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Comparative Politics: Institutions and Actors

STVN24 – Political Science: Comparative Politics: Institutions and Actors, 15 credits, Second Cycle. Spring term.

This is a political science course offered as an elective course in the Master of Science Programme in Political Science and the Master of Science Programme in Welfare Policies and Management or as a single subject course.

Course content

The purpose of the course is to deepen students' knowledge and skills in some of the main areas of research in comparative politics. Of particular importance are theories, methods and empirical results that relate to political decision-making in different political systems. The course gives an overview of current debates in the field and gives students the tools to understand and to navigate the increasingly complex political settings that we currently observe in Western democracies and beyond.

The course is structured in four modules:

  1. Regimes and political change: this module focuses on the institutional differences between democracies and non-democracies and processes of democratization and democratic backsliding;
  2. Political parties and representation: this module is devoted to the study of the linkages between citizens and political authorities in consolidated democracies, with a particular focus on how institutional differences affect the quality of political representation and responsiveness;
  3. Legislatures, governments and policy-making: this module centers on post-electoral political processes, such as government formation, and the policy-making of governments;
  4. Political behavior and public opinion: this module examines why voters behave the way they do and their responses to government policies and party strategies.

Course design

Teaching takes place in the form of lectures and seminars. Participation in seminars is compulsory. Students who have been unable to participate due to circumstances such as accidents or sudden illness will be offered the opportunity to compensate for or retake compulsory components. This also applies to students who have been absent because of duties as an elected student representative.

Literature (pdf, new window) 
Syllabus (pdf, new window)