• Class Number 4358
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Alon Kraitzman
    • Dr Alon Kraitzman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

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 course develops skills to equip student researchers with the conceptual tools to undertake insightful, critical, and original comparative work of their own in their 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.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify the concepts that influence the dynamics of political institutions;
  2. understand the sources of these concepts and their historical development;
  3. use these concepts in order to critically research, analyse, and evaluate major issues in political institutions; and
  4. develop skills for research, argument, and analysis in order to effectively communicate their own perspectives on key concepts and issues in political institutions.

Research-Led Teaching

Adaptations to the class structure may occur at the margin though discussions of research interests with students.

Required Resources

Resources for this unit will be provided either on the Wattle site or through the ANU Library system. We will be relying on web resources and electronic journals. Some further materials will be provided in class.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • verbal feedback
  • written feedback
  • in-class feedback
  • individual feedback in consultations

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Referencing requirements

In-text referencing or footnotes are acceptable. Referencing must be consistent and meet School and College guidelines. These will be discussed in class. All assignments should include a reference list in alphabetical order. Any evidence of un-referenced direct quotation will be heavily penalised and deliberate plagiarism will be dealt with according to ANU policy.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction
2 Democracies
3 Dictatorship
4 Electoral Systems I: Political Consequences
5 Electoral Systems II: Economic Consequences
6 Electoral Systems III: Origins and Consequences of Electoral Reforms
7 Party Systems Review essay 1
8 Presidentialism
9 Parliamentarism Review essay 2
10 Veto Players
11 Federalism and Decentralization Review essay 3
12 Hybrid Institutions Research proposal

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Seminar Preparation, Participation and Presentation 20 % 1, 2, 3, 4
Review Essay #1 10 % 1, 2, 3
Review Essay #2 10 % 1,2,3
Review Essay #3 10 % 1,2,3
Research Proposal 50 % 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


There will be no examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Seminar Preparation, Participation and Presentation

Preparation (mainly readings) and active participation are expected from the students.

Class participation: I will lecture on the topics of the first two weeks. Starting from Week 3, the readings for each week will be divided between class members as evenly as possible. Each student will write a 650-word intellectual reaction paper for the reading they choose and then be ready to present it in class. They will be marked on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale.

Page limit: 650 words

Value: 20%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Review Essay #1

Students will select and write a critical review essay on one of the course’s topics. The essay is a think piece that critically assesses the readings from a given week.

Word limit: 1500 words +/- 10%

Value: 10%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Review Essay #2

Students will select and write a critical review essay on one of the course’s topics (different from that chosen in Essay #1). The essay is a think piece that critically assesses the readings from a given week.

Word limit: 1500 words +/- 10%

Value: 10%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Review Essay #3

Students will select and write a critical review essay on one of the course’s topics (different from that chosen in Essays #1 and #2). The essay is a think piece that critically assesses the readings from a given week.

Word limit: 1500 words +/- 10%

Value: 10%

Assessment Task 5

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research Proposal

Students will write a research paper on a topic of their choice that relates to the material covered in the course.

Page limit: 3000 words +/- 10%

Value: 50%

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Students will be able to access their assignments with grades and feedback on the Wattle site. Assignments will be returned according to College policy.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students may be given permission to resubmit assignments in particular circumstances, for example inadvertent plagiarism.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Alon Kraitzman

Research Interests

Political behaviour, public opinion, executive-legislative relations, electoral systems, parties and party systems, and coalition theory.

Dr Alon Kraitzman

By Appointment
Dr Alon Kraitzman

Research Interests

Dr Alon Kraitzman

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions