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.
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:
- Democracy and authoritarianism
- Branches and levels of governments
- Political parties, interest groups, and socialization
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.
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%
Mid-term exam 25%
Term essay 30%
Final exam 25%
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:
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