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Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This course discusses key theoretical and empirical concepts and approaches used to study politics at a global level. The focus will be on ideational aspects, institutional structures and processes in a variety of political systems, starting from their current relevance, but always including a clear historical dimension. This comparison between global phenomena and regional and national specifics is at the core of this course.
Students are expected to do pre-assigned readings prior to each lecture and tutorial, write individual assignments, participate fully in class, and sit an end-term exam.

Course objectives

The goal of the course is to offer a systematic and comparative analysis of crucial issues within the wide range of global comparative politics. Students will acquaint themselves with a range of global issues, and with relevant theories and concepts. Students will be challenged to apply these concepts to specific regional and national settings, and to draw comparisons. Students will also develop a critical, comparative approach to the study of their region of choice, to be further elaborated in tutorials and in area politics courses. They will be challenged to contrast and discuss different national cases and to put these in a comparative, global context.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials.
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load for the course 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by

12 lectures: 24 hours
4 tutorials: 8 hours
Preparation for lectures and tutorial assignments: 68 hours
Preparation exams: 40 hours

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%;
Midterm exam 30%;
Final exam 40%

There are no resits for the tutorials. Resits for the exam concern all the material for the full 70%, so there will be no separate resits for mid- and end-term tests. The grade for the resit replaces both the original grades for the mid- and end-term tests.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Core text book: David J. Samuels, Comparative Politics. Boston, etc.: Pearson, 2012.

  • Additional core readings will be announced before the start of the course.


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Hum – OSZ Politics