SPRING 2018 SYLLABUS: English Writing for Political Science (Juniors)
Meeting Time & Location: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8-9:30AM, Classroom 15
Instructor: Mr. Julian Lee 李立安 Class Website: www.omnifoo.info/pages/PSWriting.html
Office: Rm. 301 & occasionally Newark Bldg. Rm. 245. Office hours by appointment.
Email: omniscientfool@tom.com
Jump to: Grading Essay 1 Essay 2 Class Schedule Midterm Review Games

OVERVIEW: This course aims to improve students' English writing skills in general and specifically with regard to topics in political science. By student request, source materials will focus largely on topics in the subfield of comparative politics. A writing course entitled "English for Academic Purposes" (EAP) may be considered approximately analogous, though again the subject material for research and writing assignments will be focused rather than general.. In each session of class, students should expect to do some writing, so a notebook and pen or pencil are REQUIRED for each class! Students should keep the same notebook throughout class to observe the progress they make throughout the course of the semester. We will do A LOT of writing in this class! Some of the writing will be corrected by your peers, so try to sit next to someone you trust to read and comment on your writing. Writing topics will be provided by the instructor and will require some preparation and previous knowledge of topics such as comparative politics, political theory, and current events. The class will include a review of basic grammar concepts, and this will involve many exercises to practice parts of speech, sentence and paragraph structure, improve vocabulary, and translation of basic sentences from Chinese to English. Exercises intended to advance students' writing from Chinese-style English or "Chinglish" toward a more standard, academic style of an American university will be emphasized. As the ultimate goals are to write English essays reviewing other scholarly works and containing some original research, extensive attention will be paid to proper quotation methods to avoid plagiarism. This course will share a similar structure, along with some materials and activities, with an international politics version. 讲课的语言是英语。 听/看不懂英语的学生千万要提前安排助学办法。

IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES: Depending on students' receptiveness, a variety of activities will be employed in this class. Above all, class sessions will be ACTIVE, with lots of student participation and a goal of minimizing lecture time by the instructor. Likely activities will include dictations (covering material from the previous session), individual & team games, grammar exercises, and correction of homework. Occasionally, while students are working on assignments in class, the instructor will meet with students 1-on-1 to read and correct past assignments, with the goals of explaining grading criteria and providing opportunities to make sure students can express their personal ideas precisely and clearly.

ASSIGNMENTS: Most class sessions will assign homework. Homework assignments will consist of both reading and writing. Reading assignments will mostly be to read an article, book chapter, or other text online to be prepared for in-class writing exercises. Some assignments, especially those completed in class, will be handwritten, while others may be either handwritten or typed and printed from a computer. Occasionally the instructor will ask students to turn in writing assignments from in-class exercises or homework to be used as "daily grades" (平时成绩). At least twice in the semester, a dictation will be used for a daily grade.

EXAMS: This class will not have exams, unless students or higher authorities request them.

GRADING (ESSAYS): The two essays' final drafts will be the main determinants of the final grade (30% x2), supplemented by their rough drafts (15% x2) and with attendance and daily grades influencing borderline cases (10%). One final draft will be due near the midterm, and the other near the end of the semester. Prompts and requirements for such essays will be presented and discussed in class, then posted below. Students are encouraged to share drafts of essays with classmates before turning them in to the instructor. Please type and print rough and final drafts of your essays on BOTH SIDES (double-sided 双面的). Essays will be graded on clarity, structure, and how well they meet the requirements in the next section. Addressing (not necessarily following) classmates' and the instructor's suggestions for revision of the rough draft will be taken into account for the final drafts' grades. Self-expression, i.e. being able to express your own, unique thoughts will also be increasingly important as the semester progresses and technical skills improve. Grading standards will become more strict as the semester progresses, and some consideration of overall improvement of writing skills (as shown in the progression from the first rough draft to the final draft of Essay 2) may factor into the final grade for the course.

ESSAY GRADING CRITERIA: The instructor will write prompts for both essays and choose the topics in consultation with students. Each essay will be turned in and graded in two stages: the rough draft and the final (revised) draft. ESSAY 1: Rough Draft Due Apr. 24th. Required length: 4-7 paragraphs (at least 1 introduction, 2 body paragraphs, 1 conclusion); not more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. TOPICS: 1. The U.S. & Chinese media landscapes; 2. Regime Types. PROMPT- See below. Final Draft Due: Thurs., May 17th. Required length: 800 words, but not longer than 7 double-spaced pages. Turn in your rough draft with revision comments along with your final draft to the instructor for comparison.

Point Distribution (Rough Draft): On Time? 20, Clarity & Cohesiveness 20, Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Capitalization 10, Title 5, Format (double-spaced, fonts, margins, paragraphs indented) 5, Evidence 5, Persuasiveness 5, Analysis (Thesis w/ body paragraphs connected to it, At least two questions in the PROMPT answered, Counter-argument considered) 15, Interesting/Original? 15.

