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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04158 AP Comparative Government & Politics

Field of Study

Comparative Government and politics is an introduction to the many types of governments and political practices that exist in the world today.

Material Covered

In this course, students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. The course is comprised of ten (10) content modules: the first three (3) highlight the major terms and concepts found in the study of comparative politics, the subsequent modules focus on the six (6) countries that form the core of the AP Comparative Government and Politics course: The United Kingdom, Russia, China, Mexico, Nigeria and Iran. By integrating the six core country studies, the course solidifies abstract concepts into concrete real world examples; noting that not all concepts are applicable to all core country studies. Module ten (10) prepares students for both the final exam and the AP exam. Student work will be required outside of class time.

Student Expectations

Students are expected to complete all content modules, participate in class discussions on topics relevant to the course, complete a collaborative review project, attend regular collaboration sessions, and review an essay, book or other literature important to the study of Comparative Government and Politics.

Additional Information

This course is not static; it is constantly changing as events such as elections occur. Therefore, it is important that students pay attention to what happens in the world and routinely share current events during discussions and at collaboration sessions. This course will provide students with the necessary tools to understand how countries in the 21st century interact.


  • Successful completion of World History (recommended)

Course Texts and Materials


  • Comparative Politics: Domestic Responses to Global Challenges
    Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Optional (Strongly Recommended)

  • AP Comparative Government and Politics: An essential Coursebook and Study Guide 7th Edition
    ISBN: 978-0-9895395-5-5
    Woodyard Publications 610-207-1366
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