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Political Science 202

Introduction to Comparative Politics

Credits: 3

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom hours per week: 4hours

Prerequisite: 12 credits

Corequisite: English 100

Text: Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods and Cases. J.Tyler Dickoviv and Jonathon Eastwood. 2014. Oxford University Press: Toronto

Course Description:

Why have some states successfully democratized, while others have tried and failed? Why is political participation higher in some democratic states than in others? Why does political violence occur in one state, but not in another? The study of comparative politics enables students to answer these questions, raise important questions of their own and develop tools to critically analyze the similarities and differences across states, explore a variety of political systems and consider the institutional, economic, social and cultural forces that impact and inform them. Case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America provide practical examples illustrating the theories and concepts that are introduced.

Course Outline:

Week 1 Introduction: Understading Comparative Methods
Week 2 Asking Questions, Finding Evidence and Developing Arguments
Week 3 Understanding the Contemporary State
Case Study: the United Kingdom
Week 4 Myths and Symbols: Nationhood and Nationalism
Case Study: Nigeria
Week 5 Development and Political Economy
Case Study: Brazil
Week 6 Democracy and Democratization
Case Study: India
Week 7 Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism and Non-Democratic Rule
Week 8 Contention, Violence, State Breakdown and Revolution
Case Study: Iran
Week 9 Comparing Institutions of Government 1: Constituitions, Legislatres and the Executive
Week 10 Comparing Institutions of Government 2: Constituitions, Legislatures and the Executive
Case Study: Russia
Week 11 Democratic Participation
Case Study: Japan
Week 12 Norms Rules, Rights, Society and Culture
Case Study: Germany
Week 13 Internationalization and Globalization
Case Study: France
Week 14 Final Exam


In-Class Group Work/Participation 10%
Case Study Group Presentation 15%
Term Paper 25%
Midterm 20%
Final Examination



Matt Wadsworth, PhD (ABD); MPA

Transferability: see