UNF -- Department of Political Science
CPO2002 Introduction to comparative politics
Course # 10429
Spring 2011

Instructor George Candler
Day/time Monday & Wednesday, 3:00 - 4:15
Location 51/1209
Office 51/2402
Office hours

Monday & Wednesday, 9:30 - 11:30; and open door.

Office phone 904-620-1388
Course Objective:

Greetings, and welcome to CPO2002: Introduction to comparative politics.  The catalogue description of this course is as follows: "This course examines the political structures, processes, and institutions of selected advanced industrial societies." The course will go beyond the 'advanced industrial societies' indicated in this short description, mostly to both provide some context for those advanced industrial societies, and to provide a more comprehensive understanding of politics as it is practiced among the 6,891,190,030 people (projected, as of 9:50 a.m., 3 Jan 2011) with whom we share this planet.

Course structure:

There will be three complimentary means of instruction: readings, a web page, and class lecture sessions. The web page will both broadly discuss the week's material, and link you to other information relevant to the weekly subjects.  Readings will include those listed on the syllabus and drawn from the course texts, as well as various articles which will be distributed a week ahead.

Required texts:

A number of articles, texts, and other sources will be used in this course, but most of these will be downloadable from online sources. You should either have very reliable access to, or better purchase, the following required text:

To contain further student expenditure, we will also make use of (free) electronic materials available on line, through two media.  First, various electronic databases, available on the Carpenter Library system.  To see if you can access these, try to click on the following.  For off-campus access to this, you may need to reconfigure your browser:

Second, there is a lot of useful stuff available just through normal web links.  Try, for instance,

Assignments, grading

There will be a number of assignments, listed on the 'Assignments' link above, with details as well regarding grading expectations.  The usual 90+ = As, 80-90 = Bs, etc. grade distribution will apply, unless I need to curve up to get a normal graduate class grade distribution.

Class Policies:

not 13th gradeObligations - You can expect me to be prepared, to explain the course material clearly, and to work to ensure that this course proceeds as smoothly and coherently as possible. In addition to generous office hours and ready email access, I will make myself available to help you outside of class or office hour times if necessary.  For your part, pay attention to course requirements, learn, and as former colleague James Hayes-Bohanon puts it, remember that this is not 13th grade.

Late assignments/make-up exams - Late assignments and missed exams will incur a significant penalty, except in extraordinary, documented circumstances and if I am contacted prior to the due date.  If similar extraordinary, documented circumstances lead you to request an incomplete, I've historically been liberal with these, but see campus policy regarding incompletes.  It will be your obligation to submit unfinished coursework. 

Course communications - students have an obligation to activate and monitor their UNF email account.  This account will be used for out-of-class communication.  It is your obligation to get assignments to me, and to keep copies of all assignments submitted in the event that they don't get to me. When emailing, adopt a professional format.

Disability -- Students with disabilities who seek reasonable accommodations in the classroom or other aspects of performing their coursework must first register with the UNF Disability Resource Center (DRC) located in Honors Hall, Building 10, Room 1201. DRC staff members work with students to obtain required documentation of disability and to identify appropriate accommodations as required by applicable disability laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After receiving all necessary documentation, the DRC staff determines whether a student qualifies for services with the DRC and if so, the accommodations the student requires will be provided. DRC staff then will prepare a letter for the student to provide faculty advising them of approved accommodations. Military and veteran students who return from combat exposure may be utilizing the post-9/11 GI bill to continue postsecondary education goals. For further information, contact the DRC by phone at (904) 620-2769, e-mail (, or visit the DRC website ( Military and veteran students may need both physical, emotional, and academic accommodations. Contact Cindy Alderson, director of Military and Veterans’ Resource Center, by phone at (904) 620-2655 or by e-mail at

Plagiarism and cheating - Each student is responsible for understanding the University's Academic Integrity Code. This can be found in the Academic Integrity section of the online 2010-11 UNF Catalog, Chapter 10 of the Student Handbook, and separately in the Academic Integrity Code and Academic Misconduct Policies. Procedures described in this document will be followed in dealing with any cases of academic dishonesty. I do make an effort to catch students who cheat, and have been successful in this in the past. Students caught plagiarizing coursework have generally been awarded a grade of F for the class.