Comparative Politics Track

Track description

The Comparative Politics track unites two sub-fields within Political Science: comparative government and political sociology. The track aims to attract scholars who are interested in institutional frameworks and their cultural underpinnings in modern politics.

In this regard, the fundamental goal is to prepare students in explaining variance in institutional settings and identify regularities in political behavior. Thus, for the most part teaching on the track focuses on the interaction between political institutions and citizens.

Study on the track utilizes comparative, statistical, experimental, case study and qualitative methods. The track also accommodates thematic studies with global, regional, and national foci.

Core curriculum

Political Institutions in Comparative Perspective: 4 credits (constitutional arrangements and their effects, governments, Parliaments, electoral systems, judiciary, political parties, media, non-governmental organizations, bureaucratic-administrative or coercive apparatuses)

Political Sociology: 4 credits (political behavior, social and political psychology, religion, social and political structures, cleavages, voters alignments, minorities, leadership andelites, legitimacy, ideology, political culture, nationalism, gender, race, and class-politics, civil society, public sphere, comparative-historical sociology)

Political Dynamics: 4 credits (development, modernization, (inter)dependency, globalization, political violence, public opinion, value change, revolution, internal wars,social movements, social conflicts and conflict resolution, regime change, (de)democratization, forms of non-democratic regimes, migration, changing forms of citizenship, campaign politics)

Advanced Methods within Comparative Politics: 2 credits (advanced statistical techniques, set-theoretic methods, qualitative approaches to generating and analyzing data).

The program offers a particularly large choice in advanced empirical methods courses. Students are socialized into research that is based on advanced theory and comparative methods.

Who should apply?

The track welcomes applications in the following research areas:

  • Political culture
  • European politics
  • Comparative method
  • Social movements
  • Parties and interest groups
  • Governance
  • Political psychology
  • Institutional change
  • Political behavior
  • Public opinion