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Бакалаврская программа «Политология и мировая политика»


Comparative Politics

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
3-й курс, 1, 2 модуль


Шкель Станислав Николаевич

Course Syllabus


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 retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field
  • Able to conduct professional activities internationally
  • 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
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.
  • Research designs in Comparative Politics
    Research design. Research question and answer. Variables and hypotheses in comparative politics.
  • Political Regimes: Research in Varieties of Democracy
    Political regimes. Typologies and classification. Scalar vs sortal approaches. Democracy. R. Dahl. J. Schumpeter. Substantive and procedural definitions. Polyarchy. Common good. 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.
  • Political Regimes: Autocracies
    Classic and modern definitions of autocracies. Totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Electoral and competitive authoritarianism. Personalist, one-party and military regimes. Hybrid regimes. Factors of sustainability of autocracies.
  • Regime Change
    Regimes change. Democratization and democratic transitions. Types of transitions. Waes of democratization. Diffusion and bandwagon effects.
  • Electoral Systems, Political Parties and Party Systems
    Electoral formulae. Thresholds. District magnitude. Families of electoral systems. Plurality systems. Proportional systems. Mixed systems. Preferential vote. Quota and divisors‟ methods. Political parties. Functions of political parties. Types of parties. Maurice Duverger. Cadre and mass parties. Catchall parties. Cartel parties. Party systems classification. Duverger‟s laws. Giovanni Satrtori. Effective number of parties. Fractionalization. Volatility.
  • Legislatures
    Institutional Designs. Parliamentarism. Assemblies, parliaments, congresses. Committees. Legislative process. Legislative oversight. Filibustering and logrolling. Parliamentary autonomy.
  • Current affairs in executive studies: coalitions, cabinets and new public management
    Presidentialism. Mixed designs (president-parliamentary and premier-presidential systems). Perils of presidentialism. Presidential power and separate survival. Rational bureaucracy. New Public Management. Principal-agent problems. Policy implementation. Models of public service (civil service).
  • Politics in divided societies: integration vs accommodation
    The lecture familiarizes students with the major normative debates, institutional approaches, and recent research trends in constitutional design and democracy in divided societies. The first topic includes discussion on the most widely known, dichotomic typologies (integration and accommodation, self-determination and pre-determination), as well as critical approaches to institutional responses to diversity (e.g. introduced by Alan Patten). The empirical part of the lecture focuses on the most prominent debate in the field of ethnic power-sharing between the proponents of consociationalism and centripetal majoritarianism (also known as the Lijphart-Horowitz debate).
  • Federalism and Regional Studies
    The lecture focuses on the forms, origins, and dynamics of vertical divisions of power within a state. A particular emphasis is placed on analytical and explanatory theories of federalism, with a particular focus on delegation theories.
  • Constitutional Courts and Judicial Politics
    The lecture introduces the historical origins and main institutional models of judicial review, along the most salient normative and institutional debates surrounding the phenomenon. Due to the prime questions discussed in the course, two topics in the literature on courts are further highlighted: constitutional adjudication and public policy; and constitutional courts in transitional regimes.
  • Introduction to Comparative Political Sociology
    Political culture. Civic culture. Critical citizens. Paradox of voting. Traditional, modern and emancipative values. Modernization and post-modernization. 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.
  • Introduction to Comparative Political Economy
    Welfare State. Social Policy. Political Machines. Institutions and Growth. Interest Groups and Lobbying. Corruption. Natural resources.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Activities in the classroom (seminars)
    By grading your class participation, I appreciate the following elements: • Meaningful engagement with the mandatory readings demonstrated • Own critical approach to the reading and lecture materials elucidated • By bringing in concepts and empirical examples from other fields of study, the student demonstrates a complex understanding of the introduced concepts • Contribution to the class dynamics: by reflecting on earlier points and comments, students can again demonstrate a practical understanding of the discussed concepts, as well as their abilities to understand the dynamics of ongoing discussions. Conversely, redundant and self-serving comments will contribute to their participation grade to a lesser extent. • In case someone finds participation in discussions challenging, there is also an opportunity to send questions and comments related to the mandatory readings before the respective class sessions.
  • non-blocking Position paper
    In one of the freely chosen topics, students have to identify an academic or broader intellectual problem, and address it relying on the class readings, lecture materials, and external resources. Students also have to take a position on the identified issue, through identifying new analytical, empirical, or methodological avenues to approaching the issue. Papers are due by the beginning of the seminar session on the respective topic. The extent of the position paper shall be 800-1,000 words, including foot/endnotes and excluding references. Only two limitations apply concerning the selection of topic: 1) students cannot submit a position paper on the same topic as their group presentation’s and 2) the instructors may limit the number of position papers on certain topics in order foster an equal distribution of paper submissions throughout the semester; in this case, topics are distributed on a first come-first served basis.
  • non-blocking Final Oral Exam
    The final examination covers the materials from lectures and mandatory readings of all the course content. Students are expected to prepare answers to each of 60 questions relying on the recommended literature, textbooks, seminar materials and lecture slides. Some topics were covered by lectures, others by seminars.
  • non-blocking Group presentation
    In one of the topics, students have to prepare a critical, focused, and thought-provoking presentation approaching a specific issue within the topic from a certain analytical, empirical, or methodological perspective. In order to find the closest coherence between the class material and the presentation, students are required to contact the instructor(s) no later than 48 hours preceding the respective seminar session (Sundays and official holidays not counted). Presentation topics are distributed at the beginning of the semester, or a first come-first served basis.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.1 * Activities in the classroom (seminars) + 0.5 * Final Oral Exam + 0.15 * Group presentation + 0.25 * Position paper


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
  • Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, & James D. Morrow. (2003). The Logic of Political Survival. The MIT Press.
  • Collier, D., LaPorte, J. M., & Seawright, J. (2008). Typologies: Forming Concepts and Creating Categorical Variables.
  • 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
  • Esping-Andersen, G. (2013). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. [Place of publication not identified]: Polity. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1101509
  • 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
  • Levitsky, S., & Way, L. (2010). Competitive Authoritarianism : Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=331320
  • Svolik, M. W. (2012). The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=473250
  • Todd Landman, & Edzia Carvalho. (2017). Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics : An Introduction: Vol. Fourth edition. Routledge.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Alec Stone Sweet. (2000). Governing with Judges : Constitutional Politics in Europe. OUP Oxford.
  • Carothers, T. (2002). The End of the Transition Paradigm. Journal of Democracy, 13(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2002.0003
  • Gerring, J. (2012). Mere Description. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007123412000130
  • 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
  • Horowitz, D. L. (1993). Democracy in Divided Societies. Journal of Democracy, 4(4), 18–38. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.1993.0054
  • Horowitz, D. L. (2006). Constitutional Courts: A Primer for Decision Makers. Journal of Democracy, 17(4), 125–137. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2006.0063
  • 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
  • O’Leary, B. (2003). Debating Consociational Politics: Normative and Explanatory Arguments. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–41. https://doi.org/apsa_proceeding_3002.pdf
  • 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
  • Seawright, J., & Gerring, J. (2008). Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research: A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options. Political Research Quarterly, 61(2), 294–308. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912907313077
  • 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