Point Distribution (Final Draft): On Time? 5, Responses to revision suggestions 10, Citation of outside sources 5, Bibliography/Works Cited section 5, Clarity & Cohesiveness 15, Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Capitalization 10, Title 5, Format (double-spaced, fonts, margins, paragraphs indented) 5, Evidence 5, Persuasiveness 5, Analysis (Thesis w/ body paragraphs connected to it, At least two questions in the PROMPT answered, Counter-argument considered) 15, Interesting/Original? 15.

Topic 1: The U.S. and Chinese media landscapes. Background: American politics and media have, since the rise of the internet, become increasingly partisan and polarized. Those who are centrists and moderates now tend to be elites favoring the status quo and "low-information" voters who prefer entertainment over news. Well informed news consumers tend to be very liberal or very conservative and generally consume media in line with their ideologies. Defenders of this arrangement say these changes are still positive reflections of U.S. pluralism, diversity, and free speech, while critics worry that media in the ideological extremes may be pulling the nation apart. China once experimented with national elections and more liberal media at the very end of the Qing Dynasty but found the results too divisive, perhaps influencing the chaos and factionalism of the Warlord period in the early 20th century. Today, Chinese media and nationalists regularly criticize Western media as "anti-China," while defenders of blocked websites like "papers of record" The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times would counter that a critical press is "in the public interest."

PROMPT: In your view, is partisan media driving U.S. political polarization, or does a polarized citizenry demand partisan media to reflect its increasingly extreme viewpoints? To what extent is the "free media" in America's liberal democracy dividing the public into factions, in the same way China feared it would at the beginning of the 20th century? To what extent does China's "internet sovereignty" guard against such problems, and at what cost? Which U.S. media sources are the most "anti-China," and which (if any) treat China fairly? How critical can one be before being "anti-China"?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Zakaria on Press Freedom, Schmitter & Karl, Stepan & Linz

Topic 2: Regime Types Background: Comparative politics rests on a foundational typology of totalitarian, authoritarian, and liberal democratic regimes and claims that these "ideal types" are objective, backed by empirical evidence/observation, and applicable to virtually all regimes around the world with little or no pro-Western bias. At the same time, the teleological sub-subfield of political development largely assumes that regimes will progress toward a procedural democracy based on "polyarchy," supplemented and enabled by the liberal rights and freedoms outlined in Schmitter & Karl's "What Democracy Is...And Is Not," even if such a regime does not help the economy. This assumption rests on a body of work called "human development theory," which in a very oversimplified form claims that economic development creates a middle class which gradually comes to prefer "self-expression values" and demand liberal democracy. Furthermore, living in a liberal democracy reinforces a political culture which makes any other regime type, including "illiberal democracy," unacceptable to citizens.

PROMPT: To what extent do you agree or disagree that the three basic regime types are objective and universally applicable, not Western impositions full of subjective value judgments? Do you think people in liberal democracies would really tolerate years or decades of economic stagnation rather than change their regime? Will all the world's political regimes, including China's, eventually converge in some form of liberal/"Western"/"bourgeois" democracy? Why/why not? Why are there so few totalitarian regimes left in the 21st century?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Stepan & Linz, Schmitter & Karl.

ESSAY 2: Rough Draft Due Tues., June 12th. Required length: 4-7 paragraphs (at least 1 introduction, 2 body paragraphs, 1 conclusion); not more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. TOPIC: 1. Comparing Malaysian & Russian 2018 elections; 2. Political Economy; 3. Nationalism, Sinophobia, and National Extinction. PROMPT- See below. Final Draft Due: _________________. Required length: 800 words, but not longer than 7 double-spaced pages. GRADING OF ESSAY 2:

OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Outside Sources = use (quote directly) at least one source originally in English and one source originally in Chinese (to be translated into English while including the original text and citation). Bibliography = include a bibliography of outside sources at the end of the essay. The format will be discussed in class. TOPIC: Students may choose between Topic 1, Topic 2, OR Topic 3.

