- Department: Politics
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Pavlos Vasilopoulos
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: C
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
The course aims at introducing students to major topics around comparative politics (the nation-state, democratic & authoritarian regimes, democratization, interest groups, political parties, political systems & major cleavages).
|A||Semester 1 2023-24|
The module introduces students to the core conceptual debates and key issues that have shaped – and continue to shape – the field of Comparative Politics. It provides an overview of its dominant basic questions, theories, and empirical research. While international politics concerns itself with the study of political phenomena that occur predominantly between countries, Comparative Politics concerns itself with the study of political phenomena that occur predominantly within countries. The module focuses both on the study of democracies and autocracies. The module will analyse the concept and organization of the state, political parties, institutions, social cleavages, electoral systems and elections, presidentialism and parliamentarism. Throughout the module, examples from various countries and cases around the world are used to clarify theories and highlight the importance of comparison as a method of political explanation.
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
Be able to identify the core theoretical approaches to the study of comparative politics and to demonstrate knowledge of the multiple issues associated with it (PLO1).
Use critical reasoning to analyse how key concepts such as the state, different forms of institutions and collective action problems have been used to study political problems (PLO2).
Demonstrate an awareness of the way in which scholars have used comparison to explain how certain institutions emerge in certain countries compared to others and their consequences for governance, stability, and policy outcomes (PLO1, 5).
Present arguments using facts and key concepts and according to academic conventions in Comparative Politics, both orally and in writing (PLO 5).
Week by week outline
Week 1: Introduction – What is comparative politics & the comparative method
Week 2: Nations and States
Week 3: Regimes- Democratic States
Week 4: Regimes- Authoritarian States & Hybrid Regimes
Week 5: Democratization & Democratic Backsliding
Week 6: Interest Groups
Week 7: Bureaucracies
Week 8: Political Systems (Parliamentarialism v. Presidentialism)
Week 9: Electoral Systems
Week 10: Political Parties
Week 11: Social Cleavages
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Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.
Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 20 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.
Almond, G. A., & Verba, S. (1963). The civic culture: Political attitudes and democracy in five nations. Princeton university press.
Hague, R., & Harrop, M. (2019). Comparative government and politics (Vol. 6). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Newton, K., & Van Deth, J. W. (2021). Foundations of comparative politics: democracies of the modern world. Cambridge University Press.
Putnam, R. D. (1992). Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton university press.
Robinson, J. A., & Acemoglu, D. (2012). Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity and poverty (pp. 45-47). London: Profile.