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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2018/2019

Comparative Politics

Type: Compulsory course (Political Science and World Politics)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 2 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: Full time
Instructors: Mikhail B. Gorny, Tatiana Tkacheva, Margarita Zavadskaya
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course is the introduction to Comparative politics that is defined as a complex of studies, methodologies and methods aiming at comparatively oriented research of domestic and transnational politics. The course includes two modules. The first one touches the history and variety of methodological approaches in comparative politics as well as the nuts and bolts of comparative research design. The second module considers the core concepts of comparative politics such as political regimes, democratization and regime transitions, party systems, electoral systems, institutional designs (presidentialism and parliamentarism), voting behavior, federalism, political cultures and values
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main objective is getting general idea of comparative political studies
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks.
  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design.
  • Student is capable of retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field
  • Able to conduct professional activities internationally
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Intro to Comparative Politics and Comparative Research Methods
    Comparative Politics. Comparative Method. Research design. Research question and answer. Variables and hypotheses in comparative politics. Old institutionalism. Behavioral revolution. Systemic approach. Rational choice approach. (Neo)institutionalisms. Problems of comparison.
  • Approaches in Comparative Politics
    Five alternative approaches in comparative politics. Institutions, ideas, international environment, interests
  • Political Regimes
    Political regimes. Typologies and classification. Scalar vs sortal approaches. Hybrid regimes. Democracies and non-democracies.
  • Democracies
    Democracy. R. Dahl. J. Schumpeter. Substantive and procedural definitions. Polyarchy. Common good.
  • Autocracies
    Classic and modern definitions of autocracies. Totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Electoral and competitive authoritarianism. Personalist, one-party and military regimes. Hybrid regimes.
  • Regime change
    Regimes change. Democratization and democratic transitions. Types of transitions. Waes of democratization. Diffusion and bandwagon effects.
  • Legislatures
    Assemblies, parliaments, congresses. Committees. Legislative process. Legislative oversight. Filibustering and logrolling. Parliamentary autonomy.
  • Government and Bureaucracies
    Rational bureaucracy. New Public Management. Principal-agent problems. Policy implementation. Models of public service (civil service).
  • Institutional Designs
    Parliamentarism. Presidentialism. Mixed designs (president-parliamentary and premier-presidential systems). Perils of presidentialism. Presidential power and separate survival.
  • Elections and Referendums
    Elections as instruments of democracy. Plebiscites and referendums. Direct and indirect participation in politics. Direct democracy vs representative democracy. Variety of democracies. Majoritarian democracies. Consensus democracies. Westminster democracies. Accountability and representation. Responsiveness and responsibility.
  • Electoral Systems
    Electoral formulae. Thresholds. District magnitude. Families of electoral systems. Plurality systems. Proportional systems. Mixed systems. Preferential vote. Quota and divisors‟ methods.
  • Political Parties
    Political parties. Functions of political parties. Types of parties. Maurice Duverger. Cadre and mass parties. Catchall parties. Cartel parties.
  • Party Systems
    Party systems classification. Duverger‟s laws. Giovanni Satrtori. Effective number of parties. Fractionalization. Volatility.
  • Political Culture and Values
    Political culture. Civic culture. Critical citizens. Paradox of voting. Traditional, modern and emancipative values. Modernization and post-modernization.
  • Political Participation: Voting and Protests
    Political participation. Conventional and unconventional participations. Institutionalized and direct participation. Models of voting behavior. Theories of protest. Critical mass theory. Absolute and relative deprivation. Tipping-point models. Political opportunity structure.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class Activities (inclass participation and mini-quizzes)
    During the seminars – discussion groups of the assigned literature, lecturers take notes on the activities of each student, quantity and quality of his / her answers, an overall contribution to the discussion.
  • non-blocking Tests
    Tests may contain up to 10 questions to be answered in 15 minutes. The questions can be done in several forms: multiple choice, matching, true or false, selection and ranging, fill in the gaps, open questions (fill in the table, write a definition, draw a scheme). The questions are based on the course materials (lecture and mandatory readings) for each topic.
  • non-blocking Final Oral Examination
    The final examination covers the materials from lectures and mandatory readings of all the course content.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    The final grade (Gf ) is calculated as an average based on the following equation: Gfinal = 0.4*Gex + 0.6*Gcum, where Gex - grade for the final exam (oral exam) forms 40% of the final grade is based on brief oral presentation of two exam questions. Gcum -cumulative grade is based on participation in the classroom discussions The cumulative grade is calculated as follows: Gcum = 0.6*Gs + 0.4*Gt Gs – grade for the activities in the classroom (seminars) Gt - grade for home work tests and quizzes
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Autocratic Breakdown and Regime Transitions: A New Data Set. (2014). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.5EE19EF9
  • Comparative politics / ed. by Daniele Caramani. (2011). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.330675516
  • Evans, P., & Rauch, J. E. (1999). Bureaucracy and Growth: A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of “Weberian” State Structures on Economic Growth. American Sociological Review, 64(5), 748–765. https://doi.org/10.2307/2657374
  • Geddes, B. (1999). What Do We Know about Democratization After Twenty Years? Annual Review of Political Science, 2(1), 115. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.115
  • Jennifer Gandhi, & Adam Przeworski. (2007). Authoritarian Institutions and the Survival of Autocrats. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.FE0C6FB1

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • HERNÁNDEZ, E., & KRIESI, H. (2016). The electoral consequences of the financial and economic crisis in Europe. European Journal of Political Research, 55(2), 203–224. https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12122
  • Lijphart, A. (1971). Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method. American Political Science Review, (03), 682. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v65y1971i03p682.693.13
  • Marc Morjé Howard, & Philip G. Roessler. (2006). Liberalizing Electoral Outcomes in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes. American Journal of Political Science, (2), 365. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2006.00189.x
  • Sartori, G., & European Consortium for Political Research. (2005). Parties and Party Systems : A Framework for Analysis. Colchester: ECPR Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1360080
  • SIAROFF, A. (2003). Comparative presidencies: The inadequacy of the presidential, semi-presidential and parliamentary distinction. European Journal of Political Research, 42(3), 287–312. https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.00084
  • Welzel, C., & Deutsch, F. (2012). Emancipative Values and Non-Violent Protest: The Importance of ‘Ecological’ Effects. British Journal of Political Science, (02), 465. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.bjposi.v42y2012i02p465.479.00
  • Ziblatt, D. (2009). Shaping Democratic Practice and the Causes of Electoral Fraud: The Case of Nineteenth-Century Germany. American Political Science Review, (01), 1. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v103y2009i01p1.21.09