Topic 1: Current Events: Comparing elections in Russia and Malaysia and their implications for democracy. Background: No one was surprised that Putin was re-elected in Russia, where his campaign received much negative coverage in Western media for "unfair" practices such as excluding the prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny from eligibility and generally giving much more (quantity) and more positive (quality) attention to Putin in Russian media. Western media analysis of Malaysia's election of Mahathir Mohamad (Pakatan Harapan, Alliance of Hope) over BN (Barisan Nasional) Party PM Najib Razak, has been positive overall. The loss notably ended not only PM Najib's term but also exposed him to potential corruption charges (prosecuting the previous leader is an unfortunately common practice in many democracies where "rule of law" is questionable) and ended 57 years of BN Party dominance. Like Putin, Najib successfully jailed his closest competitor, the winner of the 2013 popular vote, Anwar Ibrahim, whose pardon is expected allow him to take over from the 92 year-old Mahathir before long. Also like Putin, Najib tried to prevent the media from covering corruption in his administration, passing a "fake news" law in recent years. If recent years' economic growth should be decisive in an election, an observer focused only on that might have expected Putin to lose and Najib to win. Compare their growth rates to each other and to China/USA for the past ten years: GDP

country -->

year

China Malaysia USA Russia
2016 6.7% 4.2% 1.5% -.2%
2017 6.9% 5.9% 2.3% 1.5%

Another comparison: remember that Hillary Clinton was from the same party as Barack Obama (D) and would largely have continued Obama's policies, yet many Trump voters expected he would improve the consistent but underwhelming 2% growth in the U.S. for almost the entirety of Obama's term in office. Again, if the economy is the most important to voters/citizens, shouldn't Putin have lost and Najib have won?

The liberal (Western) conception of democracy uses a strict procedural requirement of Robert Dahl's concept of "polyarchy," which may be summarized (oversimplified) as "free and fair" elections which are fully inclusive of the population, any candidates who wish to run for office, and contested competitively on a "level playing field." A "consolidated" democracy in comparative politics is often said to be one which has passed the "Two Turnover" Rule in which parties lose and concede elections, resulting in peaceful transfers of power. As Schmitter & Karl noted in 1991:

"All democracies involve a degree of uncertainty about who will be elected and what policies they will pursue. Even in those polities where one party persists in winning elections or one policy is consistently implemented, the possibility of change through independent collective action still exists, as in Italy, Japan, and the Scandinavian social democracies. If it does not, the system is not democratic, as in Mexico, Senegal, or Indonesia." (Note that each of the latter three regimes has met this requirement since their article was published.)

PROMPT: Why did Putin win and Najib lose? To what extent do you agree or disagree with Schmitter & Karl that a democratic regime must have a degree of uncertainty about who will win the election and become the next national leader? Does liberal (Western) democracy over-emphasize procedural requirements, in your view? Why? To what extent can a scholar of comparative politics study (and criticize) the electoral procedures of countries like Russia and Malaysia without having pro-West, anti-Russia, or other biases? What role do you think Russian and Malaysian media played in the results? Is Western criticism of Putin unfair/too harsh (i.e. calling him an authoritarian dictator and his regime non-democratic)? Are Putin and Mahathir both populists? Is Mahathir anti-China? With steady GDP growth of over 5% under Najib, did the people of Malaysia elect the wrong candidate? What role did China play in the Malaysian election, especially with regard to exposing corruption? For all its flaws, the U.S. has a strong record of investigating standing presidents for crimes (i.e. Nixon, Clinton, and Trump), while most non-Western democracies tend to wait and charge them only after they are former presidents (i.e. in Korea before Pres. Park, Brazil, etc.)...What does this comparison suggest about the difference between "Rule of Law" (in which no one is "above the law," including national leaders) and "Rule by Law" (in which the law is a tool to strengthen the rule of the current leaders, who are likely to be immune from any legal challenge or accusation)? How would you generalize these country-specific results to the study of elections in comparative politics?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Schmitter & Karl, popular media accounts of the 2018 Russian and Malaysian general elections.

Topic 2: Political Economy. Background: While fully planned economies have given way to the market in nearly every state, regardless of regime type, the public and private sectors vary greatly in the degree to which the government regulates them and what the government still owns in "mixed" economies. Many Westerners expected Xi Jinping to reform the Chinese economy much more than he has, to privatize more SOEs (state-owned enterprises) derided by Western observers as "zombies" which will never become profitable. Indeed, the ideologies of capitalism and market fundamentalism run deeply in the West, and critics believe that the "state capitalism" or "Red Capitalism" of the PRC provides Chinese companies with an unfair competitive advantage. If the state is always ready to finance a company's expansion or rescue from bankruptcy with loans, whether the firm is profitable or not, critics say this leads to very high risk tolerance due in part to "soft budget constraints" and unlimited lines of credit.

Of course, political economy in the West showed its own glaring weaknesses and risk-prone actions in the 2008 financial crisis, with the collapse of mortgage-backed securities wrongly rated by supposedly independent, for-profit ratings agencies as solid, safe investments. Greed and the ability for investors to bet against others with "derivatives," "credit default swaps," and other high-tech financial engineering led to the bankruptcy or at least fiscal turmoil of very large, private insurance companies and even government-owned companies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

For all the complaints from U.S. conservatives that a large government, necessary for more socialist, "welfare states" will be less efficient and competitive in the global economy than free markets and private ownership, the very large and powerful Chinese government appears to be doing quite well leading the economy. In the view of many traditional, Western capitalists, it is unfair for them to have to compete with firms supported by the Chinese government for contracts and acquisitions of smaller companies for the purposes of mergers and technological improvements.

PROMPT: What advantages and disadvantages do you see in having a "mixed" economy as in China compared to the almost fully privatized, market economies of Western countries? How would you respond to a Western critic who says that the PRC's 21st century "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" is really "just capitalism with state ownership"? Many worry that the USA hasn't solved the fundamental problems in its economy, especially its banking and finance industries, which led to the 2008 global financial crisis and that another one is sure to happen. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Why, despite evidence that government regulation of the economy prevents companies from taking on too much risk, do so many businesses (and the Republican Party generally) oppose regulations and prefer a completely "free market," despite its volatility? If Xi Jinping pursues economic reforms, would you prefer that they go in directions of privatization or nationalization, marketization or more national planning? Why?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Posner & Weyl, LA Times on Changchun, films like Inside Job and Abacus, articles on the Volcker Rule

 

Topic 3 : Nationalism, Sinophobia, and National Extinction. Background: The best we can say for globalization in the past several decades is that it has brought great GDP growth and poverty alleviation for China and many other countries. By no means would all countries say they have benefited, however. Economics aside, many fear that globalization is actually Westernization, with the effect of endagering traditional cultures and even other, non-Western paths to modernization around the world. Within modern states, minority nationalities like the Ainu in Japan and countless Native American "first nations" face the extinction of their languages andj cultures.

See, for a more personal example, an argument that I've given to Newark students that you individually and as a generation are less Chinese than your grandparents.

At the same time, some Southeast Asian nations have a fraught relationship with their Chinese minorities, with long histories of anti-Chinese violence and Sinophobia. Problems of nationalism are everywhere, though many scholars, Marxists especially, find class to be the more important distinction, transcending national borders in favor of global solidarity as proletariats. There's no way to give enough background on this huge topic, so just be sure to read and cite some outside sources to back up your perspective!

PROMPT: Which theoretical view of nations do you find most persuasive/accurate, whether only for China or for all nations in the world: primordialism, perennialism (see Smith for this specialized term!), or constructivism (modernism/instrumentalism)? Why? How essential is it for national survival that there be native speakers of the national language? If the national language dies out completely (i.e. no one speaks or writes it anymore), is the nation then extinct or not? If not, what would actual national extinction look like/entail? What, if any, do you think are the differences between a nation and an ethnic group? To what extent do governments have a responsibility to preserve the languages and cultures of "stateless nations" within their borders, such as the Rohingya in Burma (Myanmar) or the Kurds in Turkey/Iraq/Syria? To what extent do you think "national self-determination" is a myth or tool used of liberal, Western countries to interfere in the internal affairs of developing and non-Western states? Do you see yourself as a Chinese patriot or nationalist? Why? Do weak countries like Myanmar and Laos have anything to fear from Chinese immigrants as "market-dominant minorities" who may dominate the local economy? Why/why not? Historically, and in terms of nationalism, why do you think Western states like Australia, the USA, and Canada have all enacted anti-Chinese immigration laws, and how would you assess their consequences? To what extent do you find national or class distinctions to be more important for the study of comparative politics, both within states and throughout the world? If you think class is far more important, to what extent should we care about national extinction at all? Can a nation actually go extinct in the same way an animal or plant species can? Why/why not? Do you agree or disagree with your instructor's argument that you're less Chinese than your grandparents? Why?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Gellner & Smith on nationalism, texts in popular media about the Ainu, Manchu, Taushiro, etc.

Point Distribution (Rough Draft): On Time? 20, Citation of outside sources 5, Bibliography/Works Cited section 5, Clarity & Cohesiveness 20, Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Capitalization 10, Title & Format (double-spaced, fonts, margins, paragraphs indented) 5, Single Thesis with Evidence/Persuasiveness 5, Analysis (Thesis w/ body paragraphs connected to it, At least two questions in the PROMPT answered, Counter-argument considered) 15, Interesting/Original? 15.

For both essays, you will lose points if... 1. you don't print double-sided 双面的 ; 2. You try to answer both prompts (don't do it!); 3. You try to address every single thing in the "Background" section or very little (or worse, none) of it; 4. Your essay doesn't have a single, unifying thesis to tie your points together, or you don't directly address each part of the prompt; 5. You don't have a bibliography/works cited section or citations (in-text or footnootes) for outside sources/direct quotes; 6. Your Chinese source doesn't include the original text in Chinese; 7. Your essay is too long or short

 

SUGGESTED ONLINE FORUMS FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION (EXTRA WRITING PRACTICE): Global Voices

Care to see what Julian's other classes are doing and have done? Visit the NENU landing page for his reading, writing, public administration, and IR theory courses. All classes should have received a copy of EFL student guides to Western music and Western movies. Feel free to share and distribute them.

