Comparative Politics - Introduction
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand
Area of Study
International Politics, International Relations, Political Science
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4 - 6
Hours & Credits
How political institutions and processes work across a range of countries. Introduces the comparative method and considers ways of conceptualising political systems and understanding the functions of their key institutions.
Providing a foundation for understanding how politics operates in different countries, this paper constitutes a key introduction to the Comparative Politics stream. The first part of the paper provides context through introducing the state and nation, forms of government, comparative methods and theoretical approaches to comparative politics. The second part examines the ways in which people participate in politics and how politics is communicated through political parties and interest groups, voting and the media. The third part considers how policies are made, the relationship between the branches of government and the constitutional framework in which politics happens.
The course covers three themes:
-Mobilisation and Participation
-Government and Governance
-Demonstrate knowledge of the political systems of a range of countries
-Display awareness of the various theories of comparative politics and evaluate them critically
-Show understanding of research methods in comparative politics
Highly recommended: Rod Hague and Martin Harrop, Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction, 9th edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.