  • Levels of government
  • Executives (head of state, head of government, cabinets)
  • Legislatures
  • Parliamentary and presidential systems
  • Elections
  • Electoral systems
  • Political parties (organization, membership, institutionalization, ideological position)
  • Party systems
  • Leadership and elite recruitment
  • Interest groups and interest group systems
  • Bureaucracies
  • Military and other coercive institutions
  • Judiciaries

Citizens, Society, and the State (15%)

  • Cleavages and politics (ethnic, racial, class, gender, religious, regional)
  • Civil society
  • Media roles
  • Political participation (forms/modes/trends) including political violence
  • Social movements
  • Citizenship and social representation

Political and Economic Change (15%)

  • Revolution, coups, and war
  • Trends and types of political change (including democratization)
  • Trends and types of economic change (including privatization)
  • Relationship between political and economic change
  • Globalization and fragmentation: Interlinked economies, global culture, reactions against globalization, regionalism

Public Policy (10%)

  • Common policy issues
  • Factors influencing public policymaking and implementation