This course will introduce students to some key concepts used in contemporary comparative political analysis. It will do so through an examination of the reasons for why some modern nation states provide better living conditions for their citizens. Are these differences due to factors such as political institutions, legislative arrangements, parties and party systems, or social forces such as culture and ethnicity? Class lectures will focus on developing an understanding of how political scientists use these terms and whether they provide adequate explanations for why states vary so substantially in their performance. There will be two lectures per week and one required discussion section.
This course can satisfy either the Social & Behaviorial Sciences or International Studies breadth requirement.