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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Comparative Politics in a Globalized World (PLIT08008)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide students with the conceptual knowledge and practical skills to understand comparative politics in a globalized world. It introduces the comparative method, and applies that method to core questions and issues of comparative and international politics. These questions will cover political regimes, state formation and institutions, political and economic development, democracy, order and violence.
Course description Week 1. Introduction : Studying comparative politics in a globalized world
Q: What makes a good comparativist; Why compare?

Week 2. The Comparative Method
Q: How to compare; how to study variation across and within states (case studies, two-unit comparisons, multiple-unit comparisons, and mixed designs)

Weeks 3/4. Comparative Political Systems (political culture, types of govt regimes)
Q: What makes a democracy; can democracy be imposed from abroad?

Weeks 5 -7 (week 6 is Reading/ILW) Comparative Institutions
(Constitutions, legislatures, parties; electoral systems, pressure groups)
Q: Where does power lie within states; why do institutions develop differently?

Weeks 8/9. Economic Development and Globalization
Q: What determines how states develop? Why are some countries rich while others are poor? Why does globalization affect states differently?

Week 10. Order and conflict
(How states impose order; sources of conflict)
Q: What causes revolutions? Why terrorism? Is terrorism changing in a globalized world?

Week 11. Conclusion & revision
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012) AND Political Thinkers (PLIT08011))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  500
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Research briefing - 20%
Essay - 40%
Take-home exam - 40%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise the diversity of political systems around the world and their key components
  2. Explain why political systems differ, and how those differences shape domestic and global politics
  3. Understand the logic of the comparative method and be able to apply it to real world events and outcomes
  4. Assess the value of comparative political science for understanding current events and global relations
  5. Effectively communicate comparative political analysis in written and oral forms
Reading List
Lim, T.C. (2006), Doing Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Approaches and Issues (Boulder: Lynne Riener).
Hague, R and Harrop, M. (2013) Comparative Government and Politics, 9th ed.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Patrick Theiner
Course secretaryMiss Veronica Silvestre
Tel: (0131 6)51 337
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