The study of comparative politics shapes the two most importance investigations into the study of political order in the modern world: 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 health of democracy in the world is far from certain; many problems persist or arise to threaten the growth and consolidation of democracy in many countries, and new institutional and popular opposition to democracy has grown recently in industrialized countries. To understand the opportunities and challenges posed by democratic and non-democratic forms of government, this course will cover topics in the comparative study of states, markets, and society as they relate to state-building and bureaucratic capacity; the growth and consolidation of democratic regimes; the persistence of authoritarianism and non-democratic or hybrid regimes; government institutions, electoral systems, and political parties; the sources of economic growth and income divergence; ethnicity and nationalism; and social movements, protest, and political violence.
Class participation and written assignments.