E-mail: ikalemaj@unyt.edu.al

Office Hours:  Tuesday 11:00- 13:00 or by appointment


Course Purpose

This course presents and reinforces political science terminology and usage by providing an introduction to various political situations and political world categories. The focus will be on the development of relevant written and verbal skills, as well as on their application in a variety of political treaties written for specific audiences and professional situations.


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 Objectives:


  • Mastering political science and political affairs terminology;
  • Refining writing style, with emphasis on clarity and brevity, with correct usage of all forms of grammar and vocabulary.
  • Practicing spoken English in a political context, including mock-meetings and presentations;
  • Analyzing audiences and adapting writing and documentation (style, format, graphics, page design) for specific audiences;
  • Mastering the types of writing most frequently used in scientific, technical, and professional fields;
  • Producing documents that reflect appropriate and effective style, graphics, and document design;
  • Applying course concepts when writing other documents related to other disciplines;
  • Using a variety of technology tools to support online communication and the drafting of technical documents;



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, 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 course subject matter, 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.


Conduct: Students are expected to behave in class with civility and appropriate etiquette toward professors and one another. Please set your cell phones on silent before class begins and refrain from using them until class is over.


Academic Honesty/Turnitin: 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%. Please be aware that work submitted via Turnitin should not receive an overall plagiarism mark of more than 10% or it will be marked down.



Email Communication: It is absolutely necessary for the professor to be able to communicate with the entire class via email. In addition to the Midterm and Final, I will periodically send the class important materials or updates. This semester, I will also be sending weekly questions on the readings. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that the professor has an up-to-date and full functioning email address. It is also up to the student to keep an eye out for such emails and read them and any attachments fully.


Support Services:  As a service to its students, UNYT has created a series of support centers. For support related to study skills and time management, the Academic Support Center offers students tutoring and coaching. The Writing Center gives students feedback and help with papers and other writing assignments. If you feel that you have any exceptional learning difficulties or serious problems that interfere with your studies, you can stop by the UNYT Counseling Center. For information on any of these centers, please contact Dr. Cenko, Dr. Canollari, your academic advisor or me.



Required Texts:


Heywood, Andrew. 2013. Politics. 4th Edition. Palgrave.




Shively, Phillips W. 2005. Power and Choice: An Introduction to Political Science. 9th 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
      A 96-100 Excellent
      A- 90-95
      B+ 87-89 Good, above average
      B 83-86
      B- 80-82
      C+ 77-79 Acceptable
      C 73-76
      C- 70-72
      D+ 67-69 Significantly below average
      D 63-66
      D- 60-62
      F 0-59 Failing grade

Course Schedule: 


October 12      – What is Politics?

– Defining Politics

– Studying Politics

– Politics in a Global Age


October 19      – Political Ideas and Ideologies

  • What is Political Ideology?
  • Classical Ideological Traditions (Liberalism, Conservationism, Socialism)
  • Other ideological Traditions (Fascism, Anarchism)


October 26     – Politics and the State

– Defining the State

– Debating the State

– Eclipse of the Stare?

Recommended: Garner, Ferdinand and Lawson, 2009. Read Chp.1 (25-47).

Rush, 1992: “The State and Society.” Read Chp. 2 (20-42).



November 2   – Democracy and Legitimacy

  • Legitimacy and Political Stability
  • Democracy

Recommended:  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).


November 9 – Nations and Nationalism

  • What is a Nation?
  • Varieties of Nationalism
  • A future for the Nation-States?


November 16 – Political Economy and Globalization

  • Political Economy
  • Globalization



November23               MID-TERM EXAM

In-class exam – consists of short essays



November 30                 – Politics, Society and Identity

  • Politics and Society
  • Identity Politics


December 7               Political Culture and the Media

  • Political culture
  • The Media and Political Communication


December 14 – Representation, Elections and Voting

  • Representation
  • Elections
  • Voting Behavior


December 21– Parties and Party Systems

  • Party Politics
  • Party Systems
  • Decline of Parties?


December 25, 2014 – January 5, 2015          Christmas Recess


January 8 – Groups, Interests and Movements

  • Group Politics
  • Social Movements


January 17     – Government, Systems and Regimes

  • Traditional Systems of Classification
  • Regimes of the Modern World


January 24 – Political Executives and Leadership

  • Role of the Executive
  • Power of the Executive: Who Leads?
  • The Politics of Leadership


January 31-  Public Bureaucracy and the Bureaucrats

  • The Policy Process
  • Role of the Bureaucracy
  • Bureaucratic Power: Out of Control?


February 7      Final Exam – In-class exam – consists of short essays

Faculty: Arts & Sciences.

Department: Humanities & S.Sc.

Grade: Undergraduate.

Majors: Humanities and Social Studies.

Study Fileds: Political Sciences International Relations.

Course Year: 2.

Course Program: UNYT.

Scheduele: THU 13:00-16:00

Instructor: Dr. Ilir Kalemaj

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Composition II, World History II