PG 102

Introduction to Comparative Politics

How do we understand the fall of Apartheid in South Africa, the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in Iran, the troubles of Russia's post-Communist regime, and China's attempt to blend communism with capitalism? This course provides students with the tools to understand these and other questions about how politics works around the globe. The study of comparative politics focuses on the basic foundations of political life and how these institutions differ in form and power around the world. This introductory course deals with such central concepts as nation and state, citizenship and ethnicity, political ideology, religious fundamentalism, revolution, terrorism and political violence, the relationship between politics and markets, democracy and authoritarianism, electoral systems and different forms of representation, development and globalization. These concepts are investigated through a number of country case studies, which may include the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, China, Iran, India and South Africa, among others.