Course Information
Course title
Political Science (Ⅱ) 
Designated for
Curriculum Number
Curriculum Identity Number
Friday 6,7,8(13:20~16:20) 
Restriction: students whose last two digits of their student ID are divisible by 3 with the remainder of 2 AND Restriction: within this department (including students taking minor and dual degree program)
The upper limit of the number of students: 80. 
Course introduction video
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Course Syllabus
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Course Description

This one-year course is an introduction to the field of political science through a survey of the major issues and questions of politics from a comparative perspective. The first semester will be devoted to understanding how and why countries become democracies, and when democracies remain stable forms of government. After an introduction to important issues within political science (such as what is politics, what is the comparative approach, what is the state, what are the fundamental differences between authoritarian and democratic governments), we will investigate questions about how modern democracies function. Is economic development critical to stable democracy? Does a population need particular cultural characteristics for its government to function democratically? What are the effects of regime type on economic growth and government performance? How important are political parties to democracy? The goal of these themes is for students to develop analytic tools for understanding various political systems and evaluating the proper nature of our society.
In the second semester, we will explore a choice of topics, such as political ideologies, secularisms, social movements and contentious politics, economic inequality and welfare states, transitional justice, nationalism and national identity, and so on. Parallel goals of this semester include developing research and writing skills. Together, these objectives help form the foundation for future coursework in the discipline and should help students make informed judgments about the political world around them. 

Course Objective
The course objective is to introduce first-year political science students to major issues and theories in the study of politics.  
Course Requirement
The course grade will be based on one exploration paper (40%), one class presentation (20%), weekly reading comments and questions (20%), and discussion section participation (20%). Alternatively, you can choose to write a critical book review (60%), as opposed to the exploration paper and class presentation.
Exploration paper. You are expected to form a research/study group of 3 to 4 students and sign up on NTU COOL by February 25. An exploration paper investigates a topic related to the course that you want to know more about. The essay should be 8,000 to 10,000 words and should address the following aspects: (1) what information you have gathered from published works and/or websites; (2) why you think the issue is important; (3) what conclusions you have drawn from the information you have gathered; and (4) what you think are the biases or inadequacies of the sources that you used. The essay is due on June 3.
Critical book review. This requirement is for individual students who wish to submit a book review to Political Science Quarterly Book Review—a student publication of NTU’s political science department. A critical book review addresses two books related to the course subject. The essay should be 5,000 to 8,000 words and should include the following content: (1) the thesis or problem that each work seeks to address; (2) the methodologies of the works and how they differ from one another or are similar; (3) the strengths and weaknesses in each of the works; and (4) your point of view that has been informed by the works. The essay is due on June 3.
Class Presentation. Each group will give a 20 minutes presentation on May 20 and 27. The content should include: (1) a research topic and its importance; (2) your sources and your findings thus far; (3) the provisional conclusion that you have drawn from the information.
Reading comments and questions. Beginning in the third week, each group is responsible for posting comments and questions, either in English or Chinese, on one of the weekly assigned readings through the discussion section on NTU COOL. The deadline is 17:00 on Thursday. Please limit your postings to six lines of text. In your comments, you should address at least one of the following: (1) What is the author’s research question and why is it important? (2) What is the author’s argument? (3) Is the argument convincing and why? (4) Does the evidence provided by the author support the argument and why? Your questions can be specific to the reading (e.g. theories, methods, and evidence) or about a broader issue related to the reading. You will be assigned a group if you have not signed up for one by February 25.
Discussion sections. Discussion sections begin in the third week of class. The teaching fellows will conduct the discussion in Mandarin. The weekly discussion sections offer an opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion about topics covered in lecture and in the assigned readings. We will structure the discussion according to the questions posted on NTU COOL the day before. Each group is expected to have read other groups’ postings and actively participate in the discussion.  
Student Workload (expected study time outside of class per week)
Office Hours
Designated reading
There are no required books for purchase. Three books from which relatively long sections have been assigned have been placed on reserve. These are Clark, Golder, and Golder, Principles of Comparative Politics; Shively, Power and Choice: An Introduction to Political Science; and Garner, Ferdinand, and Lawson, Introduction to Politics. Book chapters from other books, and journal articles, are available on NTU COOL.
The Course Reserves section is located on the first floor of the Koo Chen-Fu Memorial Library.  
Week 1
2/18  Introduction + Research & Writing 
Week 2
2/25  Elections. andElectoral Systems 
Week 3
3/4  Social Cleavages and Party Systems 
Week 4
3/11  The Design of Government: Institutional Veto Players 
Week 5
3/18  Consequences of Democratic Institutions I 
Week 6
3/25  Consequences of Democratic Institutions II 
Week 7
4/1  Political Ideologies 
Week 8
4/8  Interest Groups and Politics 
Week 9
4/15  Social Movements and Contentious Politics 
Week 10
4/22  Religion and Democracy 
Week 11
4/29  Nationalism and National Identity 
Week 12
5/6  Transitional Justice 
Week 13
5/13  The China Factor 
Week 14
5/20  Class Presentations 
Week 15
5/27  Class Presentations 
Week 16
6/3  Dragon Boat Festival