20612 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - MODULE 1 (TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS)
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 24
One of the core goals of political science research is to explain and predict the behavior of voters in democratic elections. Because elections in modern democracies are centered on political parties, most research in this area focuses on the interplay between voter preferences (or their long-term predispositions) and party politics. This course explores classic and modern comparative research on this topic, with an emphasis on the themes of voter identity and value-based voting, social cleavages, party identification, campaigns and political communication, economic and issue voting, party development, electoral rules, party competition, party system realignment and dealignment, and party government.
- Social cleavages, voter values, and party strategy.
- Party identification and voter behavior.
- Campaigns, public opinion, and political communication.
- Spatial models of voter behavior.
- Electoral systems.
- Strategic voting.
- Economic voting.
- Party ideologies.
- Patterns of party competition.
- Protest politics.
- Summarize, and critically evaluate, major theories and/or empirical findings from political science research in the subfield of comparative political behavior.
- Analyze patterns of mass behavior and explain and predict the consequences of such behavior for electoral outcomes.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
- Individual assignments consist of presentations of two or more readings (outside the regular course readings), in which students are expected to discuss the most recent developments in the field on the topic under discussion. The number of assignments is contingent on the size of the class.
- In their group assignments, students examine real-world mass behavior (using evidence from public opinion surveys or elections) to assess the empirical power of prominent arguments from political science research. The number of assignments is contingent on the size of the class.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
- Attending and non-attending students: The written exam tests students on their mastery of course readings, lectures, and discussions. For attending students, this is worth 30% of the course grade. For non-attending students, this is worth 100% of their course grade.
- Attending students only: Individual presentations on outside readings related to the daily course topic is worth 20% of the course grade. The group assignment, which analyzes real-world electoral or public opinion data, is worth 30% of the course grade (80% of that component is determined by the instructor based on the in-class presentation; 20% of that component is based on in-group peer evaluation of the individual's contribution to the group assignment). Active class participation, which requires attendance, is worth 20% of the course grade.
Readings are listed on the course syllabus, which is made available to students by the end of July 2019.