Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search



You are here Undergraduate > Module Outlines

Please note that while Comparative Politics A in the MT is scheduled to cover the comparative politics of democracies while Comparative Politics B in the HT is scheduled to cover the comparative politics of the developing world, staffing and other constraints may require that the subject matter of these modules is switched, i.e. that the developing world will be covered in Comparative Politics A in the MT and the comparative politics of democracies will be covered in Comparative Politics B in the HT. Thank you for your understanding.

Module Code: POU22032

Module Name: Comparative Politics B 2021-22

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2 (See note above)
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours lectures + fortnightly tutorials; 5 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Dr Noah Buckley
  • Module Prerequisite: either PO1600 Introduction to Political Science or PO1603 Politics and Irish Society
  • Module Co-Requisite: POU22031 Comparative Politics A

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Describe and assess the study of comparative politics in a systematic, social-scientific way
  • Examine key issues in comparative politics
  • Identify interesting research questions in comparative politics
  • Describe a variety of political systems around the world
  • Explain how democratic and non-democratic regimes emerge and survive
  • Explain what happens when peaceful democratic politics fails
  • Understand the challenges in building stable and peaceful multi-ethnic states Understand the primary causes of phenomena such as corruption, civil wars and ethnic violence.

Module Learning Aims

This module aims to build students’ understanding of the basics of comparative politics, research methodology and argumentation in political science, with particular reference to less developed countries.


Module Content

The course is an introduction to the study of comparative politics and provides an overview of some of the key theoretical frameworks, concepts, and analytical methods of this field of study, as applied to the developing world. We particularly examine non-democratic forms of politics, asking why authoritarian regimes persist and whether corruption undermines democracy. Other topics covered include the causes of civil war, the clash of civilizations and ethnic violence.

Back to top


Recommended Reading List

  • Caramani, Daniele. Ed. 2017. Comparative Politics (4th edition). Oxford University Press
  • Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson (2012) Why Nations Fail. Crown Books
  • Putnam, Robert (1993) Making Democracy Work: Civic Tradition in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Assessment Details (TBC)

Tutorial participation - weighted 10%

Essay - weighted 30%

Exam - weighted 60%

Back to top