Course Description

Course Name

Comparative Politics - Introduction

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


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

*Course content subject to change