West Valley College Spring 2016

Political Science 3 (3 units)
Sections 47932 (Honors)/50135
T/Th 12:30-1:55 am, LASS 26

Tim Kelly, Ph.D.
Office Hours:  M/W/Th 2:00-2:45 and by appt.
Ph: (408) 741-2546


What is politics?  Who really "rules?"  What is political culture and why may it be important as to why some countries take on democratic forms while others do not?  Don't know much about the political world you live in?  Political Science 3 is an introduction to political theory.  This course provides basic concepts of political science and contemporary political analysis.  The course analyzes the ideological origins of nation-states from direct democracy to totalitarian forms of government.  Political Science 3 may be used to meet Social Science Series I or II requirements in the General Education pattern of transfer to the California State University System.  

Required Texts - Please purchase the following items at the bookstore:

Marcus E. Ethridge and Howard Mandelman, Politics in a Changing World:  A Comparative Introduction to Political Science, 6th (Cengage, 2013, ISBN:  9781111832537)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Pocket; Reissue Edition, ISBN 9780671678814)
Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta (Random, ISBN: 9781401208417)

Additional reading materials are online at Angel (or on reserve in the Library as noted).  It is highly recommended that you print these articles/documents/short passages out ASAP in case of periodic and unforeseen downtime of the web page.  You are responsible to have each of these readings completed by their assigned day on the syllabus.  The following materials are all online at Angel.

Matt Apuzzo, et al, "Does Torture Work?  The CIA's Claims and What the Committee Found"
Ann Coller, "The Power of Obama's Hand"
James Danziger, "Political Economy" and "Political Violence" from Understanding the Political World
Mike Goode, "No Zim Dollars Please" (a photo essay)
Samuel Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations"
Machiavelli, The Prince (Chs 15-19)
Jonathan Martin and John Hohmann, "GOP Frets Over Reagan Mythmaking"
Darius Rejali, "5 Myths About Torture and Truth"
Tak, Kaid, and Lee, "A Cross Cultural Study of Political Advertising in the United States and Korea"

For a better understanding of the topics covered in this class, you should read the S.J. Mercury News, the S.F. Chronicle, the New York Times, or the Washington Post daily, in addition to Time or Newsweek. Current History is also an excellent source, as are Foreign Affairs and The Economist. You can also learn a lot by watching news programs such as the Jim Lehrer News Hour (KQED) and especially the BBC.  CNN and Al Jazeera are also good options for international news.  Listen also to National Public Radio (Morning Edition or All Things Considered) on FM 88.5 and 89.3 (or online at NPR.ORG).  Your success in this class depends on the initiative you put into it!

Course Objectives

to receive a broad breadth of the field of political science
to compare and contrast political systems as it is exercised in various parts of the world;
to become familiar with some of the concepts and principles of political power;
to practice critical analysis in written and oral assignments.

General Class Policies

  1. Cell phones and computers must be turned off in the classroom.
  2. Save this syllabus as evidence for transfer to a four-year institution.
  3. Class participation and COMPLETING THE ASSIGNED READING by the beginning of each topic are essential to passing this course.
  4. Late work is marked down 1/3 of a grade for each day that it is handed in late after the end of class when it is due.
  5. Tutoring is available at no charge at Tutorial Services.  It is provided by qualified, trained, students who have been recommended by the faculty.  Contact Tutorial Services in the Library Building or call 741-2038.
  6. Plagiarism/cheating will result in automatic failures for the assignment and offenders will be referred to the CSSO for disciplinary action.  Familiarize yourself with the campus policy on cheating detailed in the College Catalog under Student Conduct Code, 5.8.19 Policy on Cheating.  (You will find examples of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it at http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html)
  7. West Valley College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. College materials will be available in alternate formats (Braille, audio, electronic format, or large print) upon request.  Please contact the Disability and Educational Support Program at (408) 741-2010 (voice) or (408) 741-2658 (TTY) for assistance.
  8. Student Learning Outcome will deal with your understanding of the differences between a variety of ideologies and will be assed through examination on the Midterm.


Your two quizzes over the semester will be conducted on Angel rather than in class.  These multiple-choice quizzes cover the textbook readings (Chapters 1-4, 11, 12, 13  for Quiz 1, and Chapters 7-10, 14, 16 for Quiz 2) and online/library reserve readings.  (Click HERE for more instructions, as well as how to log on to Angel.) 

Pass/ No Pass Option

Students may no longer take Politics 3 with the Pass/No Pass Option. 

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and punctuality is required and roll will be taken at the beginning of the class.  Tardy students will receive a 1 point reduction from their total grade for each tardy.  More than one absence will constitute a reduction of 2 points for each additional absence.  Students missing more than 5 classes in a row before the final drop date may be dropped unless they notify the instructor.

Web Page

A class web page can be found for Political Science 3 on Angel.  This page contains the syllabus, lecture outlines, PowerPoint lectures, online readings, and your two online quizzes.  This web page serves as a supplement to the lectures and in-class discussions, not as a substituteNOTE:  As a budget saving measure, lecture outlines will NOT be passed out in class.  STUDENTS SHOULD PRINT OUT THE OUTLINES BEFORE LECTURE.

Course Requirements Grading Policy:  Grades are awarded on a Standard Scale:
1.  One 4-5 page paper (Marx)
2.  One 2 page paper (V)
3.  Midterm Exam
4.  Final Exam
5.  Two Online Quizzes
6.  Participation
200 pts
100 pts
300 pts
300 pts
50 pts total
50 pts
900 - 1000
800 - 899
700 - 799
600 - 699
599 and below

Dates to Remember

Last Day to Drop w/out a "W"
Marx Paper Due
QUIZ #1 Available Online

QUIZ #2 Available Online

Last Day to Drop w/a "W"
"V" Paper Due

FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE:  Tuesday, May 24, 11:50-1:50 am



Week 1


Introduction:  Why Study Politics?
Analyzing Government

      Readings:   Text, Chs 1, 10

Week 2

Ideology and Political Life
Catch-up and Discussion (Form Political Parties)

     Readings:   Text, Ch 2; Communist Manifesto (pp. 7 - 56); ONLINE:  Martin and Hohmann, "GOP Frets Over Reagan Mythmaking"

Week 3

Discuss Marx (Have Marx Completed by Tuesday)
Political Culture and Socialization 

    Readings:   Text, Ch 3; Communist Manifesto (pp. 57-116)

Week 4

Public Opinion and Elections (MARX PAPER DUE)
Catch-up and Discussion

    Readings:   Text, Chs 4 & 11

Week 5

Political Communication in the Media Age
Catch-up and Discussion
QUIZ #1   (Available online at Angel from 3/03-3/05 until 11:55 pm)

    Readings:   Text, Ch 12; ONLINE:  Tak, Kaid, and Lee, "A Cross Cultural Study of Political Advertising in the U.S. and Korea"; Coller, "The Power of Obama's Hand"

Week 6

Political Parties
Interest Groups

    Readings:  Text, Ch 5 & 6

Week 7

Catch-Up and Discussion

    Readings:  Text, Ch 13; ONLINE:

Week 8

Political Institutions I:  Legislatures
Legislature Class Activity

    Readings:   Text, Ch 7, 15

SPRING BREAK 3/28 - 4/02

Week 9

Political Institutions II (Part A):  Executive
Discussion of The Prince (bring in a copy of the reading!)

    Readings:  Text, Ch 8 (pp.189-204); Online Readings:  The Prince, Chs 15-19 

Week 10

Political Institutions II (Part B):  Bureaucracy
Political Institutions III:  Judiciary

    Readings:  Text, Ch 8 (pp. 204-end); Ch 9

Week 11

Political Economy

   Readings:  Ch 16 (pp. 488-492); 17 (pp. 510-515); ONLINE:  Danziger, "Political Economy";  "No Zim Dollars, Please" (a photo essay) 

Week 12

Political Violence and Society
QUIZ #2 
  (Available online at Angel from 4/28-4/30 until 11:55 pm)

   Readings:  V for Vendetta (pp. 1-179);  ONLINE:  Danziger, "Political Violence";  Rejali, "5 Myths About Torture and Truth"; Apuzzo, et al, "Does Torture Work?"

Week 13


FILM:  V for Vendetta
Catch-up and Discussion of V

     Readings:  V for Vendetta (pp. 181-286)

Week 14

The Politics of Developing Nations
International Relations:  Politics Between States 

Text, Chs 15, 16

Week 15

Catch-up on International Relations
Discussion:  A Clash of Civilizations?

     Readings:  Text, Ch 17 Online:  Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations"

FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE:  Tuesday, May 24, 11:50-1:50 am