German and American Politics in
Comparative Perspective is organized around broad themes
that allow students compare the German and American
political experience. The distinctive feature of
this course is that for 2/3 of the semester it will use
an on-line classroom to connect students in Professor
Jonathan Olsen's class in the Department of Political
Science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to
classes in Germany. For the 2010-2011 academic
year we will, as always, be partnered with Professor
Annette Zimmer's students in the Institute of Political
Science at the University of Muenster; but we will also
partner with a seminar course at the University of
Potsdam. In terms of course content, in previous
years we have organized our seminar around themes such
as "Elections and Institutions in Germany and the US"
and “Germany and the US in International Politics”.
For the 2010-2011 academic year we will look at
institutions and political culture but also have more of
a policy focus, examining health care and education
Students analyze scholarly literature
on the above three thematic areas and then present/post
their findings on this literature on the web.
We will then use classroom time for a wide-ranging
discussion on the day’s readings in order to compare the
German and American Political experience. Our goal here
is to learn something about our two different political
systems and to foster an intelligent interchange on the
ways in which similar political experiences and
challenges in each country are shaped by
country-specific institutional structures, political
culture, and geopolitical circumstances.
The Politics of the New Germany, S. Green, D. Hough,
A. Miskimmon, and G. Timmins (eds.)
Readings on Electronic Reserve at the
UWP Library (see link below).