PAD 120 : COURSE SYLLABUS

 

The Course syllabus for PAD 120 : Introduction to Political Science covers the following topics. To obtain better marks in your final examination, you should prepare your reading materials, notes and answers to past examination questions, according to  the outline/framework suggested below. Please take note that in your final  examination questions will be set on most of the topics covered in the syllabus. Therefore please do not be selective in your reading, research  and revision.

 

 

TOPICS/OUTLINE

 

 CONCEPT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE

Definition of political science

Scope of political science: public administration; political theory; comparative politics; international relations.

Political science and its relationship with economics; history; geography; sociology and psychology.

Political science methods (case study; survey research; comparative study; historical study)

Is political science really  a “science”? Arguments for and against the statement.

 

 THE STATE

Meaning /definition

Characteristics/Features/ Essential elements of a  state

Functions (purposes)  of the state/ government

Theories concerning the origin of the state: characteristics/elements/features of all the seven (7)   theories :

                         theory of Divine origin;  theory of Force; theory  of Social Contract; Matriarchal & Patriarchal theories;

                         Historical / Evolutionary theory.

 

AUTHORITY & POWER

  Definition

  Differences between the two concepts

  Sources and types / kinds

  How does a leader obtain  authority?

  Ways to safeguard sovereignty

 

 LEGITIMACY

Definition

How does a government gain  legitimacy? (Methods to gain legitimacy)

 

LAW

     Definition

     Sources

     Types: National & International law

   

CONSTITUTION

    Definition

    Types: Written, Unwritten, Fexible & Rigid

    Advantages & disadvantages of the 4 types of constitutions

    Characteristics / features of a good constitution

    Difference between constitution and constitutionalism

 

THEORY OF  SEPARATION OF POWERS

   Meaning and explanation of the theory

   Rationale (reason/why) of the theory

   Criticisms against the theory of separation of powers

 

SOVEREIGNTY

  Meaning/definition

  Characteristics : absolute; permanent; indivisible; exclusiveness; inalienable

  Types of sovereignty : popular sovereignty; ; political sovereignty;  legal sovereignty; De jure and De facto;

   Nominal and Real sovereignty.

    

FORMS OF GOVERNMENT

Definition of “Government.”

Presidential government; Parliamentary government; Federal government; Unitary government

                   (characteristics; differences between these forms of government; advantages and disadvantages

                    of these systems of government).

                    Republic versus Monarchy

Democracy: definition; characteristics;  types of democracy : Direct and Indirect/Representative democracy;

advantages & disadvantages of democracy.

Autocarcy: definition; characteristics; differences between autocracy and democracy;

                    forms (types)  of autocracy : authoritarian; absolute monarchy; military rule; oligarchy; totalitarian

 

             

 

 © Peter Johnson 2011