Comparative Politics module (PO22002)

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Module Details

This module is designed to introduce students to the methodology and practice of comparative politics.  It does so by first engaging in a systematic examination of some of the main issues, both thematic and methodological, involved in the study of comparative political systems today, and then by applying the insights gained to leading political systems.

The course covers a range of topics in Comparative Politics drawing on different ideas, concepts, theories, and countries.


The assessed components on this module are:

  • Two 3,000-3,500 word essays (50% each)


There will be 22 one-hour lectures (two per week), and 10 one-hour tutorials (one per week).

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • At the end of this module students will have acquired a detailed knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts of comparative politics.
  • They will also have acquired an understanding of the inter-play of theory and practice.
  • Students will be aware of the problems and advantages inherent in the comparative method.
  • Students will have gained knowledge of the workings of at least two contemporary political systems.


  • Students will develop analytical and research skills with reference to comparative politics.
  • Students will develop discussion skills.
  • They will also work on the development of team-working skills towards problem solving.

Indicative Reading

  • Daniele Caramani., Comparative Politics. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Rod Hague and Martin Harrop., Comparative Government and Politics, eighth edition. (Palgrave, 2010)
  • Catherine Danks., Politics Russia. (Pearson/Longman, 2009)
  • Stephen White, Henry Hale and Richard Sakwa., Developments in Russian Politics. (Macmillan, 2009)
  • J. M. Magone., Contemporary Spanish Politics. (London: Routledge, 2009)
  • O.G. Encarnacion., Spanish Politics. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008)
  • R. Gunther, et al., The Politics of Modern Spain.  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)



This module is available on following courses: