SELECTED TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS: Democracies and Dictatorships in the World and in the Middle-East

Fall 2017
M 2-5
Course Description

This course will provide the students with the knowledge about basic concepts in political science - politics, government, state - emphasizing the fundamental division between liberal democracy, illiberal democracy and dictatorship regimes (fascist, theocratic, communist). The course is set on theoretical comparative approach that does not intend to discuss each country individually, but to analyze and interpret the similarities and differences between the political systems in order to better understand the political processes taking place actually, beyond what is stated formally and legally in their constitution. The course deals with the central institutions in any political system: the legislature, executive, judiciary, elections, political parties, interest groups, and examines key concepts such as political culture, political communication, political participation, religion-state relations, relations between the army and the country, to understand the internal dynamics of political systems and research data. The course gives a special attention to the regime in Middle-Eastern countries.

Instructor: Dr. Rami Zeedan , PhD

Dr. Rami Zeedan is an interdisciplinary researcher in political science and history. His recent research ranges between urban affairs/local governments in cities, ethnic politics, public opinion, and Israeli studies. Since 2014, Dr. Zeedan has held a two-year fellowship for outstanding post-doctoral research from the Council for Higher Education in Israel, during which he was a Taub-Schusterman Fellow with New York University (NY, USA) in 2014-2015, and a Fritz Thyssen postdoctoral research fellow with the Zentrum Moderner Orient (Berlin, Germany) in 2015-2016. This paper is the outcome of research that he conducted during his stays at both institutions.