AP Comparative Government Politics

Mr. Durfey

Updated May 28, 2013




Learning Activities

Possible Assessments


Why governments exist

What is comparative politics

What state, nations, regimes, and governments are

Origins of legitimacy and authority

The different types of political systems

What political participation is and how it differs depending on the type of government they live under, including the relative strengths or weaknesses of political parties and interest groups (including the different types of interest groups)

Industrialized and developing democracies/liberal and controlled (illiberal) democracies

Communist and post-communist states

Presidential and parliamentary systems

Electoral systems

Economic systems



Explain the history of governmental development

Explain what comparative politics is and the various comparative methods

Identify sources of legitimacy and authority present in most countries and their importance to governmental stability

Explain the differences between democratic and authoritarian, unitary and federal, and presidential and parliamentary systems

Analyze the various sorts of political participation present in different countries

Explain the differences between interest groups and political parties and why some countries have strong parties and/or interest groups and some have weak parties and/or interest groups

Explain the differences between industrialized and developing democracies

Explain the differences between liberal and controlled (illiberal) democracies

Compare parliamentary systems with presidential systems

Explain the differences between the various electoral systems, including “first past the post” and proportional

Compare market (capitalist), mixed (socialist), and command (communist) economic systems

Trace the history of globalization and analyze its positive and negative impact on states


Comparative Terms


Textbook reading quizzes

Vocabulary quizzes

Article analysis on supplemental readings

Silent debate:  Globalization- Hurting or Helping Developing States?

Timed multiple-choice exam














Comparative Terms Test!



Imperialism and Colonialism

Mexico’s history

Mexico’s government structure

Mexico’s current public policy challenges

Mexico’s political culture

Political participation by Mexican citizens

Interest groups in Mexico

Political parties in Mexico and their platforms













Define imperialism and colonialism

Trace Mexico’s history since its colonization by Spain with special focus on the Mexican Revolution

Explain Mexico’s government structure, including the camarilla system

Identify Mexico’s current public policy challenges, including drug cartels, NAFTA, and the various economic challenges

Explain how Mexicans participate in politics, including voting and protesting

Explain Mexico’s interest group system, including the type of system and at least three examples

Identify Mexico’s three main political parties, their histories, and their platforms.  Also identify key leaders





Textbook reading quizzes

Vocabulary quizzes

Article analysis of supplemental readings

Compare/contrast chart for Mexico

Chart:  Mexico’s Political Parties

Video clips:  Mexico’s drug war and the Zapatistas















Great Britain’s history and structure of government

Sources of legitimacy in Great Britain

Great Britain’s current public policy issues

Great Britain’s political parties and their platforms

Great Britain’s interest group system and examples

Citizens political participation and political culture in G.B.












The development of the European Union

The E.U.’s current public policy issues and its fiscal and monetary policies


The E.U.’s trade policies







Trace the history of Great Britain’s government

Explain the structure of G.B.’s government, especially its parliamentary system and the Parliament

Identify the modern British Prime Ministers

Identify the three major political parties in G.B. and their platforms

Identify G.B.’s interest group system and provide examples of different British interest group and their policy objectives

Explain where G.B.’s government derives its legitimacy from

Analyze how the British participate in politics and explain its political culture



Trace the history of the European Union

Explain the current public policy issues facing the E.U. and those facing G.B.

Explain the E.U.’s monetary and fiscal policies, especially the adoption of the Euro by some E.U. countries, but not by others

Trace the trade policies of the E.U.


Class debate:  Why join the E.U.?


Textbook reading quizzes

Vocabulary quizzes

Article analysis on supplemental readings

Timed multiple-choice exam

Timed free-response exam

Excerpts from E.U.Constitution

Group Country Presentation:  Great Britain

Compare/Contrast chart for Great Britain

Thatcherism vs. Blairism chart








Class debate:  Why join the E.U.?





Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Leninism, etc…

From Marx to modern Russia and China

Russian history

Chinese history

Russia’s political structure

China’s political structure

Political parties of Russia and China

Public policies of Russia and China

Political participation in Russia and China, including interest group activity






Trace the development of communism from Karl Marx to modern day China, including its mutations into Leninism, Stalinism, and Maoism. 

Explain how communism is both a political and an economic system

Understand the differences between socialism and communism

Explain the brief history of Russia, especially from the Russian Revolution of 1917, the U.S.S.R. and its collapse, and the post-communist world of modern Russia

Explain the brief history of Russia, especially since the early 1920s with the rise of Mao Zedong, the Communist Revolution of 1949, and the modern communist state of China

Identify the political parties present in Russia and their structure/ideologies

Identify the structure of China’s Communist Party

Identify the major public policy issues facing both Russia and China, especially those in the last 20 years

Explain how Russians and Chinese citizens participate in politics and be able to identify the types of interest groups active in each country




Textbook reading quizzes

Vocabulary quizzes

Timed multiple choice and free response exam

Article analysis on supplemental readings

Excerpt from “The Communist Manifesto” to compare to Leninism and Stalinism

Class debate:  Should China be a U.S. trade partner considering its human rights record?

Class debate:  Putin and “managed democracy”

Compare/contrast charts for Russian and China

Group countries presentations for both Russia and China


Emerging Democracy and Theocratic Regimes


Iran and Nigeria’s histories

Iran and Nigeria’s government structures

Iran and Nigeria’s current public policy challenges

Iran and Nigeria’s political culture

Iranian and Nigerian citizens and their political participation

Interest groups in Iran and Nigeria

Political parties in Iran and Nigeria





















Supra-national organizations




Trace Iran’s history, with special focus on the end of the Shahs and the Iranian Revolution in 1979.  Also be able to trace Nigeria’s history, especially from the time Britain gave Nigeria its independence

Explain the government structures of Iran and Nigeria, including an explanation of the theocratic structure of Iran and the turbulent history of Nigeria since the British left

Identify the current public policy challenges facing Iran and Nigeria, including the “brain drain” and generational gap in Iran and the ethnic and oil-based conflicts in Nigeria

Explain the political culture in Iran and Nigeria, including the importance of Shari’a law in Iran and the influence of non-state players in Nigeria

Analyze how Iranian and Nigerian citizens participate in politics, including voting and protests

Identify the type of interest group systems present in both states, including real world examples of them and their policy goals

Identify the political parties present in Iran and Nigeria, including their platforms




Identify and explain what a collection of supra-national organizations, among them the United Nations and the World Trade Organizations do

Analyze the various impacts supra-nationals organizations have had on the six countries of the Comparative Politics class



Textbook quizzes

Vocabulary quizzes

Timed multiple-choice and free response exam

Article analysis of supplemental readings

Class debate:  Nuclear weapons in Iran?

Compare/contrast charts for Iran and Nigeria

Class debate:  Oil and Nigeria






Matching quiz
















Chart:  The Supra-national org.









Review For US Government/Comparative Government

Practice Tests

Review Groups

Review presentation

Participation in the review – each student should help support the class review and help each other prepare for the test. 








A.P. U.S. Government and A.P. Comparative Politics exams


2014  US Government May 13 AM

            Comparative      May 16 AM





Post Exam


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