Political Science | Comparative Politics: Approaches and Issues
Y557 | 3744 | Bielasiak


The course serves as the introductory survey in the field of
comparative politics: the study of concepts and methods that are
applicable to more than one country in order to test theories about
politics.  The seminar's purpose is to provide an overview of how
such comparison is achieved, through an examination of the principal
theories, approaches, and issues affecting comparative inquiry.  The
goal is broad familiarity across the field, rather than in-depth
knowledge of particular issues or modes of analysis.  The first part
of the course deals with contending paradigms and comparative methods
used to analyze and explain politics.  The larger part of the course
will be devoted to the study of various approaches in comparative
politics, i.e. decisions about the most significant units of analysis
in the study of politics, e.g. groups, individuals, institutions,
cultures, or states.  The final part of the course will involve
assessment on the state of the comparative politics field.
Requirements include participation in class discussion, weekly
reaction memos to the required readings, one short “defense” and
one “critique” paper on an approach examined in the course, and a
final examination.