Designed for FAS undergraduates, this course
provides an introduction to key theoretical frameworks, concepts, and
analytical methods commonly used today in comparative politics. The
class focuses upon some of the seminal contemporary works in the field
and evaluates them in the light of the arguments of their critics.
After reflecting upon the methods, frameworks and analytical tools in
comparative political science, the class considers alternative
‘consociational’ and ‘majoritarian’ models of democratic institutions;
analyzes the impact of economic development on the process of
democratization; reviews the changing nature of political activism;
considers the impact of civic society and social capital; examines the
role of political culture; and finally discusses issues of ethnic
conflict and cooperation. The conclusion draws together the core lessons
from the class for effective research in comparative political science.
A broad global comparison is adopted drawing upon materials and theories
derived from many countries and regions of the world. There are no
prerequisites for taking the class.