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Module Code - Title:


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Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

To introduce students to research themes and methods in the field of comparative politics. Students become familiar with issues involved in research design in comparative politics, such as the use of case studies, small-n comparative research, case study selection and selection bias. They study key debates over substantive issues in comparative political studies to see how different scholars use comparative research to study political development. Students apply the lessons that they learn by developing a research design to study a contemporary issue in comparative politics.


Basic issues in comparative political analysis: why compare and intellectual traditions; research design and conceptual stretching; case studies; case selection; most similar and most different systems design; revolution; democratization; non-democratic regime types; resources and political outcomes; selecting a contemporary political phenomenon as a comparative research problem; case and method selection for studying a contemporary political phenomenon; research findings and issues of generalizability from studying a contemporary political phenomenon as a comparative research problem.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

Understand the main traditions in comparative political analysis. Understand the main issues that arise when we attempt to compare political phenomena on a systematic basis. Apply basic methods from comparative politics to the analysis of a contemporary issue. Demonstrate an understanding of the problems that are associated with making choices between different research strategies in comparative political analysis.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

Display awareness of the ways that research design choices influence the generalizability of research findings in political science politics.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

This is a graduate module taught by lecture and seminar, with assessment of student understanding of methodological issues, core arguments on a classic issue in comparative political analysis (such as revolution), and ability to apply comparative politics methods to a contemporary event (such as the Arab Spring). The module incorporates latest research findings and introduces students to recent research developments by assigning recent readings on comparative method and substantive political issues studied that use a variety of techniques that have been developed in the field in recent years. The module seeks to make students knowledgeable about techniques in comparative politics as well as aware of findings on issues since acquiring these skills will enable them to develop as creative researchers in the field rather than passive users of knowledge. The module also demands that students work collaboratively applying comparative politics methods to a contemporary political phenomenon.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Geddes, B. (2003) Paradigms and Sand Castles. Theory building and research design in comparative politics , University of Michigan Press
Landman, T. (2003) Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics , Routledge
Landman, T. and Robinson, N (2009) Sage handbook of comparative politics , Sage

Other Relevant Texts:

Ragin, C.C. (1987) The Comparative Method. Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies , University of California Press
Peters, B.G. (1998) Comparative politics. Theory and methods , Macmillan
Lichbach, M.I. and A.S. Zuckerman (eds) (1997) Comparative Politics. Rationality, culture, and structure , Cambridge University Press

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

MADEVETFA - Development
MAPOLITFA - Politics
MAPDSTTFA - Peace and Development Studies
MAINSTTFA - International Studies
MADEVETPA - Development
MAEPGOTFA - European Politics and Governance
MAEUPLTFA - European Union Politics and Law
MAPUADTFA - Public Administration

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

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