Foundations of comparative politics provides you with the key analytical tools to analyze and compare political systems and the development and functioning of democracies in particular. This is done using the research tools of ‘mainstream’ political science using a positivist approach: theory-driven qualitative and quantitative empirical research that seeks to describe and/or explain political phenomena. The course starts off by discussing the scope and methods of the study of politics. We subsequently analyze the concept of democracy and processes of democratization in different parts of the world and analyze theories explaining these processes. We then turn to an examination of the functioning of established democracies and the challenges they face from developments such as the decline of political parties, the rise of populism, the role of the media, the rising importance of non-majoritarian institutions such as courts and impact of globalization and internationalization on the capacity of domestic governments to act.
Skills-wise this course will focus on two crucial academic skills: generating knowledge through using the comparative method as a way to develop and empirically test theories and improving your academic writing skills.

For prospective students of this course: please note that readings (including textbooks) and course set up for this course may be subject to change.
SSC POLI 201 2019-II Course Manual.pdfSSC POLI 201 2019-II Course Manual.pdf