Comparative Politics - Group 2

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 

The aim of the course is to make students familiar with some important issues and approaches in comparative politics by presenting research problems and enterprises. The course will start in discussing issues in social science and political science research in focusing on research in comparative politics. It covers issues related to political regimes and institutions, just as in social change and political transformation, structural vs agency-oriented explanations, democracies and non-democracies in comparative view.

By the end of the semester, each student will be expected to write research proposal on a selected topic. The selection of the topic will be up to the student, but decision should be made a month before the end of the course so that each will have adequate time to both read and “digest” the issue and its literature. In the proposal, students should address the following: What is the problem, issue, puzzle, event, outcome, process, trend, controversy that you intend to explain, and why do you choose it? What are your assumptions? How do you conceptualize your selected issue and how do you come up with the way of looking at it? What is the unit (are the units) included in your analysis and why they were selected? We will discuss approaches that are either focus on actors or structures in political transformation, just as on political regimes (democracy, hybrid regime, autocracy), and political institutions (political parties and party-systems).

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course students are expected to have a better understanding in different trends in comparative politics, to be able to evaluate the merits of political science publications, to recognize what intellectual tradition they belong to.


Students are to be participated in all classes and inform the professor in advance if they cannot attend a class. They should read the mandatory readings before the meetings. Students are expected to write two position papers, to participate in the discussions, and to give a presentation during the semester. The final paper (research proposal) should be about 2000-word long, all included. It should be both handed in print-out form and e-mailed at the end of the semester.


-     in-class activity 30%

-     position papers  30% (to be handed in printout form by deadline)

-     final paper  40% (2000-word, notes and tables included)