Revised Syllabus for Pol S 346
Christopher L. Ball, Lecturer
Dept. of Political Science
Office Hours: Mon. & Wed.,
517 Ross Hall
This course examines European politics, broadly construed,
in historical and contemporary perspectives in four major areas. First,
governments and people contest the boundaries of
All students must do the assigned reading. This course will involve extensive class discussion; it will be more a colloquium than a lecture course. Therefore, doing the reading is crucial to doing well. (I reserve the right to distribute unannounced in-class quizzes on the assigned readings for the week.) We will read most of each book assigned.
In addition to course readings, students should follow current events in international affairs. The New York Times, the BBC on-line < http://news.bbc.co.uk/>, and National Public Radio (NPR) news broadcasts (on WOI 640 AM and KTPR 91.1 FM) are excellent daily news sources. I will also post items on the course website. The Economist provides a good weekly analysis of world affairs, although with a pro-market slant. Numerous on-line news sources are listed at the course website.
The main course website is at this URL: <http://www.public.iastate.edu/~pol_s.346/>. The WebCT site is used only for participating in the discussion forum, releasing test grades, and posting non-public copyrighted material under fair use provisions. For regular information and relevant links students should monitor the main course website, not the WebCT version.
ISU advises: “If you have a documented disability that
requires assistance, you will need to go to the Disability Resource (DR) Office
for coordination of your academic accommodations. The DR is located in the
Class Participation: All students should be prepared to participate in class discussions and in the on-line discussion via WebCT. Students are not expected to perform Periclean orations, but everyone should be prepared to discuss the assigned readings, current events, and questions that I pose. Criticisms of points made in readings, by fellow students, and by yours truly are welcome, and debates may emerge among students. Students should respect their classmates’ contributions, and refrain from partisan or parochial philippics. The purpose of these discussions is not to win imaginary debating points, but to learn beyond solitary reading and unexamined listening.
Participation in class and on the WebCT discussion forum is worth 20% of the course grade. Each student has a D as his or her default grade. If students participate well, their grades will be increased. Students who fail to participate or who do so poorly will get a D.
Written Work: During the term, students will write four essays (roughly one every three weeks) on the reading due for that week (I will divide students into groups with different schedules). Each essay should be 3-4 pages long. I will present topics students might discuss, or a student can choose her own topic. The grading is progressive. The first two essays are worth 15% of the course grade combined (the exact weight for each essay depends on how well the student does on the first essay). The last two essays are each worth 20% of the course grade.
The final exam will be a longer essay based on a question that I present. It is worth 25% of the grade.
A computer mishap will not excuse a late paper. You should make frequent and multiple back-ups of your work (to at least 2 separate removable media), so that you never lose more than one hour’s worth of work. Even if you own a computer, be sure you familiarize yourself with ISU’s computer labs in case your system breaks down.
Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
· Participation: 20%
· Term Essays: 55%
· Final Essay: 25%
Each component will be assigned a letter grade, converted to a grade point, and multiplied by its percentage weighting. I do not accept make-up assignments, re-writing of papers, or extra-credit work.
There are three books and two Economist reprints available for purchase for this course at
University Bookstore (294.5684) in the Memorial Union and the Campus Bookstore
* The fifth book is an optional purchase. There are no assigned readings from it, but it is a useful reference. It is recommended primarily for those students who have not taken Pol S 241.
11 & 13 Jan.
No Class on 16 Jan., MLK Birthday
18 & 20 Jan.
23, 25 & 27 Jan.
30 Jan, 1 & 3 Feb.
6, 8 & 10 Feb.
13, 15 & 17 Feb.
Reid, Chap. 1:
21, 23 & 25 Feb.
Reid, Chap. 7: Showdown at Capability Gap (177-196)
27 Feb., 1 & 3 Mar.
Reid, Chap. 3: The Almighty Undollar” (63-87)
6, 8 & 10 Mar.
The European Social Model
Reid, Chap. 6: The European Social Model
Spring Break, 13-17 Mar.
20 Mar.,. (Class cancelled 22 & 24 Mar.)
Parties and Publics, I
“Addio, Dolce Vito: A Survey of
Ludwig Siegel, “Waiting for a Wunder: A Survey of
3, 5 & 7 Apr
Parties and Publics, II
Alistair Cole, “A Strange Affair: The 2002 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in France," Government & Opposition 37:3 WebCT
Thomas Quinn, "Choosing the Least-Worst Government: The British General Election of 2005" West European Politics 29:1 (Jan. 2006) WebCT
Russell J. Dalton & Steven A. Weldon, "Public Images of Political Parties: A Necessary Evil?" West European Politics 28:5 (Nov, 2005) WebCT
10, 12 & 14 Apr.
Parties and Publics, III
See “Parties & Publics III Readings (3 articles)” on WebCT Discussion Forum
17, 19 & 21 Apr.
Reid, Chap. 8: Generation E (p.197-226)
24, 26 & 28 Apr.
Can the EU Expand?
Robert Cottrell, “Meet the Neighbors: A Survey of the EU’s Eastern Borders,” The