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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2003

GOV 390K • Comparative Study of Political Systems

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36005 W
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
BUR 228

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. This course will provide a very wide-ranging, theoretically and methodologically pluralistic introduction to the field of Comparative Politics. After a brief discussion of the great variety of methods that are applied in the field, we will compare and assess the major theoretical approaches ("paradigms") that Comparativists have drawn on, especially "culturalism," Marxism, historical & sociological institutionalism, and rational choice (including rational-choice institutionalism). Thereafter, we will discuss a number of important substantive issues and topics, especially political and economical development in the First World and Third World; revolution; nationalism; democratization; parties and voting; and interest groups and social movements. The readings on these substantive topics will reflect the diverse theoretical and methodological approaches discussed before.

Grading Policy

Three 2-3 page discussion papers to be distributed to all participants and to be presented and discussed in class. One 5 page essay One 10 page essay or research design Final Exam Lots of participation in class discussion


Pippa Norris, ed. Critical Citizens (Oxford UP, 1999) Martin Carnoy, The State and Political Theory (Princeton UP, 1984) Robert Bates, Markets and States in Tropical Africa (U. of California Pr., 1984) Mark Lichbach, Is Rational Choice All of Social Science? (U. of Michigan Pr., 2003) Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Evelyne Huber Stephens & John Stephens, Capitalist Development and Democracy (U. of Chicago Pr., 1992) Duane Swank, Global Capital, Political Institutions, and Policy Changes in Developed Welfare States (Cambridge UP, 2002) Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions (Cambridge UP, 1979) Benedict Anderson, Immagined Communities, revised ed. (Verso, 1991) Guillermo O'Donnell anf Philippe Schmitter, Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies (Johns Hopkins UP, 1986) Gary Cox, Making Votes Count (Cambridge UP, 1998) Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement, 2nd ed. (Cambridge UP, 1998) Coursepack with xeroxed journal articles and book chapters


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