Comparative Politics

  • Period 5.
  • Mandatory course.


The course introduces PPE students to the substance and methods of Comparative Politics by presenting and discussing a series of topics. The course starts by providing the students with basic knowledge about the field of Comparative Politics, particularly the methodology regarding analyzing institutions, actors and policymaking in a comparative (international) perspective. Subsequently, substantive topics are introduced and discussed by means of four central debates within the sub-discipline: Esping-Andersen’s Types of welfare capitalism; Lijphart’s Types of democracy and their effects; L ipset’s Relationship between economic development and democracy; and Rokkan’s Formation of party systems and cleavages. In the tutorials, students will work on answering research questions relating to these debates by means of available data sets and using (statistical) software.


  • Providing students with an overview of several of the central debates within Comparative Politics
  • Teaching students to critically evaluate the premises of theories and the comparative method
  • Training students to set up their own research design
  • Familiarizing students with key methodological issues such as conceptualization, operationalization and case-selection
  • Teaching students how to apply the comparative method in qualitative and quantitative research, to think about the advantages and disadvantages of both types of research, and how they can complement each other
Political science courses
Course Information
  • Credit:6 ECTS

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