Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Introduction to Comparative Politics

Course Code: POLI 2210
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Political Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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.

course prerequisites

POLI 1101 or permission of instructor

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.