WECHAT POLICY: It is the instructor's policy not to add current students to social media, though some past students which are again current will not be removed. Please contact the instructor via email rather than by WeChat, text message, or phone unless extremely urgent. After the course is over, the instructor welcomes social media inquiries.

 

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE:

WEEK 1 ( 3-6, 3-8): Instructor will be returning from the Golden Triangle this week, so students should prepare the following assignment, which will be collected, corrected, and graded upon the instructor's arrival. Winter Vacation Story (Assignment) INSTRUCTIONS: To give the instructor an introduction to your writing skills, write 1-3 paragraphs about the most interesting thing you did or that happened during this year's winter vacation. Try to tell an interesting or even entertaining story, but don't write more than a couple (2) pages. Try to "engage the senses" (what did things sound, smell, and feel like?). If you don't know what to write, use the first paragraph to "set the scene" and give the setting (time & place) where you were and who was with you, then use the rest of your essay to describe what happened. This may be handwritten or typed and printed (double-sided) and will be collected in the second session of class. THURS. - Course introduction. Distribute glossaries on Reading & Writing, Critical Thinking, etc. Sentences, Paragraphs, and what they build to. Learn to "extend a sentence" without breaking grammar rules. HOMEWORK: Winter Vacation Story (Assignment)

WEEK 2 ( 3-13, 3-15): TUES. - Collect Winter Vacation Story (Assignment). Introduce dictation exercise and practice a test dictation. Talk about sentence structure: simple, compound, complex, sentence fragments and run-on sentences. Grammar point: Expressing regrets with past participles of verbs. Academic VS. Non-academic writing. Sign up for 1-on-1 session in Julian's office to discuss your first assignment (Winter Vacation Story) HOMEWORK: Write three sentences using past participles of verbs to express how you wish your winter vacation had gone differently. (i.e. Do you have any regrets? What do you wish you had done/not done/done differently?) Be ready to talk about Sentence Structure exercise in next class. THURS. - Return & explain graded "test" dictations. Give answers for Sentence Structure exercise. Review handouts on "How to Talk Like a Political Scientist from the USA" and "Basic Political Structures & Functions in the USA." HOMEWORK: Write one paragraph on what you specifically want to improve about your writing and what you want to learn and do this semester (semester goals in this class and generally, essay topics you'd find interesting). Read about Term Limits: A brief history of the post-FDR 22nd Amendment and the 2-term precedent set by Pres. George Washington. "Top Five Reasons We Need Term Limits!" on the website for the organization petitioning for U.S. congressional term limits. Arguments against term limits in Congress (indeed, against even considering an amendment imposing them) could hardly be punchier than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's quotation, "We have term limits; they're called elections." At greater length against them, please read the recent "Five Reasons to Oppose Congressional Term Limits" on the Brookings Institute's website. Optional if you'd like more academic detail, read the account of Prof. Julia Azari of Marquette University (where I got my first MA).

WEEK 3 ( 3-20, 3-22): TUES. - Talk about basic information about texts, including their type, source, title, author, topic, main idea, authors' credibility & bias, etc. Discuss the terms and term limits of the U.S. and other countries in various government positions. A pdf compilation of the texts on term limits is here. HOMEWORK: In one paragraph, answer one of the following questions: 1. How effective would a two-term limit on U.S. members of Congress (similar to the 22nd Amendment limiting the president) be at addressing the problem that while only 9-15% of Americans approve of Congress, 90% of its members get re-elected? 2. Obama claimed he would have beaten Trump if he had run in the 2016 election. Would violating the U.S. constitution have been worth it for Obama to have run, and do you agree he would have won? Why or why not? 3. If 75% of U.S. citizens want term limits in Congress, but members of Congress have strong incentives not to enact them (including both self-interest and the arguments of the Brookings Institute), to what extent, in your view, does this show that the U.S. government does not represent its citizens? Read the instructor's handout on -archy and -cracy to prepare for discussion of regime types. THURS. - Read and comment on your classmates' answers to questions 1, 2, and 3. Discuss your answers to questions 1, 2, and 3. Vote on whether the U.S. Congress should amend the U.S. Constitution to impose term limits on its members. In your notebooks, rank the "Top 3" kinds of "-archy & -cracy" you would want to live in (and why) and the "Bottom 3" you think would be the worst to live under (Choose from, in alphabetical order: anarchy, autocracy, democracy, gerontocracy, gynarchy (matriarchy), kleptocracy, meritocracy, monarchy, oligarchy, patriarchy, plutocracy, theocracy. Discuss your rankings with your classmates and as a class. Begin discussion of regime types. HOMEWORK: Read two classic pieces on regime types from the 1990s by Schmitter & Karl and another by Linz & Stepan. Which of the "-cracy & -archy" labels best fit your view of how and who govern the societies of the USA, Russia, and Japan? Feel free to use more than one label for each country. Write a sentence or two for each, and connect them to your "Top 3" and "Bottom 3" that you'd like and not like to live in.

