The syllabi, class notes, and further
resources are provided on the home pages for each of these classes
GOVT6150 Comparative Democratic Politics Mar-May 2011
This University of Sydney course compares:
- The principles, processes, and goals of constitutional design;
- The mechanisms of institutional design including the basic type of electoral system and issues of electoral management, the design of parliamentary and presidential executives, the decentralization of power in unitary or federal states, and innovative mechanisms designed to strengthen transparency, accountability, direct participation, and deliberation;
- The political processes determining institutional choices;
- The consequences of institutional design, including for prosperity, welfare, peace and democracy.
GOVT4101 Comparative Political Culture Mar-May 2011
This University of Sydney course covers the following topics. What is political culture and how can we best understand the predominant norms, values, attitudes and beliefs in societies worldwide? Are processes of generational change transforming attitudes towards sexuality and gender equality in Europe? Is there such a phenomenon as ‘Asian values’? Is there universal support for democracy, even in autocratic societies and in Arab states? Is religion gradually fading in importance – or experiencing a contemporary resurgence? Do cultural differences over fundamental values lie at the heart of any revival of Islamophobia? And is Australian culture part of an ‘Anglosphere’ (Bennett), with common values shared with Canada, the UK, the United States, Ireland and New Zealand?
To explore these sorts of issues, this unit provides the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills to understand political culture in global perspective. The unit has three major sections:
- Theories and methods for studying and comparing political culture;
- Major themes in the comparative study of political culture, including understanding support for democracy and trust in government, religiosity and secularization, sexuality and gender equality, and globalization); and
- Theories and evidence about the consequences and impact of political culture.
The course will be invaluable for any seeking to develop familiarity with the major theories of political culture and the growing array of cross-national surveys.
Democratic governance Fall 2010 (updated)
This course provides insights into why
democratic governance matters, discusses what performance indicators
and analytical benchmarks are available, compares what strategies
have commonly been implemented by a range of different agencies, and
applies policy recommendations to specific cases. It covers the core
principles, analytical theories, practical tools, and applied
methods useful for understanding these issues.
Gov-1109 Comparative Institutional Design Fall 2010
This course compares:
(i) The principles, processes, and goals of constitutional design;
(ii) The mechanisms of institutional design including the basic type of electoral system and issues of electoral management, the design of parliamentary and presidential executives, the decentralization of power in unitary or federal states, and innovative mechanisms designed to strengthen transparency, accountability, direct participation, and deliberation;
(iii)The consequences of institutional design, including for prosperity, welfare, peace and democracy.
Materials will utilize large-scale global comparisons, as well as selected historical case studies of processes of constitutional adoption and institutional change in countries worldwide. The course compares institutions within established democracies, as well as in third wave democracies and in divided societies emerging from conflict. Role playing exercises will also be included.
The syllabi are
provided for these courses but not all the class notes or further
DPI-413 Challenges of democratization Spring 2010
Examines the key challenges
facing democratization in the 21st Century.
Covers such questions as: I What democratic indices are available, and what do they
indicate about worldwide trends in democratization? II What is
the role of institutions in democratization, including
constitutions, parties, the media, the electoral
system, types of executives, and federalism? III What is the impact
of political culture and social capital on democracy? The course takes a broadly comparative
perspective, looking at both established and emerging democracies
from all regions of the world.
DPI-415 Comparative Politics in Global Perspective Spring 2010
This course analyzes the key challenges of
comparative politics in global perspective. Topics include
alternative theoretical perspectives, comparative methods, and
governance indicators; processes of regime transition and
state-building; the design of governance institutions; political culture and mass mobilization; and
governance performance. Cases are drawn from all regions
in the world.
API414 Citizen Politics Spring 2009
This course provides the
analytical knowledge and practical skills to understand patterns of
mass activism in democratic politics worldwide, including in
established and newer democracies. The course covers the nature of
mass belief systems, modes of political activism and protest
politics, value change and ideological orientations, electoral
behavior, the structure of political alignments, confidence in
government, issues of political representation, and the implications
of citizen politics for democratic institutions.
The first half reviews the
research literature and the second applies these in projects
using cross-national time-series survey datasets, such as the World
Values Survey, the Afro-barometer, the Latin-Barometer, the
Euro-Barometer, and the European Social Survey. The course provides
an introduction to using Stata and/or SPSS for survey analysis.
Gov-20 Introduction to Comparative
Politics Fall 2005
This FAS course for undergraduates in the
Government Department 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.
API216 Analyzing elections and public opinion
This course provides the core conceptual
tools, theoretical insights, and practical skills for analyzing
elections, voting behavior, and public opinion. It is designed for
careers in public opinion polling and survey research, campaign
management, broadcasting and journalism, and as the foundation for
policy analysis research.
Internet design for
democracy Fall 2001
The course for MPA/MPP
students focuses on the problem of the democratic divide, and the
practical steps and applied techniques that can be used to maximize
the democratic potential of the new technology. For enthusiasts, the
Internet promises to provide new forms of horizontal and vertical
communication that will enrich engagement, deliberation and
democracy in the public sphere. But will Internet resources be open
to everyone? The central issue generating widespread concern in the
emergent Information Age has been indications of a growing ‘digital
divide’ between Internet-haves and have-nots. A global
divide has become strikingly evident in the chasm between
industrialized and developing societies. A social divide is
apparent in the access of rich and poor in each nation, as well as
by generation, race and gender. And within the online community, a
democratic divide is emerging between those who do, and do
not, use Internet resources to engage, mobilize, and participate in
public life. This courses focuses on understanding these issues and
what can be done in practice via the Net to promote opportunities
for effective civic engagement and democratic policymaking.
in Comparative Perspective
Globalization and new technologies are
rapidly transforming the process of political communications around
the world. The end of the Television Age and the rise of the
Internet Era raises many issues: are newspapers and television as we
know them in terminal decline, as some expect, or will the Internet
just supplement, not replace, the old media? Are parties and
elections being transformed by new forms of campaign communications?
What are the effects of newspapers, television, the Net and party
campaigns on civic engagement? Are the new communication
technologies producing a ‘globalization’ or ‘Americanization’ of
popular culture, or a more complex localization and fragmentation of
media outlets and local identities? And what are the consequences of
all these developments for the process of governance in a wired
This course provides new insights and practical analysis to
understand these issues focusing on recent developments in the
structure, contents and impact of political communications in many
countries around the world. A wide range of post-industrial and
developing countries are compared, including the United States. Your
policy analysis report focuses on one of issues covered in the
course in the country(s)/region of your choice.