Comparative Politics - Introduction

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Comparative Politics - Introduction

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, International Relations, Political Science

  • Language Level

    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.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    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.

    Course Structure
    The course covers three themes:
    -Studying Politics
    -Mobilisation and Participation
    -Government and Governance

    Learning Outcomes
    -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

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