WEEK 4 ( 3-27, 3-29): TUES. - Determine a "Top 3" and "Bottom 3" for the class (Voted on "best" and "worst" from -cracy & -archy: "Winner" = meritocracy, "Loser" = theocracy). Discuss regime types and the two articles. HOMEWORK: In one paragraph, answer one of the following questions: 1. Your instructor (and his professors) generally prefers to call Linz & Stepan's "sultanism" a kind of personalist authoritarianism, in contrast with the institutionalized version the authors describe but too similar to be another regime type. To what extent do you think this is a real difference worth separating? 2. Many students, especially at first, find it hard to tell the difference between a totalitarian regime and an authoritarian one (especially when Stepan & Linz include the transitional "post-totalitarian" type). How would you describe their differences and, if any, similarities in contrast with liberal democracy? 3. The instructor has taken great care to modify what both texts call "democracy" (and the only kind recognized in the West) as "liberal democracy." This regime has been criticized variously as "bourgeois democracy" by Marxists, "Western democracy" by "Asian Values" advocates (such as China and Singapore), and very often in terms of the instructor's handout such as "oligarchy" or "plutocracy." To what extent do you agree or disagree with such criticism? 4. Schmitter & Karl wanted to make an authoritative reference for how actually existing democracies look and vary, but are they really only describing what we in the 2010s would now call liberal democracies? To what extent does their authority as Stanford professors make for an authoritarian definition of democracy, excluding other, illiberal forms and the regime-type conceptions of average people? READING: The first section of a recent article by Yascha Mounk in The Atlantic . Feel free to read the whole article. THURS. - Topic sentences and summaries. Summary VS. Analysis HOMEWORK: write a 1-paragraph summary of Mounk's first section.

WEEK 5 ( 4-3, 4-5): TUES. - Collect students' notebooks at the end of the session. In-class exercise: write an analytical paragraph answering one of the following questions about Mounk's article...1. What is Mounk's conception of democracy, and how is it similar to and different from what Schmitter & Karl describe? 2. "Free and fair" elections are a requirement of liberal democracy, but the introduction shows that even small elections can be full of dirty tricks. To what extent is Mounk's title based on procedural problems with voting, and in contrast, how much is based on the fact that even "free and fair" elections don't give people much influence over government policy? 3. Mounk points out differences in responsiveness between the "representative" democracy of a republic, often including the protection of minority rights against "the tyranny of the majority/mob rule" and the "direct" democracy preferred by young people and in the introduction's referrendum (voting directly on a policy under "majority rule"). What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of each form? 4. Mounk notes that Trump voters felt especially voiceless but completely dismisses the idea that Trump will actually represent such people as president. To what extent do you find his dismissal fair or unfair, and why? HOMEWORK: Read about media and politics in Zakaria's comparative essay "Democracy Is Decaying Worldwide. America Isn't Immune." The rise of "fake news" in a comparative article in The Telegraph, and an analysis of charts comparing U.S. media bias. All three readings as a pdf here. THURS. - Qingming Holiday, NO CLASS?

WEEK 6 ( 4-10, 4-12): TUES. - Return graded notebooks. Talk about topic, prompt, and format of ESSAY 1 rough draft. Chinglish Elimination exercises from student homework. HOMEWORK: In 1-2 paragraphs, answer two or more questions on the top half of the handout about media & politics (Current Events/Watching the News). Choose your topic for ESSAY 1 and write a possible introduction paragraph with a "hook." THURS. - Finish Chinglish Elimination exercises.Discuss the relationship between mass media and regime types, with a focus on the differences between a "free press" under liberal democracy compared to other regime types. HOMEWORK: Read about liberal/conservative, populist/elite divisions in the USA...

WEEK 7 ( 4-17, 4-19): TUES. - Introductory paragraphs and "hooks." Continue talking about media & politics, including three models of media influence: The Hypodermic Model, The Minimal Effects Model, & The Agenda-Setting Model.. Introduce "the political spectrum" in the USA and relate it back to the media bias chart. HOMEWORK: Profiles in U.S. ideological pluralism exercise & write one paragraph about which profile is closest to how you view political issues and why. Continue reading about political outlooks in the USA...a brief blog post gives the basics. Another in Foreign Policy addresses the divide between populists and elites. PDF of both texts here. THURS. - Test dictation. Build upon the political spectrum with concepts related to partisanship and polarization. HOMEWORK: Have a rough draft of Essay 1 ready to turn in for the next session.

