Political Science | Intro to Comparative Politics
Y107 | 9807 | Hale


The study of Comparative Politics is the attempt to answer big
questions that are important in more than one area of the world.
This course will focus on why some states have been more successful
than others in achieving four important “good things”:  state
strength, democracy, prosperity, and ethnic peace/equality.  To
answer these questions, we must investigate issues central to US
foreign policy and the ongoing “war on terrorism” like:  Can free
elections really work in poor countries with no history of
democracy?  Is dictatorship sometimes the fastest way for poor
countries to become richer?  Why have some states been unable to
overcome long histories of ethnic hatred and bloodshed while others
have not?  Are Western and Islamic civilizations destined to clash
because of irreconcilable cultural differences?  By learning about
different countries and comparing their different experiences,
students will become better able to provide answers to these
questions.  This course will focus on some of the globe’s most
important countries in different parts of the world.