Comparative Political Analysis
This course will address the primary theoretical debates regarding domestic political activity within various countries. It is called comparative politics due to its emphasis on the similarities and differences within different states’ domestic political systems. The course will examine both institutional structures and societal composition, including how the two interact to produce political outcomes. Other topics covered include the nature of states, political and economic development, different constitutional and electoral systems, different regime types, regime transitions and revolutions. With regard to society, the course will examine political culture, how political mobilization occurs, when violent confrontation might become part of contentious politics, and aspects of civil society and political culture. Some attention will also be given to an understanding of what causes political outcomes, such as whether structures or individuals might matter more in politics.
The course is assessed by two 2,000 word essays.
At the end of this course students will:
- have a broad understanding of the institutional similarities and differences of domestic political systems, including the basics of constitutions and electoral systems
- understand how individuals’ preferences culture interact with institutional constraints to yield political outcomes
- learn to apply the comparative approach to understand the causal sources of domestic political outcomes