WEEK 8 ( 4-24, 4-26): TUES. - ESSAY 1 ROUGH DRAFT DUE. Exchange & comment on two classmates' rough drafts. Basic translation from Chinese to English: General Statements. HOMEWORK: Word Choice exercise: Yield Make Let Allow THURS. - Correct Word Choice exercise together. Discuss Berman's article on populism versus non-responsive technocracy. Do students want to play review games and meet in small conversation groups? HOMEWORK: Write one paragraph answering one of the following questions based on Berman's article. 1. How dangerous does Berman think populism is, and how is her view of what's causing it different from most analyses? Do you agree or disagree with her assessment of the level of danger and the cause of populism? Why? 2. Berman notes that polities, under the guidance of elites, often respond to populism by making institutions more technocratic and less responsive to popular demands. To what extent do you agree with Berman that increasing technocracy at the expense of democracy will make the problem worse, rather than solving it? 3. Berman attributes problems in Western democracies to institutional "decay" away from democratic responsiveness as well as socioeconomic inequality (a widening gap between the rich and the poor). Which do you think is a more serious problem for a liberal democracy, and why? 4. Huntington's Political Order in Changing Societies is a classic work in comparative politics, arguing that political institutions must adapt to be responsive (effectively, more democratic) to citizens' demands as societies undergo the drastic changes of modernization. Using parts of Berman's summary of Huntington, to what extent do you think states can modernize without changing their political institutions in this way? Give examples of how China underwent (or avoided) such institutional reforms, in your view.

WEEK 9 ( 5-1, 5-3): TUES. - Int'l Labor Day, NO CLASS? THURS. - Vocabulary Game

WEEK 10 ( 5-8, 5-10): TUES. - Return rough drafts of Essay 1 & discuss requirements for revisions. How a Western academic political science journal article is structured. In an essay title, which words should be capitalized? Handout on partisanship in the USA. HOMEWORK: Write a paragraph on whether you'd prefer to read academic articles or texts from popular media for the remainder of this course and why. (It may or may not influence your instructor's decision on what we read.) THURS. - Collect homework.. Midterm Review Game

WEEK 11 ( 5-15, 5-17): TUES. - Small conversation groups. Return graded homework. THURS. - ESSAY 1 FINAL DRAFT DUE. Indirect speech. HOMEWORK: Read about Malaysia's May 9th general election from different perspectives: The former PM Najib Razak's, Al-Jazeera's pro-opposition analysis, Chinese interests in the Global Times and an account of Sinophobia as a campaign issue in Reuters, the Washington Post and the NY Times. All texts in one pdf here. (Feel free to read about it in Chinese-language sources as well...our goal will be to analyze the various biases and determine which sources you think covered the event the best.) Two more texts from NY Times & Reuters summarize how and why PM Najib Razak lost the election.

WEEK 12 ( 5-22, 5-25): TUES. - Discuss the results of the Malaysian election. How to quote outside sources and avoid "dropped quotations" with signal phrases and context. Practice using the generic structure "When the author says, '...' s/he means..." HOMEWORK: Write a paragraph about your thoughts on the recent Malaysian election. Quote at least one sentence from one of the articles directly, making sure to give it an appropriate signal phrase, context, and analysis. Read Posner & Weyl survey the history of political economy and why economists today are comparatively "timid" & economic reforms in Changchun from the Los Angeles Times. THURS. - Political economy: from planned to capitalist national economies. The "commanding heights" of the economy as a window into comparative political economy & how the government controls, regulates, or is dominated by markets and capital. HOMEWORK: Answer two of the following questions in a total of two paragraphs, again with one direct quotation of a recent text in each: 1. How accurate do you think the labels Western scholarship uses, especially "State Capitalism" or "Red Capitalism," are to describe the PRC's "mixed economy" under "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics?" 2. Posner & Weyl seem to prefer the "boldness" of big thinkers in political economy rather than those who advocate smaller reforms. To what extent do you agree or disagree with them? 3. Changchun is emblematic of cities where heavy, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) employ lots of people but may not be especially profitable. How should the gov't balance the needs to turn a profit and the social stability provided by an "iron rice bowl" in the socialist mode of production? 4. Chinese liberals and Western libertarians strongly prefer to privatize everything and allow "free markets" to decide economic "winners & losers" with little or no gov't intervention or even regulation. To what extent do you think "market fundamentalism" is viable or a fantasy of immoral capitalists who want to maximize their profits? 5. The LA Times calls Changchun "China's Detroit," making an explicit comparison to the U.S. "Rust Belt" of the upper-Midwest, where millions of well-paid, blue-collar jobs went overseas to places like China and Mexico under policies of globalization and neoliberal (global capitalist) economics. How appropriate is the comparison--could economic reforms in Manchuria similarly hurt Changchun's economy? Why/why not? 6. Before being arrested for corruption, Bo Xilai and other conservatives advocated returning to an era of more state ownership and less privatization, perhaps even Mao Zedong Thought and a planned economy, as a remedy for growing socioeconomic inequality in the PRC. Having just passed Marx's 200th birthday, the West claims China may want to return to more economic policies derived from Marxism. What effects do you think such conservative reforms would have on China's economy and society?

