Comparative Politics and Democratization
Credits: 6 ECTS
Compulsory Courses 1st year
This course is a comparative politics course focusing on important substantive questions to understand political phenomena around the world. It will thus provide students with the analytical knowledge and practical skills required to examine and assess major issues in comparative politics, including processes of state formation, regime types, democracy and democratization, authoritarianism, and globalization. The main emphasis is on how different state structures and political regimes work, how political actors operate within these institutional configurations, how states and regimes change over time and the effects and impact of different state and regime types. The course covers these questions and many others by utilizing the methods and techniques of comparative politics. It is broadly divided into three different parts:
- States and regimes;
- Institutions and actors;
Throughout the course, we will explore recent theoretical debates and discuss historical and contemporary examples to add substance. The course adopts a broad geographic scope by drawing on case studies from countries around the globe.
This course is structured into 12 lectures and 6 seminars. The readings make use of contemporary and historical examples to add substance to the theoretical debates covered in class, whereas in-class exercises, students’ presentations and discussions apply broader analytical frameworks to case studies.
- Presentation of weekly readings: This requires students to make short presentations (7-10 minutes) of the required readings of the weekly sessions.
- Seminars: Students will give at least one 20-minute presentation. The presentation will draw on the required readings of the session and students will then lead the discussion based on two questions.
- Research paper: This requires students to submit a research paper in two steps.
- Paper proposal. This first paper will be based on a research topic that students think might be particularly interesting. The topic must be relevant to the broad themes and questions covered by this course. The essay should include the chosen topic, the relevant cases, together with a short outline of the project and a bibliography of at least five scholarly articles, book chapters or books you have already read and reviewed. It should be about 800-1000 words, excluding bibliography.
- Final paper. The final paper will attempt at providing a well-argued and documented argument about the topic of choice. The main requirement is that the paper employs a comparative research design. The evaluation will assess understanding of the main theoretical concepts and approaches discussed throughout the course. It will alsoevaluate the clarity and relevance of the topic, the pertinence of the concepts and methods used, as well as the structure and presentation of the paper. The final paper should be between 3500-4000, excluding bibliography.
The final grade will be a weighted average of four different elements:
- Presentation of weekly readings (lectures): 10%
- Seminars: 35%
- Paper proposal: 20%
- Final paper: 35%
Please, note that the penalty for late submission of coursework is 0.25/10.00 per 24 hours. If you foresee a reason for late submission, please contact me as soon as possible prior to the due date.