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Module Code: POU22032

Module Name: Comparative Politics B 2022-23

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2 (See note above)
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours lectures + fortnightly tutorials; 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr Noah Buckley
  • Module Prerequisite: either POU22012 Introduction to Political Science or POU22022 Politics & 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.

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Recommended Reading List (TBC)

  • 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%

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