Professor: Aida Hasanpapa
Time/Place: Thursday 13:00 – 16:00, room: 4A Turn-it-in Class ID: TBA
Turn-it-in Enrollment Password: aida E-mail:
Office Hours: By appointment

Course Description

This course seeks to explain and define the nature of politics and political institutions. Why study politics? Is it important how institutions influence the life of the individual and vice versa? How do political institutions affect society? How does society work? These are some of the questions we shall address in the course of this semester. The students will familiarize themselves with some major views that regard the political institutions and organization of society. By the end of the semester, everyone should be able to define, analyze and possibly offer a critique of the nature of politics and whether the humans are naturally inclined to be political creatures. We shall engage in debates of whether the nature of politics should be addressed only in the context of the state, or whether other social institutions are to be included in analyzing the nature of politics.

The class will focus on the role of politics in society, the public consent or choices, the use of power either to provide for the public good, structuring the society or other purposes and the role of political institutions in times of peace or war. Since the role of institutions is central to politics, the class offers an overview of major ideologies or main schools of thought that explain how and whether institutions matter in shaping the behavior of the states. Theoretical and empirical studies that will be subject to this course will offer a discussion on definitions of political power, authority, state, democracy, freedom and justice. It will also take a look into the study of state institutions, the use of law, constitution, legislators, bureaucracies, as well as the role of civil society, interest groups and the Media.

Course requirements and evaluation of performance:

  1. Two presentations equal 20% of the final grade;
  2. A mid-term examination, equal to 30%;
  3. A final exam/paper, equal to 30%;
  4. Class presence, equal to 10%; and
  5. Active participation, equal to 10%.

In order to engage in fruitful discussions regarding the IO’s, students should carefully read the assigned works before each session. This class will only achieve its purpose if students learn to

actively analyze the texts and discuss the work in an informed spirit.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another writer without giving him/her credit. Students who plagiarize shall suffer a failing grade for the course.
UNYT adheres strictly to the policy on Academic Honesty. Any attempts to violate Academic Honesty principles will be subject to inquiries by the Dean of Students. For more information, please review the school’s website and read the UNYT Student Honor Code. Please be aware that assignments submitted via Turnitin must not receive an overall plagiarism mark of over 10%.

Required Texts: th
Shively, Phillips W. 2005. Power and Choice: An Introduction to Political Science. 9 Ed. New York: McGraw Hill.

Garner, Robert, Peter Ferdinand & Stephanie Lawson. 2009. Introduction to Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Attendance & Punctuality: Please note that absence is consequential to your performance (not more than three absences are allowed). More than three unexcused absences – i.e. 3X3 hours = 9 hours in total – will result in your overall grade being decreased by 10%. Attendance in UNYT classes is mandatory. Only the Record’s Office will excuse an absence.

Participation: The grade for participation will be broadly defined to include participation in all in-class activities, including discussions and assignments.

Late Assignments: Assignments must be submitted on Turn-it-in before midnight, on the due date. Otherwise, Turn-it-in will automatically consider them late, and students suffer 10% of the grade.

Evaluation Table:

Letter Grade

Percent Generally Accepted Meaning


96-100 90-95




87-89 83-86 80-82

Good, above average




77-79 73-76 70-72






63-66 Significantly below average 60-62




0-59 Failing grade

Course Schedule:

October 18 Introduction
October 25 Religious Holiday – No Class!!!

November 1 – Politics and Exercise of Power
Shively, 2005: “The Idea of Politics.” Read Chapter 1 (1-18).
Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Introduction by Robert Garner.

November 8 – The Role of the State
Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.1 (25-47). Rush, 1992: “The State and Society.” Read Chp. 2 (20-42).

November 15 – Political Philosophy & Traditional Ideologies Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.5 (113-134). Shively, 2005. Read Chapter 2 (19-39).

November 22 – Power, Authority and Legitimacy Rush, 1992. Chp.3 (43-57).
Shively, 2005. Chp.7 (155-178).
O’Sullivan, 2000. Chapter 7 (131-152).

November 29 No Classes: National Holiday December 6 MID-TERM EXAM

In-class exam – consists of short essays

December 13 – Democracy and the Concept of Freedom
Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.3 (69-89).
Shively, 2005. Chp.8 (179-200).
Kennedy, Paul. 2006. The Parliament of Man. Read Chp. 7 “We the Peoples. . .” (206-239).

December 20 – Law, Constitution and Design of Government Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.8 (184-204). Shively, 2005. Chp.9 & 17 (205-223 & 372-385).

December 22, 2011 – January 9, 2012 Christmas Recess

January 10 – Governance and Bureaucracies: Decision Making Institutions Shively, 2005. Chp.15 & 16 (334-370).
Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.10 (230-250).

January 17- Civil Society, Interest Groups and the Media Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.12 (275-218). Shively, 2005. Chp.13 (297-312).
Rush, 1992. Chp.10 (181-194).

January 24 – International Politics: The Sovereignty of States Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.14 (323-343).

Kennedy, Paul. 2006. The Parliament of Man. Read Chp.1 (3-47).
O’Sullivan, 2000. “Globalization, the nation state and political theory” by Paul Hirst. Chapter 9 (172-189).

January 31 – Theories of International Relations
Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.15 (345-387). Shively, 2005. Chp.18 (389-314).

February 7 Final Exam – Take Home Questions are delivered in class

Scheduele: Thursday 13:00 – 16:00

Instructor: Aida Hasanpapa

Credits: 3