Comparative Politics module (PO22002)

The module covers a range of topics in Comparative Politics drawing on different ideas, concepts, theories, and cases

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The main purpose of this module is to increase and develop your knowledge and understanding of society and politics beyond the range and levels attained in the 1st level MA modules, and further develop a critical approach in the assessment of data and arguments. The subjects covered are more wide-ranging than in the 1st MA year, but they are also complementary to it. The Comparative Politics module introduces you to the study of comparative politics and government by adopting a theme-led approach to the study of two countries, Russia and Spain, complemented by further theoretical exploration of the issues and problems raised.

As well as developing the knowledge and understanding of the academic discipline of politics, this course aims to enable you to develop various personal skills you will find useful in both your academic work and in the world of employment.

Right from the start you will be encouraged to read, take notes, use the library, and write in accordance with academic standards. Your abilities to find relevant material, analyse it, write a clear and well-argued discussion of the issues it raises and to reach reasoned conclusions ought to develop markedly during this module. The emphasis is on comparative analysis rather than on simple descriptions of cases.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • learn core theories of comparative politics
  • apply these theories to contemporary political systems

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • identify and understand theoretical approaches in comparative politics
  • apply critical reasoning to analyse the use of key concepts in comparative politics
  • demonstrate awareness of how scholars employ comparison to explain the emergence of specific institutions in different polities/countries and their impacts on policy outcomes
  • articulate arguments using evidence and key concepts, adhering to academic conventions in comparative politics

Assignments / assessment

You must write two essays for this module. The expected word length is between 2,000 and 2,500.

  • Essay 1: Due in week 6 (50%)
  • Essay 2: Due in week 12 (50%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

  • 20 lectures (2 each week)
    • Lectures 1-6: Issues in Comparative Politics
    • Lectures 7-12: Politics of Russia
    • Lectures 13-18: Politics of Spain
    • Lectures 19-20: Guest lectures (on Russia and Spain)
  • 9 seminars starting in WEEK 2 of the first semester

There are no lectures or seminars in WEEK 6 (reading week).



This module is available on following courses: