AP Comparative Government

Fall 2013


Teacher:  Mr. Homa

E-mail: dhoma@lghs.net



Website:  www.davidhoma.com


Description and Objective:

AP Comparative Government is a course that allows students to explore and analyze political systems and cultures around the world. As much as possible, we will use empirical evidence to describe and explain the behaviors of not only the leaders of nation-states, but the people within their borders. Though objectivity and a fair analysis of evidence are important, I cannot and will not ask that you completely suspend personal judgment in this mission. Ultimately, we as a class have to use the study of governments and people to answer some vital questions such as “What basic rights should be provided for citizens?” “What are the needs of citizens and how can governments work to ensure they are met?” “What are the responsibilities of citizens who don’t serve in any official capacity for the state or the government?” In answering these questions, you will likely arrive at your own judgments about “Good” or “Bad” government. This class seeks not to prevent that judgment, but to inform it. Our discussion of these countries political systems will focus around the major themes of sovereignty, authority, and power; political institutions; citizens, society, and the state; political and economic change; and public policy.


Required Texts:

Hauss, Charles (2009).  Compartative Polictics: Domestic Response to Global Challenges, 6th Ed. United States:Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 


You will need to purchase the following book.  Please speak with me if purchasing the book will be a hardship.


Wood, Ethel (2011).  AP Comparative Government and Politics: An Essential Coursebook and Study Guide, 5th Ed.  Pennysylvania: Woodyard Publications.


Class rules:

1.  Follow directions.  You are seniors.  ‘Nuff said.

2.  Always be in the door before the bell rings.  If you come in late for any reason quietly sit  

     down and then talk to me after class.

3.  All school rules apply in this classroom.

4.  No food or drinks (water is permitted).

5.  Always have your notebook with you.

6.  Always do your own work.

7.  Be an active participant in class and your own education.

8.  If I see a phone in class when I have not said you may have it out I will lower your final grade by 1%.



In addition:

Late papers and Make-up work.  No late work will be accepted unless you have an excused absence and you have spoken to me immediately after the absence.  You have one day after the absence to speak with me or no work is accepted.  Make-up work will be dealt with on a case by case basis.  You must come and see me about make-up work.  I will not track you down.  For any quiz you have two days to make it up.

Anytime you have any problems with work PLEASE come talk with me.




Aeries is the primary way to keep track of your grade.  I update grades on a regular basis.  You may always speak with me but make sure you have checked Aries and have been keeping track of your grades throughout the semester.


Your grade will be based on the following:


1.  Each day one student will start the class with a brief presentation of an

     government event occurring within the past four weeks.  Each student will sign up for

     three presentations during the semester.  Be prepared a few days ahead of your due date.  I

     will give more details in class.


2.  Quiz – I will let you know what the quizzes will cover and when they will be in class.


3.  Tests will be given over the content we cover in class.  I will let you know in advance when

     tests will be given in class.


4.  Comparative Government Group Project.  The handout is on my website.  I will go over this assignment in class.


The grading scale:

A= 100-90





If you want to know your grade either keep track of yourself or check Aeries as I keep it updated on a regular basis.


Extra Credit:

ex·tra (µkstr) adj. Abbr. ext., ex., X 1. More than or beyond what is usual, normal, expected, or necessary. See Synonyms at  superfluous.


Extra credit is just as the definition implies.  I do not give extra credit.  From time to time I will add a few questions on an assignment or test but you will not know in advance.  Do not ask about extra credit!  This means you had better do all your work the first time!




1.  Each student should keep a notebook throughout the semester.  How you keep a notebook is completely up to you.  If you don’t know how to keep track of things at this point I doubt I can help you.


Final note:

You are here to learn.  I do not give you a grade.  The effort you put into this class will give you your grade.  Have a great year!