Special Issues in Comparative Politics. The Political Systems of the United States and Russia

Course Information
TitleΕμβάθυνση στη Συγκριτική Πολιτική:Τα Πολιτικά Συστήματα των ΗΠΑ και της Ρωσίας / Special Issues in Comparative Politics. The Political Systems of the United States and Russia
FacultySocial and Economic Sciences
SchoolPolitical Sciences
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorIoannis Papageorgiou
Course ID100001504

Programme of Study: PPS Tmīma Politikṓn Epistīmṓn 2023-sīmera

Registered students: 0
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSElective CoursesWinter-4

Class Information
Academic Year2018 – 2019
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Background
  • General Knowledge
  • Scientific Area
  • Skills Development
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Digital Course Content
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
Required Courses
  • ΚΥ0105 International Relations
  • ΚΥ0201 Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Systems in Contemporary Europe
General Prerequisites
Given the subject, students that attend this course should not only have succeeded in the required subjects but also have a proficient knowledge of English, as a significant part of literature will be in English.
Learning Outcomes
Upon succesful completion of the course, student shall be able to: - have a complete view of how the political systems under examination function (both institutionally and in practice) - be able to understand and analyze better the political developments in the countries under examination and, on the basis of such analysis, handle better the information received about these countries - further develop their capacity to work on their own and analyze these political systems - move towards elaborating well-founded opinions on major issues linked to the countries under examination.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course is a continuation with deeper analysis of the compulsory course of the second semester entitled “Introduction to Comparative Politics - the political systems of Western Europe.” It examines more profoundly the political systems of specific countries, which will vary from year to year. During the academic year 2014-5 the course will examine the political systems of the United States of America and of Russia. As regards the US, the course introduces students to American politics, political institutions and to the international role of the United States. It examines, in particular, the historical development of the country and analyzes the structure and functioning of it political system, with emphasis on its federal characteristics and the international role of the country. Firstly, it examines the history of the country and the elements that contributed to the shaping of the American political system and its federal institutions; then, it delves into specific issues of the structure and operation of the political system. The course also examines the role and evolution of federal institutions, the impact of political culture in this context and the importance and role of parties, interest groups and the economy in shaping policy. Special reference is made to the foreign policy and the international role of the United States and its consequences at domestic level, while the course also examines other parameters such as the political, social and racial inequalities and their impact on the political system, the integration of minorities as well as the development and implementation of public policies. As regards Russia, the course examines the basic feautres of the Russian political system, its political institutions, both formal and informal, and the international role of the country. It will consider particularly the historical context of the formation of the Russian State, the impact of the transition from the Soviet Union in Russia and the elements that shape the political culture of the country. The course also examines the characteristics of the constitutional structure of the country (such as federalism and the semi-presidential system), and the current political situation (for instance the changing political context, the elements of authoritarianism in its political system, the role of the leader/president in political life and the weak civil society). Particular emphasis is given to the unique federal system of the country, the role of ethnic minorities in the political system and the specific features of the Russian economy and society. It also examines the country's foreign policy in relation to the period of the Soviet Union and in comparison with that of the US and the international role of the country in the current period both vis-a-vis its neighbors and to the EU. LecturesPlan of lectures for the academic year 2018-9 Lesson 1: The historical development of the US government • The foundations of the American political system • The American political culture • The US Constitution Lesson 2: the US federal system • The federal government • The relations between the federal level and the states • Checks and balances Lesson 3: the party system • Political Parties - the history of the two-party system • Elections and electoral system • Participation in elections • The role of lobbies Lesson 4: The federal government • The President • The federal administration • The Federal Reserve • The Trump President and its impact Lesson 5: The legislative power • The Congress • The process of adopting the laws Lesson 6: The Judiciary • The independence of the judiciary and the role of judges • The Supreme Court • The judicial impact on the political system Lesson 7: US Foreign Policy • Fundamentals of US foreign policy (isolationism - interventionism) • The US as a global superpower in the 20th century. • The role of the US in the 21st century Lesson 8: The historical formation of Russia's political system • The birth of the Russian state • The Tsarist period • The Soviet Union Lesson 9:The creation of the modern Russian state • The reforms of Gorbachev and the dissolution of the Soviet Union • Remodeling of the Russian state - the Yeltsin period • The consolidation of the Russian political system - the Putin-Medvedev period • The Putin domination Lesson 10: The Russian political system • The federal level: is Russia a federation or a centralized state? • The political situation: from a democracy to an authoritarian system Lesson 11: The Russian institutions • Executive, legislative and judicial power • The role of the President • Elections and political parties Lesson 12: The Russian society • Public policies • The ethnic groups and the role of minorities in the political context Lesson 13: The Russian foreign policy • The international role of Russia and its place in the world • The near Abroad • The Russian economy
political system, United States of America, Russia, comparative politics
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Interactive excersises
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Laboratory Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment341.2
Written assigments351.3
Student Assessment
Since the course has a seminar character, regular attendance of students is critical. Each student is expected to coordinate the class discussion in at least one case. Moreover, in the context of the course, students will engage in active debates comparing with arguments the two systems on specific areas so as to understand and better explain the characteristics of each system. The course also comprises the preparation of a paper (up to 10 pages) on a subject agreed with the teacher and delivered during November. The student will orally present the paper by the in December. The student is examined on this paper in an oral examination at the end of the semester. The grading is calculated as follows: 50% class participation and discussion, 40% work and presentation and 10% final examination.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Formative, Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Madison J.,Hamilton A.,Jay J.: Τα ομοσπονδιακά κείμενα των ΗΠΑ. Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση. Αθήνα. 2009 Μ. Καραγιάννης (επιμ.). Η Ρωσία σήμερα. Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση. Αθήνα 2010 Θ. Βερέμης: ΗΠΑ. Από το 1776 έως σήμερα. Η εκδοχή ενός ταξιδιώτη. Εκδόσεις Σιδέρη. Αθήνα 2010.
Additional bibliography for study
Θ. Διαμαντόπουλος: Το πολιτικό σύστημα των ΗΠΑ. Εκδόσεις Πατάκη. Αθήνα 2012 Χ. Παπασωτηρίου: Αμερικανικό Πολιτικό Σύστημα και Εξωτερική Πολιτική 1945-2002. Εκδόσεις Ποιότητα. Αθήνα 2002. Π. Πετρουλάκος: το Πολίτευμα των ΗΠΑ. Εκδόσεις Κριτική Α.Ε. Αθήνα 1995. Α. De Toqueville. Η Δημοκρατία στην Αμερική (on line στα αγγλικά http://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm) Η Διακήρυξη της Ανεξαρτησίας των ΗΠΑ (on line στα ελληνικά http://el.wikisource.org/wiki/Διακήρυξη_της_Ανεξαρτησίας_των_ΗΠΑ και στα αγγλικά http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm) Το Σύνταγμα των ΗΠΑ ((on line στα ελληνικά: http://el.wikisource.org/wiki/Σύνταγμα_των_Ηνωμένων_Πολιτειών και στα αγγλικά http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html και http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html το Σύνταγμα της Ρωσίας (στα ελληνικά σε κακή μετάφραση http://www.greeklaws.com/pubs/uploads/2509.pdf) στα αγγλικά http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-01.htm και στα ρωσικά http://www.constitution.ru/index.htm
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