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Courses

Required Courses

 

ICP 100 Introduction to Political Science

3 credits

This course is an introduction to the field of political studies, covering the basic topics of the discipline, such as the state, power, legitimacy, ideology, regime and bureaucracy. The course will introduce students to the analytic skills required to study politics, and help students distinguish between the study of politics and the practice of politics.

 

ICP 110 Introduction to International Relations

3 credits

In this introduction to international relations, students look first at the structures and dynamics of the international system of states. The course asks whether relations among states are characterized by conflict or cooperation. The course goes on to “open up” global politics by looking at the alternative perspectives, non-state actors, and a wide variety of issues in global politics. Students consider the global dimensions of the political economy, information and culture, the environment, development, conflict and conflict resolution. This course also helps students develop some of the analytical, writing, presentation and research skills they need to complete a degree at AUCA.

 

ICP 120 Comparative Politics

3 credits

The study of comparative politics is far broader than merely comparing various governmental institutions across national boundaries. Comparative politics in the broadest sense compares everything that is “political:” not only governance, legislation, voting and political parties, but also nationalism, ethnicity, class, gender, culture, labor, economic and foreign policies. This course examines various forms of government and political cultures across time and nations. The first half of the course looks at a variety of principles and concepts having to do with comparative politics. The second half looks at specific case studies, such as Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, India, China, Russia, Germany, Britain and the United States.


ICP 130 Introduction to Comparative Politics

3 credits
 

ICP 251 Methods of Political Research

3 credits

Upon completing this course, students will have acquired a basic map of major approaches to theory formulation, hypothesis testing, and research design. Besides learning fi rst principles, students consider examples of failure and success in obtaining new knowledge of political phenomena that helps them become more proficient in evaluating theories they study in other courses, develop their critical and research skills and helps them make more informed decisions about their careers.

 

 

ICP 180 Intro to Political Theory

3 credits

This class is an introduction to political theory, primarily within the Western tradition. As well as introducing students to some key names and texts within this tradition, this class will consider the larger question of how and why we study political theory, and what relevance it has to our other studies of politics. Consideration will also be given to the relationship between the “modern” (15th-20th centuries) and “post-modern” (20th-21st centuries).

 

ICP 240 Central Asian Politics

3 credits

This course adopts a historical and comparative approach to the study of contemporary Central Asian politics and society. It seeks to enable students to reflect in an informed and critical way upon the following issues and debates: the legacy of Soviet rule in the region; the emergence of new political institutions and their potential for fostering democracy; the impact of “transition” upon social institutions from the family to the nation; changing religious, ethnic and gender identities; political Islam and state policy; the development of civil society in the region; “nation-building” and the challenge of ethnic diversity; the evolving intra-regional situation and relations with Russia, the CIS and the world. The course gives students comparative skills to think outside the national frame in assessing the challenges facing the region, and it affords them the critical skills necessary to assess current policy priorities of domestic and international actors in the region in an informed and analytical manner.

 

ICP 251 Method of Political Research

3 credits

 

ICP 290 Quantitative Research Methods

3 credits

This course surveys the ways in which quantitative methods (statistical techniques) could be used in policy analysis and policy evaluation in public policy/administration. The course covers topics such as probability theory, binomial distribution, linear regression and correlation, hypothesis testing, and chi-square and f distribution. The objective of the entire course is to determine in what ways and how different variables influence each other during the development, prediction and evaluation processes. Additionally, the course looks at the preparation, collection, analysis and interpretation of statistical data, as well as making inferences and predictions from the results of the data.

 

ICP 401 Senior Thesis Seminar

6 credits

This two-semester course is mandatory for all senior students of ICP department who are graduating. The course is designed to facilitate the writing of thesises and for that purpose it includes submission and presentation of draft chapters by students, discussion of methods of research and approaches to writing a thesis, and invited lectures on research and writing.

