Introduction to Comparative Politics

Humanities & Social Sciences
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 2210
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered


Course Description
Why are some countries democratic and others authoritarian? How and in what ways do different political systems affect citizen welfare? How do we assess competing and rival political systems? This course explores key questions, issues, methods, and developments in the study of comparative politics and government. The nature of politics and governance across different political regimes will be compared using analytical methods that will deepen students’ knowledge of governing and policy alternatives.
Course Content

1. Issues in Comparative Politics:

  • The diversity of political systems and regimes
  • Understanding development
  • Securing democracy, rights, and civil liberties


2. Comparing Political Systems:

  • Why compare?
  • Comparative theories
  • Institutions and regimes


3. Government and Policy Making in Comparative Context:

  • Constitutions
  • Democracy and authoritarianism
  • Branches and levels of governments
  • Political parties, interest groups, and socialization
Learning Activities

Instructor presentation of the course will involve the use of formal lectures, structured group work, and in-class discussion of assigned materials. Additional readings may be assigned for each course unit and placed on library reserve or via selected websites. Audio-visual and interactive materials may be used.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be based on course objectives and in accordance with the policies of Douglas College and the Department of Political Science. A minimum of 40% of the student’s course grade will be assigned to examinations, a minimum of 30% will be assigned to the various components of a formal research essay, and a maximum of 30% will be based upon components such as quizzes, short essays, participation, and class presentations. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor in course outlines.


One example of an evaluation system:


Regime Assessment                       10%

Quizzes/Participation                       10%

Mid-term exam                               25%

Term essay                                     30%

Final exam                                      25%

                                Total:             100%

Learning Outcomes

Upon conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to:

1. Explain the main theoretical approaches of comparative politics;


2. Identify and assess the fundamental concepts in the study of comparative politics;


3. Apply concepts to a comparative analysis of selected contemporary regimes, political institutions, and political processes;


4. Pursue advanced study in comparative politics, scope and methods, area studies, and international relations.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and readers will be selected based on instructor expertise and preference, and in consultation with the Department of Political Science. There are a range of textbooks and readers that can fulfill course objectives. Some examples include:


Caramani, Daniele. ed., Comparative Politics. Second edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).


Draper, Alan and Ansil Ramsay. The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics. Second

     edition (New York: Pearson Longman, 2012).


Ishiyama, John T. Comparative Politics: Principles of Democracy and Democratization (West Sussex:

     Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).


Powell Jr., G. Bingham, Russell J. Dalton, and Kaare Strøm. Comparative Politics Today: A

     Theoretical Framework. Sixth edition (Boston: Longman, 2012).


Siaroff, Alan. Comparing Political Regimes: A Thematic Introduction to Comparative Politics. Second

     edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009).



POLI 1101 or permission of instructor


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for POLI 2210
Athabasca University (AU) AU POLI 3XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU POL 102 (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR POLI 2XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU POLI 1145 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG POLI 2250 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU POL 2XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU POLI 2150 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU POLS 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO POLI 220 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV POLI 220 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC POLS 202 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV POSC 230 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC POLI 210 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU POLI 231 (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023