Universität Wien FIND

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210050 LK BAK7: Comparative Political Analysis (2018W)

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

A registration via u:space during the registration phase is required. Late registrations are NOT possible.
Students who miss the first lesson without prior notification will lose their seat in the course.

Follow the principles of good scientific practice.

The course instructor may invite students to an oral exam about the student’s written contributions in the course. Plagiarized contributions have the consequence that the course won’t be graded (instead the course will be marked with an ‘X’ in the transcript of records).


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 08.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 15.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 22.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 29.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 05.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 12.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 19.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 26.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 03.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 10.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 07.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 14.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 21.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Monday 28.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course language is English! This means that class discussions, weekly assignments, written tests, term paper and all communication must be in English.

The course provides an introduction to comparative politics. The central goal of the course is to introduce comparative analysis as a method and to understand the basic theoretical and empirical concepts of comparative politics. Students will get a good understanding of central concepts and arguments, learn how to read efficiently academic literature and exercise critical thinking and scientific writing.
Method: A central aspect of this course is a thorough reading of the selected literature (textbook materials and selected research articles from political science journals). We will engage critically with the literature, discuss the materials and practice academic writing.

The course deals with various selected topics from comparative politics including:
- Comparative Political Analysis
- Political Institutions
- Political Actors
- Public policies
- Beyond Nation-State

Assessment and permitted materials

The final grade will be based on the following components:
Attendance (max. 2 absences allowed)
Class participation (10%)
Reading assignments (15%)
Podcast / Topic discussion (17%)
Open book exam (25%)
Term paper (33%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The minimum requirement is the completion of each of the class components (see above) – not necessarily with a passing grade. In order to be graded, students can miss up to 2 classes, have to submit reading assignments, prepare a podcast / class discussion and write an outline of a term paper (within assigned deadlines), as well as take the open book exam. Plagiarism and Ghostwriting are strictly forbidden. To make sure that these rules are not violated, all term papers will be examined using Turnitin software. In addition, an oral presentation of the written work may be requested.

Examination topics

The students will be graded based on their understanding of the following topics:
- Comparative Analysis as a Research Method
- Political Systems: Democracy and Autocracy
- Parliaments & Legislation
- Judiciary
- Governments & Executive
- Policy-Making
- Parties & Party Systems
- Social Movements
- Political Communication
- Globalisation and nation-state

Reading list

The assigned readings offer an introduction to the topic the session covers. There are usually two texts per session. The class sessions will cover one text that gives an overview of the main concepts and one academic article. For the overview text, we will use Caramani (2018) lecture book. The second text will be an article from a political science journal (e.g. American Journal of Political Science) with an interesting research question, research design, and findings. The purpose of the second text is to give an example from scientific research and deepen the general understanding of the topic. All academic articles are accessible online via the university library. For copyright reasons, there is no Reader for this course. For some sessions, students will listen to podcasts to gain a better understanding of the material.

Caramani, D. (2018) Comparative Politics, 5th Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Further literature including journal articles and podcasts will be detailed in the syllabus.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38