 

Elective Courses

 

ICP 209 International Organizations

3 credits

This course introduces students to the international organizations sub-field of international relations. Students consider theories of international organizations and case studies of such organizations. The final part of the course considers issues of contention among international organizations, and the nature of world order, as they interact in the politics of global governance. Are international organizations the agents of a “new world order” of cooperation, rules and laws at a trans- or supra-national level? Or are they developing a new area of conflict in international relations, above the level of the state?

 

ICP 223 Comparative European Politics

3 credits

This course introduces students to the key issues of European politics in general, and to the politics of several individual European countries in particular. Theoretical concepts and models of comparative democratic politics are also studied. These concepts and models are then used in the study of the political systems of the European countries. The course also addresses different themes from a European comparative perspective, such as various political institutions, electoral systems, political parties and other.

 

ICP 224 Politics of the Middle East

3 credits

This course provides a framework for understanding these changes and continuities by giving a broad introduction to Middle East. The course looks at broad themes that are common throughout the region: the legacy of past; the struggle for independence; the problems of forming nation-states; the persistence of strong social forces; the role of individual leaders; the weakness of institutions; the emergence of authoritarian regimes; the political reasons for economic underdevelopment; the importance of water and oil in the formation of rentier states; religion and politics; ethnicity and national identity; the pressures for expanded participation; the political role of women; and the prospects for civil society and democracy.

 

ICP 250 Russian Politics

3 credits

This class is an introduction to the study of the key topics and issues in modern Russian politics and society. It covers the period from the collapse of communism and the USSR in 1991 to the present. The course focuses mainly on internal politics. The course familiarizes students with some characteristics of the Russian political system: its structure, main institutions and processes.

ICP 270 Introduction to Political Economy

3 credits

 

ICP 272 Politics of Globalization

3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the study of globalization. It concentrates on the processes of structural change bearing in mind the macro political and macro social contexts that shape and condition social action and human experience around the world. The central aim of the course is to provide students with the analytical tools to interpret and understand the wider implications of globalization. Students are expected to relate general concerns to specific issues, countries and circumstances through developing a critical attitude while studying different reading materials, discussing, comparing and evaluating various authors’ points of view. The intention of the course is not to amass as much detailed information as possible, but rather to better understand and explain the complexity of the phenomenon of globalization through an academic critical approach.

 

ICP 281 Political Theory

3 credits

 

ICP 291 Directed Studies

3 credits

This is a reading or research seminar with a small number of students, concentrating on a topic of interest more specialized or advanced than a regular elective course might permit. The content is determined by the instructor’s and the students’ research interests.

 

ICP 311 Political Geography and Geopolitics

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 110

This course tries to expose some of these issues in the discipline. It broadly covers the history of the development of geopolitics as a discipline and of geopolitical thinking, and some core theoretical concepts. It touches upon some intellectual/ foundational debates about the role and meaning of geopolitics. Students work with some classic texts in geopolitics, more contemporary analytical pieces, as well as some reflective/critical writings of recent scholars. People, events, issues, texts and tools are the focus of discussion in turns.

 

ICP 312 Islam and Revolution

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 110

Revolution, defined most simply as rapid change, is a key concept in political science. This course seeks to understand the interrelationship between Islam, politics and rapid change. How are we to understand Islamic politics in the modern era? Is “fundamentalism” really a threat? Is fundamentalism really fundamentalism? What is secularism? Is Islam compatible with democracy as it is defined in the West? The course examines the historical development of Islamic political thinking in the modern era, then focuses on the complexities of Islam and politics in several contemporary case studies.

 

ICP 314 American Foreign Policy

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 110

Besides an introduction to American foreign policy, this course also prepares students to think and interpret complex foreign policy issue processes at various analytical levels and operating policy variables. With a partial concentration upon foreign policy actors, institutions, interest groups and environment as well as some selected pivotal moments in U.S. diplomatic history, students are encouraged to perceive and discuss the theory and practice in foreign policy with multiple perceptual lenses.

