This course will introduce students to a broad range of themes, topics, and approaches that are essential for studying domestic politics across the world. We will explore how politics and political systems are similar and different across national context and attempt to decipher and explain the causes for and consequences of this variation. Specifically, the class will focus on the central theoretical debates and empirical issues that are studied by scholars of comparative politics. What is a state? What explains transitions to democracy? Why are some states rich while others are poor? How do various formal and informal institutions impact states’ economic and political development? How do electoral rules shape political processes and outcomes? What explains the success and failure of social movements? And in what ways is globalization challenging the sovereignty and integrity of the nation state? To answer these questions the course will introduce students to a broad range of concepts and theoretical approaches that will provide them with tools for the systematic analysis of these issues. Throughout the quarter, we will apply these concepts and theories to a wide range of real world cases and examine how politics works in different countries around the globe.