POLS 250 Comparative Politics Select Term:
In this course, some of the critical tools for comparative analysis will be introduced. The units of comparative analysis can vary. Sometimes what is compared is the historical transformation on the road to becoming nation-states which may shed some light onto different political regime outcomes in various countries. Comparative analysis is done through pattern depiction, for instance, in three different countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan that have experienced fascist regimes. Students learn to see what these cases have in common in terms of their political transformation that explains the rise of fascism in these particular cases and not in others. It is through such analyses that students equip themselves with tools towards making predictions about political regime changes. In sum, it is such tools that make political analysis possible. This course involves an analysis of the major modes of transformation and political modernization leading to various regime outcomes in the twentieth century. In the first part of the semester, the meaning of pre-modern and modern politics will be unraveled and particular state-formation and nation-building processes will be studied in the Western European context. In the second part, some of the critical features of the emerging political ideologies that accompany these processes will be studied. The third part of the course will focus on comparative electoral systems, political party structures, the dynamics among the legislative, executive and judiciary bodies of government in key West European countries throughout the twentieth century.