Northern European Politics


Dennis Kavanagh, David Richards, Andrew Geddes, & Martin Smith
British Politics
5th
0199269793
Oxford University Press
David P. Conradt & Eric Langenbacher
The German Polity
10th
144221645X
Rowman & Littlefield
David Arter
Scandinavian Politics Today
2nd
0719078539
Manchester University Press

50% - Major Paper
50% - Final Examination

Fundamentals of Comparative Politics

1. What are comparative politics?
2. What is the comparative method?
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the comparative method?

Arend Lijphart (1971) Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method. The American Political Science Review. 65(3). 682-693. http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Stu/msekerci/Teaching/ljphart_comparativemethod.pdf

4. What are “area studies” and what advantages and disadvantages does this approach have over others?

Robert H. Bates (1997) “Area Studies and the Discipline: A Useful  Controversy.” PS: Political Science and Politics. 30, 166-169. On Reserve.

5. Define the terms “nation,” “state,” “country,” and “nation-state.” Give examples of each, comparing and contrasting them.

Max Weber (1918) “Politics as a Vocation.”

Excerpt entitled “The Nation as Imagined Community” from Benedict Anderson (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. http://www.nationalismproject.org/what/anderson.htm

5. Define, compare, and contrast the terms “monarchy,” “aristocracy,” and “democracy.” Give examples of each. Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of both.

Book III of Aristotle (350BCE) Politics. http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.3.three.html

6. Define the terms “direct democracy” and “republic” and give examples of each. Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of both.
7. Define the terms “unitary state,” “federation,” and “confederation” and give examples of each. Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of both.
8. Define the terms “institution” and “structure” as they pertain to comparative politics, giving examples of both.
9. Define the terms “law” and “norm” and give examples.
10. Define the term “constitution” and give examples.
11. Define the term “legislature” and give examples.
12. Define the terms “society” and “community” and give examples.
13. Define the terms “authority” and “legitimacy” and give examples.
14. Define the terms “development/developed,” “underdeveloped,” and “modernized/modernization” and give examples.

Variations on the Executive/Legislative Theme

Chapter 2 “The World of Electoral Systems” of Andrew Reynolds, Ben Reilly and Andrew Ellis (Editors) (2005) Electoral System Design: the New International IDEA Handbook.
http://www.idea.int/publications/esd/upload/esd_chapter2.pdf

Chapter 3 “The Systems and Their Consequences”of Andrew Reynolds, Ben Reilly and Andrew Ellis (Editors) (2005) Electoral System Design: the New International IDEA Handbook. http://www.idea.int/publications/esd/upload/esd_chapter3.pdf

1. Define the general terms “presidential system” and “parliamentary system.” Compare and contrast the two in terms of their advantages, disadvantages, and risks.
2. The terms “first past the post system,” “plurality system,” “single-member district system,” and winner take all system” are essentially synonymous with regards to the election of legislators. Define this form of selecting members of a legislature. How many parties tend to emerge in this sort of system and why?
3. The terms “proportional system” and “multiple winner system” are essentially synonymous with regards to the election of legislators. Define this form of selecting members of a legislature. How many parties tend to emerge in this sort of system and why?
4. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages to the two general types of legislator election techniques?
5. Define the term “gerrymander.”
6. Define the terms “unicameral” and “bicameral.” What are the advantages and disadvantages of each relative to one another? Give examples of both and be able to discuss them in terms of the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, and the Connecticut or Great Compromise.
7. Define the term “government” in terms of its synonymy with the executive branch of a state and give examples.

What is Northern Europe?

1. Define the geographic, historical, and economic characteristics that define Northern Europe as a region.
2. Explain when the states of Northern Europe democratized and liberalized and the underlying interstate phenomena that accompanied their liberalizations. 
3.  Define the terms “developed” and “underdeveloped” relative to one another in the context of interstate political economics.  When discussing the concept of the “world-system” what do we mean by the terms “periphery,” “semi-periphery,” and “core?” Which of these categories do the states of Northern Europe fit best in and why?

A Summary of Immanuel Wallerstein (1974) The Modern World System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/wallerstein.html

4. Define the concepts of “political deference” and “class” and the role they have played and continue to play in Northern Europe.  
5. Define the term “authoritarianism” and give examples.
6. Which states are the most developed and powerful of the states of Northern Europe? Why might this be?

