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Introduction to Political Science



This course builds on the introductory courses of the first semester: International Relations and International Organizaion to provide a systematic overview of the most important concepts, approaches and methods used in Political Science to study national and international politics. Some important questions to be answered are: what is politics; how have the concepts such as “state” and “power” developed over time; what are the strenghtes and weakness of the normative and empirical approaches to studying them; what methods serve us best in understanding the political process?

Course objectives

Goal 1: To provide a systematic overview of the central concepts and most important approaches in political science.
Goal 2: To introduce students to the methods and techniques used by political science to study the political process.



Mode of instruction


Course load

140 hrs


First opportunity for a written exam: Tuesday 22 May 2018, 09:00-12:00

Second opportunity for a written exam: Monday 18 June 2018, 13:30-16:30

Reading list

Lowndes, Marsh and Stoker, Theory and Methods in Political Science, (4th edition) Palgrave Macmillan
And also parts of Hague, Harrop, and McCormick Comparative Government and Politics (10th Edition) Palgrave Macmillan (most students should have this one from this block).


See Introduction page.