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Comparative Analysis of Political Systems



This course builds on the themes discussed in Introduction to Political Science. The aim is to provide a general introduction to the study of comparative politics. The core concepts of the field are analysed within the context of five Western democracies: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Focus will be on the main political cleavages like class, ideology, ethnicity and religion, and how these divisions have played out in the countries under examination. In terms of the contents of the course, topics covered include Christian democracy, social democracy, liberalism, corporatism, the welfare state, nationalism, citizenship, party structures and electoral politics.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures and class discussions

Study Material (approx. 1000 pp)

Mark Kesselman, Joel Krieger, Chistropher S. Allen, Stephen Hellman, David Ost, George Ross (2008), European Politics in Transition, 6th Edition, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Additional material made available through Blackboard.


Final exam and bonus marks for working group participation.

donderdag 27 oktober 2011, 13.00-16.00 uur, USC
vrijdag 13 januari 2012, 9.00-12.00 uur, SA41

You can register for an exam or retake through USIS until 10 days before the exam or retake


dinsdag 6 september t/m 18 oktober, 9.00-11.00 uur, 1A20 (behalve 4 okt zaal SA41) en
vrijdag 9 september t/m 21 oktober, 9.00-11.00 uur, 1A20 (behalve 30 september in plaats daarvan bijeenkomst op woensdag 5 okt van 09-11 uur en 14 oktober in plaats daarvan bijeenkomst op maandag 17 oktober van 09-11 uur)

werkgroep 1: vrijdag 9 september t/m 21 oktober, 11.00-13.00 uur, 5B04
werkgroep 2: vrijdag 9 september t/m 21 oktober, 11.00-13.00 uur, 5B02
werkgroep 3: vrijdag 9 september t/m 21 oktober, 13.00-15.00 uur, 5B04 (behalve 30 sept en 14 en 21 okt 1A15)
werkgroep 5: vrijdag 9 september t/m 21 oktober, 15.00-17.00 uur, 1A33

Minor Students

For those taking this course for 5 ECTS as a part of the political science minor ‘Conflict and Consensus’ the exam will be modified accordingly and working-group sessions are to be considered optional (though recommended).