 

ICP 317 European Integration

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 110

This course introduces students to the European Union, its actors and contemporary issues. Students consider the history of integration, the role of member states and the evolution of EU institutions. Issues to be addressed include expansion to Eastern and Central Europe, the single currency and economic integration and Common Foreign and Security Policy. Does the EU challenge conventional theories of the anarchical nature of international relations? Will it eventually challenge the global hegemony of the U.S.A.?

 

ICP 325 Asian Politics

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 120

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the politics of modern South East Asian countries. The course covers the following issues: political history, political and economic development, governance, parliaments and policy-making, political parties, electoral systems, political culture and participation, political leadership, reforms, confl icts and resolutions, international relations, future perspectives for Asian states in the modern world.

 

ICP 327 Contemporary British Politics

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 120

This course provides an introduction to the study of British politics. Att ention is directed towards the unique political system Britain possesses as well as the recent constitutional changes that have taken place.

 

ICP 328 African Politics

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 120

This course introduces students to contemporary African politics. The main questions that frame the course are as follows: Why are Africa’s governance structures considered to be weak? How does one explain Africa’s slow economic growth rate? What is our understanding of violent conflict, and why do some African countries experience more violent conflict than others? The course looks at variations in governance systems, economic growth, and in the intensity of conflicts.

 

ICP 359 Transition in Eurasia

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 120

This course covers Eurasia in its geographic, historical, cultural, economic and political settings. The purpose of this course is to analysis transition of Eurasian states in the last 15 years. It is structured to provide a contrast and a comparison of the post-communist nations’ institutions and perceptions of the outside world, as well as domestic and foreign policymaking processes and their outcomes.

 

ICP 365 Fund Development for Non-Profits

3 credits

This course has been designed to build understanding of development issues in the nonprofit world, including sources of income, motivations and expectations of donors, and the techniques and tools that comprise fundraising. During the course, each student develops fundraising strategies and materials for a nonprofit of his or her choosing and write a case for support, direct mail letter, and letter of inquiry. Finally, students will write a grant or sponsorship proposal, strategic plan or research paper on the field. Emphasis is placed on understanding the match of funding opportunities and fundraising techniques to donors’ values, interests, capability, and inclination to give, and creating and implementing fundraising programs that are a fit for a nonprofit’s current level of growth.

 

ICP 371 International Political Economy

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 170

International political economy is an integrated field that encompasses the individual disciplines of politics, economics and international relations. In brief, political economy requires analysis of both the way politics shapes the economy, and of the way the economy shapes politics. This course provides an integrated approach to the study of international economic relations with reference to issues and policies as well as to political philosophies and competing ideologies. Main discussion themes are international trade, multinational corporations, regionalism and international monetary management.

 

ICP 375 Development and Underdevelopment

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 170

This course studies the factors attendant to the developmental conditions in which societies of the world find themselves. This study is presented from theoretical, historic and analytic perspectives. This investigation begins with an examination of contending theoretical approaches to explaining and prescribing developmental strategies and conditions. It next provides an overview of the salient historical foundations. Finally, contemporary conditions and issues in development are considered.

 

ICP 383 Modern Political Thought

3 credits

Prerequisite: ICP 180

The Enlightenment—the intellectual period of the 18th century—remains the basis for our political institutions. The Enlightenment, however, is not a single, unified set of ideas. Instead of surveying all of the different perspectives within this tradition, this course focuses in great detail on just three: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel. These three authors represent three different directions of the Enlightenment. By studying these writers, students gain a greater understanding of the bases of their political institutions and their contemporary studies of the political world.

 

ICP 319, 329, 359, 379 Topics In...

3 credits

This is a format for an elective course in comparative politics, political economy, international relations, or political theory. “Topics in…” is an advanced course whose content varies considerably from year to year, depending on who is invited to teach it. This allows for including cutting-edge research and advanced theories in the curriculum and provides a forum for senior colleagues, especially those coming for a year or semester, to share their specialized knowledge with students.

 

 

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
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