GOV 390K • Comparative Study of Political Systems
6:30 PM-9:30 PM
This is the core seminar in Comparative Politics intended primarily for graduate students entering the comparative field. We will critically examine contemporary Weberian, Marxist, and post-structural approaches to the comparative study of politics. The discussion will focus on theoretical prespectives enabling us to comprehend political change. We will focus upon putative transitions to democracy but cover a variety of core readings on classic topics such as the evolution of the discipline of comparative politics, its competing paradigms and discourses, as well as analyses of "the state," authoritarian regimes, classes, elites, political culture, civil society, groups, modes of production, clienteles, and the like--categories used to compare political systems. Wheil there is littel overlap with the readings in our political economy seminars, we will be interested in industry structures as well as formal political structures because some of the more interesting contemporary comparative political studies focus on draw heavily upon Marxian and non-Marxian traditions of political economy. Contemporary political transitions can only be understood in the context of interdependence, and this interdependence has reached its fullest expression in global financial markets.