POL S 505
Core course. Modern theories, approaches, and methods in the study of comparative politics.
Description. This seminar is the core course required of all graduate students intending to take comparative politics as an examination field. The course provides a general introduction to the scope and methods of the field. One important problem in the field is to understand the emergence, consolidation and extension of democracy as a political system and this seminar will have a substantive focus on democracy. It will consider alternate theoretical approaches including those of historical sociology, rational choice, political culture and institutionalism. Readings for the course will be drawn from the assigned list of readings for the field examination. Participation in the course should therefore help students prepare for the examination.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Texts. Readings will include The Great Transforming, Democracy as Freedom, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, and Making Democracy Work.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments. Students will write a precis of each week’s reading to be submitted at the beginning of the class period; they will also write two 8-10 page essays, a take-home final examination and have a brief oral examination.
Grading: Exams: 10 %(Oral examination); Papers: 80 %; (Papers, 50%; Final, 30%; Class/quiz participation: 10 %.