- Code POLS4038
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Political Science
- Areas of interest Policy Studies, Political Sciences, Political Economy, Politics
This course examines the central issues in comparative political institutions across a range of jurisdictions and from a variety of perspectives. The course introduces core political institutions and discusses various approaches to their study. It deals with key concepts (majoritarian democracy vs consociationalism etc.) and institutional arrangements in a historical and comparative perspective. The point of the seminar preparations, discussions, presentations, data collection and analysis exercise is not to compare for the sake of comparing, but to equip you (as a researcher) with the conceptual tools to undertake insightful, critical, and original comparative work of your own in your final assessment. The overall aim of the course is to develop students' understanding and use of many general theoretical explanations surrounding debates in political institutions and to develop students' critical/analytical approach to many of the questions facing practitioners and scholars in the next decade.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- identify the concepts that influence the dynamics of political institutions;
- understand the sources of these concepts and their historical development;
- use these concepts in order to critically research, analyse, and evaluate major issues in political institutions; and
- develop skills for research, argument, and analysis in order to effectively communicate their own perspectives on key concepts and issues in political institutions.
- Seminar Preparation: All students must prepare notes on required readings and submit by email prior to class in preparation for discussion. These may consist of comments, critiques, questions, etc. arising from the readings. They may be in bullet format or full sentences. They will be marked on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale. (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Seminar presentation: Each student will do a 15-minute presentation and lead discussion of the required readings. (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Research-based learning data collection and analysis report: Students will collect primary data or recode existing data and analyse a research question using appropriate method. Limit of 1000 words. (30) [LO 1,4]
- Research Essay: Students will write a research paper on a topic of their choice that relates to the material covered in the course. Limit of 4000 words. (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 6 hours of teaching and tutorials over 6 weeks;
b) 18 hours of seminars over 6 weeks;
c) 106 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
this is a course amendment, this information is not required
Brady, Henry & Collier, David, eds. (2000). Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. Berkeley, CA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Boix, Carles, and Stokes, Susan (eds.) (2007) Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. Oxford, OUP.
Caramani, Daniele (ed.) Comparative Politics, Oxford, OUP, 2014 (3rd edition).
Cheibub, Jose Antonio (2007), Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dahl, Robert A. (1971). Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dowding, K. and P. Dumont (eds.) (2009) The selection of Ministers in Europe. Hiring and Firing, London, Routledge.
Dowding, K. and P. Dumont (eds.) (2015) The selection of Ministers around the world, London, Routledge.
King, Gary, Keohane, Robert, & Verba, Sidney. (1994). Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Lijphart, A. (1994) .Electoral Systems and Party Systems. A Study of Twenty-Seven Democracies, 1945-1990, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Lijphart , A. (2012). Patterns of Democracy, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
North, Douglas. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Powell, G. Bingham, Jr. (2001). Elections as Instruments of Democracy: Majoritarian and Proportional Visions. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Renwick, A. (2010). The Politics of Electoral Reform. Changing the Rules of Democracy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Sartori, G. (1994). Comparative Constitutional Engineering. An Inquiry into Structures, Incentives and Outcomes, London, MacMillan.
Strom, K, Muller W.C and T. Bergman, (eds) (2008). Cabinets and Coalition Bargaining: The Democratic Life Cycle in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tavits, M. (2009). Presidents with Prime Ministers, Oxford University Press.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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