Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The course offers an introduction in comparative politics—the comparative study of domestic politics across countries. We will address a wide range of policy‐relevant issues, most of them linked to democratization and democracy. In addition to the discussion of relevant themes in comparative politics (“empirical knowledge”), we will learn how to study these themes with rigid scientific research (“methodological knowledge”) to produce and test reliable and valid arguments that can be generalized beyond the studied cases (“theoretical knowledge”). The orientation is problem-focused. We will review the leading research literature to understand the theoretical concepts and empirical literature on each topic and then apply the newly acquired knowledge in comparative case studies to particular cases. In the process, the issues raised will challenge us to think, analyse, and write with creativity and rigor. Importantly, we will study questions of democracy and democratization at different levels. That is, we will go beyond the macro-level of the state and engage in research that considers the political activity of individuals such as activists in a protest movement (micro-level) or decision-making in state administration as well (meso-level). In doing so, the course demonstrates the ways in which different levels of analysis fit into different comparative methods and how different comparative studies have addressed the key tenets of dominant theories in political science.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should: *Have improved their skills in constructing and substantiating an informed and nuanced argument; *Know the key methodological debates in comparative politics; *Have acquired the skills of comparative analysis to examine, interpret and compare a number of cases; *Have an understanding of key issues in comparative politics and the ability to produce an analytical piece of comparative research.

Timetabled teaching activities

The module is taught through one weekly lecture and one weekly seminar in Term 2.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: PO132-15)
A (Assessed work only) 2500 word essay 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core