Comparative Politics (undergraduate). Every Spring since 2017. CMU, Pittsburgh.
This course is an introduction to the subfield of Political Science called Comparative Politics. Scholars in this subfield use comparative methods to study and compare domestic politics across countries. In this course, we aim to learn about how political systems differ, discuss why they differ and explore the consequences of such variation. The course is divided into four sections. In the first part, we will examine the main theories and methods used to conduct research in the subfield, and discuss the development and consolidation of the modern state. In the second section, we will examine political regimes, including variation among democracies and nondemocracies. In the third unit, we will study some of the countries’ central political institutions. We will compare presidentialism to parliamentarism, and examine legislatures, electoral systems, and political parties. In the final segment, we will scrutinize political mobilization and conflict. We will discuss interest groups, nationalism, social movements, protests, populism, clientelism, revolutions, civil wars, terrorism, and globalization. Throughout the course, the discussion will focus mainly on the Americas and Europe, but not exclusively. Students will be required to apply the concepts and methods discussed in the course to make in-class presentations about different countries.