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POLISC 250 - Introduction to Comparative Government & Politics - David C. Andrus

Course:Introduction to Comparative Government & Politics
Professor:David C. Andrus
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


This course is being taught as a completely 100% online class.  There will be no required real time (synchronous) class meetings.  If you are the type of student that requires in person, face to face instruction, the format of this class might not be to your liking.  However, the course instruction is set up, in part, with pre-recorded video lectures in an attempt to replicate the lecture component of a traditional face to face class.  Occasional voluntary real time Zoom teleconferencing class sessions will be offered for those that would like to discuss matters in person.

The class is broken down into two different instructional approaches.  The first half of the semester is more traditional in its lecture based format.  The "Essentials" textbook will be used for the first 8 weeks, and for a few more chapters thereafter.  To conduct comparative studies and analyses of government and politics you must first learn of and know what you are looking to compare.  You must possess a baseline of information regarding what one should look for when attempting to analyze and compare countries and their internal systems of power.  Consequently, the first half of the semester is acquiring the knowledge of what to look for when conducting an analysis of a country.  The second half of the semester is where I expect students to apply what they have learned to the various countries assigned for reading from the “Cases” text book.  Some of those case study chapters will be reviewed by me, but in a less detailed lecture manner than is provided in the first half of the semester.  Thus, when you study the U.K., Germany, China for example, you will be called upon to conduct your own analysis for those countries.  Therefore, the second have of the semester have a more student-centered active learning approach.

Course Description

Political Science 250 provides a comparative, analytical, and theoretical study of political cultures, government institutions, and political processes from selected regions of the world.  It is not as simple as studying the various structures of differing governmental models from around the world; although that is a component of the course.  The study of International Relations includes multiple levels of analysis.  This course takes one of those levels, the domestic level of analysis, and provides a detail focus and understanding of the comparative variables and issues typically found within countries, albeit in quite different ways.   Concepts, such as, “the State”, nationalism, political-economy, culture, communism and socialism will all be discussed to create a foundation of understanding.  This foundation will assist students when they begin understanding the mechanics of contrasting governmental systems.

At the conclusion of the semester, students will be able to speak knowledgeably of these subjects as well as the particular components and dynamics of a selected number of governmental models.

What to Expect in this Course

Students can expect to learn from pre-recorded video lectures; online reading quizzes, discussion boards, short answer analytical exercises, mid-term and final exams based on a multiple choice and essay format, as well an assigned research/analytical paper.  It is possible that group work will be assigned.  That is to be determined.

Textbook Information

1.  Essentials of Comparative Politics (7th Ed.), O’Neil, W.W. Norton & Co. Publishers

2.  Cases in Comparative Politics (7th Ed.), O’Neil, et. al., W.W. Norton & Co. Publishers

The two required textbooks are currently sold by the COC Book Store as a bundle at a reduced cost.  You may also rent the textbooks.  However, you may also access the textbooks in print or digital form directly from the publisher at the web sites provide.

As a completely 100% online class, the class strictly follows the information and content of the two assigned textbooks.  They are integral to successfully completing the course with a passing grade.

Other Relevant Course Information


The following are the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) listed in the Political Science 250 course outline for College of the Canyons.  SLO’s are similar to the objectives listed above.  They are the intended learning outcomes a student can expect to achieve for this course.  They are as follows:

Analyze and debate the strengths and weaknesses of world political systems, while evaluating the fundamental nature of politics within world political systems.


Will be conducted virtually.


All other course details may be found in the course syllabus once students enroll and access the Canvas virtual classroom.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 08/22/2021 Sub#: 492