WEEK 13 ( 5-29, 5-31): TUES. - Watch either "Inside Job" or "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" for a documentary window into U.S. political economy and financial regulation. HOMEWORK: Read how The New York Times warns that the Volcker Rule, put in place to prevent another crisis like 2008, may soon be weakened by the Trump administration. Lots of other examples of how the U.S. gov't regulates the financial industry are included in that article, too! THURS. - Practice writing bibliographies using books and articles, including how to translate and cite Chinese sources. HOMEWORK: Add a third entry to the practice bibliography from a Chinese source.

WEEK 14 (6-5, 6-7 ): TUES. - Return Essay 1 final drafts. Introduce topics for ESSAY 2. HOMEWORK: Draft a possible introduction paragraph for ESSAY 2. Read Ch. 1, "Definitions" in Ernest Gellner's classic, Nations and Nationalism, Ch. 3, "Paradigms" in Anthony D. Smith's Nationalism THURS. - Discuss nations & nationalism the concept of an MDM (market-dominant minority), whether and where Chinese are one, and the consequences of it. Is the U.S. a global one? Introduce & discuss concept of "Overseas Chinese." HOMEWORK: Have ESSAY 2's rough draft ready to turn in Tues. or Thurs. Read about anti-Chinese violence and policies in history and more recent examples of policies toward ethnic minorities ranging from accommodation to genocide. Picture tour of the Ainu on the Washington Post , the conclusion of an archaeology article in Hakai Magazine, and an article about their 2008 official recognition in the NY Times. Articles from the NY Times on the Xibe (Xibo) and the Manchu language. Fan Yiying's 2017 warning of linguistic extinction. PDF of all readings here. Optional: Read what it's like to be the very last speaker of a language in the NY Times profile of the world's only living Taushiro, as a pdf here. More controversial readings are available but not to be listed or discussed in this course.

WEEK 15 ( 6-12, 6-14): TUES. - National preservation in the face of extinction in comparative perspective: Discuss the Ainu & the Manchu, anti-Chinese sentiment's causes and expressions in history and contemporary examples of "Sinophobia". What is the range of policy options for national minorities? Compare examples which are anti-PRC and those which target the ethnic Chinese diaspora. ESSAY 2 ROUGH DRAFT DUE for those writing Topic 1 or 2. HOMEWORK: Handout on secrecy, classification, and transparency. China's innovative but controversial social credit system, as described by Wired , views on privacy and surveillance in the 2006 German film, "The Lives of Others" 窃听风暴, an essay by Stuart Armstrong on the positive side of "total surveillance" Optional films: "We Steal Secrets," "Snowden," "Citizenfour" Both articles as a pdf here. THURS. - ESSAY 2 ROUGH DRAFT DUE for those writing Topic 3. Discuss tranparency, classification, and privacy. HOMEWORK: TBA

WEEK 16 ( 6-19, 6-21): TUES. - Return Essay 2 rough drafts. Vocabulary Game? THURS. - Final Review Game

WEEK 17 ( 6-26, 6-28): TUES. - Small Conversation Groups THURS. - Writing game.

ESSAY 2 FINAL DRAFT DUE _________________.

TBA = To Be Announced.

This syllabus is subject to change and will be updated throughout the semester. Check back regularly to be fully informed!

Potential Topics, Readings, Assignments, etc. (Including those suggested by students): Robert Dahl's ideas on polyarchy as "a procedural minimum" for liberal democracy (upon which liberal "rights & freedoms" are placed to make election of representatives and other forms of political participation "free & fair."); Nations & Nationalism...READINGS: Ch. 1, "Definitions" in Ernest Gellner's classic, Nations and Nationalism, Ch. 3, "Paradigms" in Anthony D. Smith's Nationalism; National preservation in the face of extinction in comparative perspective: The Ainu & The Manchu...READINGS: A brief introduction to language regimes. Picture tour of the Ainu on the Washington Post , the conclusion of an archaeology article in Hakai Magazine, and an article about their 2008 official recognition in the NY Times. Articles from the NY Times on the Xibe (Xibo) and the Manchu language. Fan Yiying's 2017 warning of linguistic extinction. PDF of all readings here. Optional: Read what it's like to be the very last speaker of a language in the NY Times profile of the world's only living Taushiro, as a pdf here. More controversial readings are available but not to be listed or discussed in this course. Indirect speech; Majority-minority relations & Sinophobia in SE Asia as reported in the South China Morning Post

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