Advanced comparative politics

Code Cours
Langue d'enseignement
Félix Von Nostitz



Students need to have a background in political science or similar discipline. Ideally students also have some knowledge of comparative politics, its concepts and approaches.


This course on advanced comparative politics focus on the methods of comparison rather then topics coved in comparative politics. Each session begins with a statement of the basic research question and what motivated its emergence in the comparative literature, followed by a comparison of the attempts to investigate the problem using the methods outlined in the first part of the course This comparison seeks to answer several important questions. First, do the different comparisons (i.e. many countries, few countries, single-country studies) arrive at the same conclusion about the research question? If not, why not? Second, for those studies that compare few countries, is the most different systems design or most similar systems design used? And, by extension, does the choice of research design make a difference to the substantive results? Third, are the various studies cognizant of the problems of comparison outlined in the first part of the class? For example, are there enough countries in the analysis? Do the comparisons establish equivalence? Is there a problem of selection bias? Are the relationships established spurious or not? Are there value biases that taint the analysis? Are there problems with ecological or individualist fallacies? Each session ends with a methodological discussion and summary of the method of comparison, the exemplars used, and their main findings with regard to the research question. In short, this class studies comparative politics from a methodological perspective by comparing comparisons. In the age of globalization, the skills to produce and critical assess cross-national insights into politics are invaluable for a wide range of potential careers, whether working for international agencies, multilateral organizations, non-profit NGOs, international corporations, or national governments.


Modalités d'enseignement

Grading will be based on

- Seminar Presentation and Discussion (30%)

- Final 4000 words essay (50%) (based on presentation)

- In class MQC based on readings (20%)

Contrôle continu : coeff. 100



<b>Example of some Comparative Politics textbooks:</b>|| Clark W.R., Golder M., Golder S.N. (2017), Principles of Comparative Politics,|| Washington DC: CQ Press.|| Mény Y., Surel Y., Politique comparée, Paris, Montchrestien, 2009 (8e édition).|| Boix C., Stokes S. (dir.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, Oxford, Oxford|| University Press, 2007.|| Leonardo Morlino (2013) ntroduction à la politique compare. Armand Colin||