This course aims to furnish students with the tools needed to study politics and society in comparative perspective. The first part of the course introduces concepts and methods of comparative analysis and examines core assumptions about human nature that underpin social scientists’ (and all of our) thinking. The second part investigates the concept of the state and explanations for why some states remain weak. Third, we will consider the variety of regimes around the world and factors that influence which type of political regime prevails in particular national settings. Why do some countries get democracy while others do not? The fourth section focuses on both economic development and conflict. Why are some countries able to break out of poverty while others are not? Why do some countries experience civil war while others remain peaceful? Attendance at lecture and discussion section required.
This course can satisfy either the Social & Behavioral Sciences or International Studies breadth requirement.
Instructor: David Dow