Info
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Course 2019-2020 a.y.

30317 - POLITICAL SCIENCE AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS

BIG
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 23

BIG (8 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:
PIERO STANIG

Classes: 23 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 23: PIERO STANIG


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of political phenomena. Political science, broadly speaking, seeks to understand political outcomes by proposing theoretical accounts that can be tested with data, often by comparing political processes and institutions across countries. In this course, students are introduced to a number of important themes in comparative politics (such as state-building, democratization, institutions, and representation) as well as select topics in international relations (which concerns interactions between nation-states in a global economic and political system). The course provides the building blocks for topics that are explored in more depth in later stages of the degree program.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • What is a state; formation of the nation-state.
  • War, peace, and deterrence.
  • The international order and international organizations.
  • Terrorism and political violence.
  • Authoritarian and democratic regimes; democratization.
  • Institutional design: electoral systems in democracies.
  • Social cleavages, ideologies, and party systems.
  • Accountability, corruption, and clientelism.
  • Institutional design: presidential and parliamentary democracies.
  • Institutional design: federalism. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

Summarize major theories and/or empirical findings from political science research concerning:

  • The origins of nation-states. 
  • The causes of conflictual and cooperative behavior of nation-states.
  • The causes of political violence and the strategies of terrorist organizations.
  • The major differences between authoritarian and democratic regimes.
  • The causes of, and problems associated with, transitions to democracy. 
  • The relationship between electoral systems and election outcomes. 
  • The impact of social cleavages and ideological conflict on voting and party competition.
  • The major forms of constitutional design in modern democracies.
  • The causes of corruption and bad governance.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Discuss and critically evaluate major theoretical and empirical research in political science on a variety of important themes in comparative politics and international relations.
  • Interpret historical and current events in light of the scientific insights provided by the discipline.
  • Assess the suitability and enumerate the possible consequences of major institutional reforms.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
DETAILS

The course is based on face-to-face lectures. Active participation by all students is expected and encouraged.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
    ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • A partial exam, in an open-ended short answer format, is given (worth 50% of the course grade) to evaluate student knowledge of political science research covered in the first part of the course.
    • An end-term partial exam, in an open-ended short answer format, is given (worth 50% of the course grade) to evaluate student knowledge of political science research covered in the second part of the course.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    A final exam, in an open-ended short answer format, is given (worth 100% of the course grade) to evaluate student knowledge of political science research covered in both the first and second parts of the course.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    There are two textbooks:

    • B. BUENO DE MESQUITA, Principles of International Politics: War, Peace, and World Order, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2013, 5th ed. 
    • W. CLARK, M. GOLDER, S. GOLDER, Principles of Comparative Politics, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2012, 2nd edition. 

    A detailed list of required chapters for each week is going to be provided in the long-form syllabus at the start of the course. Additional readings on specific topics are made available through the e-learning platform.

    Last change 30/05/2019 08:39