[Political Science] Comparative Politics


General information

Course name Comparative Politics
Course type Seminar
Course code WSF-polw-3
Course coordinator  
Faculty Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
Examination office Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
Short summary In this course we will explore (theoretically & empirically) the politics (broadly defined as the influence of different factors such as political actors, public opinion, advocacy activity, interdependence) surrounding a myriad of phenomena at sub- and/or national levels in several social laboratories, i.e., within- and across different units (the USA, Latin America, the EU, etc.) from a comparative perspective. The whole course (discussion, assignments, etc.) will be conducted in English.

Information about study level

Study level  
Also possible for  

Information about credit points, evaluation and frequency

Evaluation Exam
Frequency Winter term

Information about teaching language

Teaching language English
Minimum language requirement B1
Further information on the teaching language Better B2

Information about requirements

Recommended requirements  

Information about course content, reading list and additional information

Course Content

5 sessions, each consisting in a short introduction by the instructor, followed by a presentation and class discussion. Discussions will be guided by short written assignments. The presentations (25-30 min) will revolve around one specific topic, guided by one specific publication from the compulsory readings; however, this task requires to present not only the results of the selected work, but also to provide a deeper analysis by a) describing the phenomenon in question, b) confronting the results of the text with findings from other authors, c) selecting up to three cases discussed in the main text and tracing how the phenomenon proceeded in them, and d) preparing questions to be discussed in class.  The written assignments (2 page long each; two short assignments per class are expected) should be submitted via email two nights before each session (at 23:00 hrs.). In the assignments, participants will respond to the following questions, based on each one of the compulsory readings: 

  • What is the main theoretical argument?
  • What are the main hypotheses? - How were these operationalized
  • What is the method of analysis?
  • What are the main findings? - How do these relate to theory?

Course goals

  • Get acquainted with salient theories and empirical strategies of comparative public policy.
  • Identify theories, methods, hypotheses from scientific works and critically discuss how these were tested empirically. Analyze, discuss and reach conclusions about scientific articles/evidence.
  • Extend the analyses conducted by the authors in the compulsory readings to one to three individual cases. Present (in a clear & convincing fashion) the development & results of the previous exercise to an audience consisting of peers, address their questions and formulate further questions for scientific debate.
Reading list


Additional information