Comparative analysis of political systems

Description: This course is about comparative analysis as the study and the practice of different political units and systems. By being one of the oldest methods used in order to understand the complexity of the political world (types of government, principles, ruling methods and so on), the comparison reveals its adaptability to any political writing, either modern or contemporary. The course is designed to explain what comparison and comparative politics are, to emphasize the evolution of the political thought through classical political writings that use comparative analyses and to understand how this method is relevant in understanding contemporary issues such as democratization, social movements, and the relation between individual, state and political and social international entities.

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Topics: 

1. What is the comparative method and how could it be useful in the political analysis? What is comparative politics? 2. Comparative analysis in political studies. Concepts and methods. 3. Comparative method in classical writings of political thought 1. Montesquieu. On the spirit of laws. 4. Comparative method in classical writings of political thought 2. Kant. On perpetual peace. 5. Comparative method in classical writings of political thought 3. Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the revolution. 6. Comparative method in classical writings of political thought 4. Arendt, The origins of totalitarianism. 7. Comparative method in classical writings of political thought 5. Aron, Democracy and totalitarianism. 8. Collective action and social movements. 9. Party systems and structure cleavages. 10. Legitimacy, public support and democracy. Citizens vs political institutions. 11. Individual, state and international relations. Democratic principles and institutions.

Indicative reading: 

Almond, Gabriel, Powell, Bingham, Jr., Strom, Kaare and Dalton, Russell, Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework, Pearson, London, 2008;Boix, Charles and Stokes, Susan. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007; Dogan, Mattei and Pelassy, Dominique, How to Compare Nations. Strategies in Comparative Politics, CQ Press, Washington, 1990; Lipset, Seymour Martin, and Rokkan, Stein, Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspective, The Free Press, Toronto, 1967; Tilly, Charles. Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1984; Tilly, Charles, From Mobilization to Revolution, Random House, New York, 1978; Norris, Pippa, Critical Citizens. Global Support for Democratic Government, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999.  

Coordinators: 
Course code: 
SP19
Year: 
Semester: 
2
Language: 
Reading course in English
Romanian
Original title: 
Analiza comparată a sistemelor politice
Course type: 
ECTS credits: 
5.00
Assessment: 
Exam