The European Union

1. For what purpose was the European Union created?
2. What is the basic institutional arrangement of the European Union? Over what does it have sovereign rights and by what process(es) can the European Union pass binding legislation over its member states?
3. What are the primary foreign policy issues (security, economic, and other) of concern in and to the states of Northern Europe? What are the various policies these states have to deal with these issues and to what degree do they maintain unanimity amongst themselves and with their fellow EU states?
4. Define the term “intergovernmental organization.” Give examples.
5. What IGOs other than the EU are particularly important to the states of Northern Europe?
6. What is the state of development of militaries amongst the states of Northern Europe and how are these militaries usually used?

The Federal Republic of Germany

The Basic Law
https://www.btg-bestellservice.de/pdf/80201000.pdf

Historical German Politics and Structures

Conradt and Langenbacher Chapters 1 through 4

German Institutions

Conradt and Langenbacher Chapters 6 through 8

German Factional Politics

Conradt and Langenbacher Chapter 5; also review Chapter 6

Germany-in-Europe

Conradt and Langenbacher Chapter 10

German Local and Sub-National Politics

Conradt and Langenbacher Chapter 9

The Kingdom of Sweden

The Instrument of Government
http://www.riksdagen.se/Global/dokument/dokument/laws/the-instrument-of-government-2012.pdf

The Act of Succession
http://www.riksdagen.se/Global/dokument/dokument/laws/the-act-of-succession-2012.pdf

The Freedom of the Press Act
http://www.riksdagen.se/Global/dokument/dokument/laws/the-freedom-of-the-press-act-2012.pdf

The Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression
http://www.riksdagen.se/Global/dokument/dokument/laws/the-fundamental-law-on-freedom-of-expression-2012.pdf

The Riksdag Act
http://www.riksdagen.se/Global/dokument/dokument/laws/the-riksdag-act-2012.pdf

Historical Swedish Politics and Structures

Arter Chapters 1 and 2

Swedish Institutions

Arter Chapters 7 through 11

“How Sweden is Governed,” Government Offices of Sweden
http://www.government.se/sb/d/575

“The Swedish Constitution,” Government Offices of Sweden
http://www.government.se/sb/d/2707/a/15187

Swedish Factional Politics

Arter Chapters 3 through 6

Sweden-in-Europe

Arter Chapters 12 and 13

Swedish Local and Sub-National Politics

See “The Swedish System of Government” sections on local government
http://sweden.se/society/government/

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Magna Carta of 1215
Petition of Right of 1628
Instrument of Government of 1653
The Humble Petition and Advice of 1657
The Habeas Corpus Act of 1679
The Bill of Rights of 1689
The Claim of Right of 1689
The Act of Settlement of 1701
The Acts of Union of 1706 and 1707
The Act of Union of 1800
The Reform Act of 1832
The Reform Act of 1867
The Reform Act of 1884
The Parliament Act of 1911
The Representation of the People Act of 1918
The Irish Free State Act of 1922
The Representation of the People Act of 1928
The Statute of Westminster of 1931
The Representation of the People Act of 1949
The Parliament Act of 1949
The Representation of the People Act of 1969
The European Communities Act of 1972
The Human Rights Act of 1998
The Scotland Act of 1998
The Wales Act of 1998
The Northern Ireland Act of 1998
The House of Lords Act of 1999
The Freedom of Information Act of 2000
The Political Parties, Elections, and Referendum Act of 2000
The Constitutional Reform Act of 2005
The Wales Act of 2006
The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act of 2010
The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act of 2011
The European Union Act of 2011

Historical British Politics and Structures

Kavanagh et al.  Chapters 1 through 7

British Institutions

Kavanagh et al. Chapters 10 through 14, 16, 19 and 20, and 22 through 24

British Factional Politics

Kavanagh et al.  Chapters 18, 21, and 25; also review Chapters 19, 20, and 22

Britain-in-Europe

Kavanagh et al. Chapters 8 and 9; also review Chapters 6 and 7

British Local and Sub-National Politics

Kavanagh et al. Chapters 15 and 17