POLI 220 Learning Objectives

Introduction to Comparative Politics

By the end of the course, students will know:

  • the diversity of key aspects of political systems around the world and how they affect important outcomes
  • other differences across countries such as social movements, political culture, political parties, party systems, regimes, states and policy-making processes
  • the meaning of fundamental concepts in comparative political analysis, including: the state, nations and society, regimes, markets, development, multi-level governance
  • the meaning of fundamental institutions of democratic regimes: legislatures,the executive and its bureaucracy, law and judicial systems, elections, interest groups

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • recognize the stakes involved in contentious global issues
  • recast normative arguments about global issues as questions that require both empirical and normative answers
  • appreciate the value of Comparative Political Science for understanding current events and global socio-economic realities
  • recognize and articulate a comparative empirical political theory*
  • suggest how existing theory should be altered in light of empirical evidence
  • analyze real world events by applying empirical political science theory to new contexts
  • critically engage with primary texts of Comparative Political Science research
  • understand the logic of the comparative method and the trade-offs involved with comparative research designs

By the end of the course, students will have acquired and refined the following skills:

  • recognize and generate a causal argument to explain variation in politically-relevant outcomes*
  • summarize and synthesize scholarly literature in domestic and comparative politics
  • operationalize key concepts in political science*
  • evaluate the adequacy of empirical evidence for questions about political outcomes*
  • structure an analytic paper in political science
  • effectively communicate comparative political analysis in written and oral forms

* These objectives follow on from the objectives of POLI110