Political Science | Comparative Politics: Electoral and Party Systems
Y657 | 7149 | Bielasiak
This is primarily a research seminar designed to produce a paper of
publishable quality on the issue of party and electoral systems. To
that end, we will devote some time to both substantive issues
relating party system development, and to issues of research design,
data and information sources, and methods employed in the study of
elections and parties.
The course first examines major issues in the study of elections and
party systems in a comparative context, including literature
relevant to both established democracies, emerging democratizing
states, and competitive authoritarianism. We will read some of the
foundational literature in the field (e.g. Duverger,
Sartori), “contemporary” classics (e.g. Lijphart, Taagepera and
Shugart) and current research (e.g. Mainwaring, Norris, Renwick).
Among the topics covered are the origins of political parties, the
institutional design of electoral systems, parties as organizations,
party system competition, electoral volatility, and political
representation. Requirements include class participation, a
critical essay on a weekly topic, and a research paper.