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The comparative study of politics looks mainly at what goes on inside countries, the domestic dynamics of power and institutions and identities. The purpose is to deepen our understanding of politics. In this class we will consider a number of analytic concepts central to the study of politics generally–the state, legitimacy, democracy, authoritarianism, nationalism–to comprehend political processes and transformations in various parts of the world. We will focus particularly on three themes: what is democracy and how might it fail? Why do certain authoritarian regimes persist while others do not? How is national identity shaped by politics, and how is politics, in turn, shaped by nationalism?
Format: lecture; Lectures will be online and asynchronous. Discussion sections with instructor will occur weekly either in-person or online.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
three 2-3 page reading response papers, a midterm and a final exam
first-years and sophomores
POEC Required Courses
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses