The course provides an introduction to Comparative Politics, and more broadly to the discipline of Political Science. It focuses on the internal politics of the nation-state and seeks to provide an overview of the main concepts, approaches and theoretical perspectives, and current research topics within Comparative Politics.
The theoretical part goes hand in hand with the application to current issues, ranging from the economic crisis, political violence, immigration, religion and politics and new forms of representative politics. The classroom debates will cover industralised, as well as developing and emerging countries. Overall, the course aims to apply theories and concepts of political science to study how nation-states deal with challenges. The
emphasis lies on the emergence of modern democratic politics, nation-building and statebuilding, cleavages and institutions.
The course seeks to provide basic knowledge and understanding of Political Science in general, and Comparative Politics in particular. It seeks to offer students concepts and theories to interpret politics, develop and support arguments, and learn to structure and write essays in political science. Students apply their knowledge and understanding to current issues, through acquired oral and written skills.
Mode of Instruction
The course is taught through two two-hour seminars. Each seminar will include a short lecture and class discussions of the readings and key aspects of the topic. The formal readings and lectures are complemented by additional articles. Students are encouraged to participate actively and learn to articulate ideas and engage in discussion. The seminars also seek to clarify any outstanding questions from the readings or lectures.
Week 1: Introduction: What is Comparative Politics?
Week 2: State
Week 3: Nation
Week 4: Political Economy
Week 5: Industrialised Western World
Week 6: Developing World and Emerging Markets
Week 7: Contemporary Challenges facing the Nation-State
Preparation for first session