POL S 204 A: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Meeting Time: 
TTh 8:30am - 9:50am
KNE 110
James D. Long

Syllabus Description:

Course Description:

Introduction to Comparative Politics: "Democracy in the Modern World." The study of global democracy shapes the two most importance investigations into the study of modern political science: 1) who governs? and 2) what are the consequences of who governs for the governed? Democracies now form the most common regime type around the world, but not without having faced significant problems of transitions to, and performance of, representative forms of government. As a result, the state of democracy in the world is far from healthy or perfect, and many threats remain or continue to arise to threaten the growth and consolidation of democratic regimes in many countries. To understand the opportunities and challenges posed by democratic forms of government, in the first part of this course will cover topics in the comparative study of contemporary politics as it relates to the development of the state, the growth and consolidation of democratic regimes, the persistence of non-democratic and hybrid regimes, economic growth, ethnicity, and political violence and civil wars. In the second part of the course, we will pay particular attention to how these themes relate to contemporary democratic politics in South Africa, Kenya, and Afghanistan.


Course Evaluation:

Quiz Section: 30%

Midterm: 25%

Final Exam: 45%


Textbook (available at UW bookstore and online):

  • Patrick H. O’Neil, Essentials of Comparative Politics, 6th edition, Norton, 2017.


Catalog Description: 
Political systems in a comparative framework. Traditional and contemporary approaches to the study of governments and societies in different countries. Offered: AWSpS.
Department Requirements: 
Introductory Courses
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:10pm