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Comparative Politics Courses

Studying comparative politics allows us to compare the political institutions, cultures, values, and practices of one political system with another. Political Science courses with a "3" as the second number have been designated as delivering primarily comparative politics content. (note: applicable credit restrictions and prerequisites not shown -- see courses page for detailed information)

Political Science Honours and Majors candidates may wish to apply comparative politics courses towards an optional concentration in Global Studies. A recommended course sequencing for students interested in comparative politics is as follows:

  • Begin with 1000 Introduction to Politics and Government. Also, consider taking one of 1010 Issues in Canadian Politics or 1020 Issues in World Politics.
  • Next, take 2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics.
  • Then, take some 33xx courses (more specialized comparative content).
  • Finally, take 43xx courses (advanced seminars in comparative politics)

1000 Introduction to Politics and Government: Introduction to Politics and Government is an introduction to basic concepts in the study of politics, power, law, public policy and government, touching on major areas of political ideologies, institutions, and current domestic and international political issues. Suitable for students in all disciplines.

2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics: An introduction to comparative politics and techniques of comparative analysis across political jurisdictions. This course focuses on the differences between, and similarities among, a variety of countries and systems of government.

3300 European Politics: A comparative study of government and politics in selected states of Western Europe. Emphasis will be on parties, institutions, and policy-making, particularly the ways in which states manage their economies.

3305 Irish Politics: Introduces students to the politics of the Republic of Ireland. Topics covered include the historical origins of the state, the political influence of the Roman Catholic Church, the evolution of political institutions, as well as the evolving relationship with Northern Ireland, Europe and the world.

3310 American Politics: Examines the governmental process in the United States including the role of parties and interest groups. This course will also consider select contemporary problems.

3315 Latin American Politics: An analysis of the forces influencing politics in contemporary Latin America with particular emphasis being given to those factors promoting political change. No prior knowledge of Latin America is assumed.

3325 South Asian Politics: Analyzes the history and development of political change in a selection of South Asian states with a focus on the contemporary challenges that they face in a globalized political environment.

3340 Women and Politics: Examines the role of women in the political process in comparative context. Topics may include the political socialization, organization, and recruitment of women; voting behaviour; and the organization of governmental institutions as a response to the concerns of women.

3350 Public Opinion and Voting: Looks at the measurement and formation of political attitudes, factors affecting attitude stability and change, and the distribution of opinion in society. Emphasizes public opinion and voting behaviour in the United States and Canada during campaigns and inter-election periods.

3390 Political Parties: A study of political parties in liberal democracies. Attention is given to the origin and development of parties, how they organize, multiparty competition and what difference parties make. Political parties in Europe, the United States, and Canada are considered in a comparative context.

4310 Comparative Federalism: Examines theories of federalism along with the development and operation of federalism in selected nation states.

4330 Comparative Political Institutions: Studies the relationship between political institutions and political outcomes. Topics will address the origin, evolution, demise and consequences of political institutions in a variety of western and non-western contexts.

4340 Women and Mass Politics: Focuses on the gender gap in both political behaviour and participation. Focusing primarily on Canada and the United States, this course assesses patterns of involvement in political institutions, and examines differences between men's and women's political attitudes.

4360 Contentious Politics - Protest, Violence and Terrorism: Examines protest and movement politics, insurgent and counter-insurgent politics, terrorism, and revolution.

4370 Democracy and Democratization: A comparative study of the conditions necessary to develop and sustain democratic regimes and the circumstances under which transitions to democracy succeed or fail. The course will examine theoretical materials and apply them to recent and historical transitions to democratic rule.

4380 The Developing World: Considers the practical and theoretical issues that affect the chances of the over five billion inhabitants of the developing world to secure democratic governance and material well-being.