Uploaded by fayrouz ahmed

(((POLS 3401 Gamblin

Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLS 3401-02 - Spring 2017
Sunday & Wednesday 2pm - 3.20pm - Waleed C129
Instructor: Dr. Sandrine Gamblin
Email: gamblin@aucegypt.edu
Office Hours: UW 10:00-11:30 only by appointment (students should send a confirmation
email the day before the scheduled appointment) and UW 1-2pm (with no appointment)
Office : 2014 HUSS Building –Political Science Department
Teaching Assistant: Mona El Husseiny
Email: monaelhusseiny@aucegypt.edu
Course Organisation
The goal of this course is to introduce students generally to the study of comparative politics. This
course covers major concepts and theories in the study of comparative politics, but also offers
empirical analyses of the government and politics in a select group of countries. The course covers a
wide range of issues, including the formation of the nation-state, democratisation, authoritarianism,
political development, nationalism, politics of religion, and political institutions. The course will also
discuss some debates in comparative politics that have been important in the policy-making
community in recent decades, such as state-building, role of the state in economy, the concept of
social capital, and the effort to promote democracy around the world. Although paying attention to
countries in Asia, Middle East, and Africa, a select group of Western countries will also be studied in
a comparative format. As such, several objectives and learning outcomes of the course become clear:
• Knowledge of the major theories and approaches in the discipline of Comparative Politics
• Ability to critically evaluate and apply such theories and approaches
• Knowledge of major substantive themes in Comparative Politics
• Ability to think critically about the relevance of mainstream theories of Comparative Politics
and their relevance to experience and interests of actors in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
• Ability to analyse world politics from a variety of perspectives
• Ability to apply theories to case studies
• Lichbach, Mark Irving and Zuckerman, Alan S. (eds.) (2009). Comparative Politics:
Rationality, Culture, and Structure, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Access online.
• Boix, Carles, and Stokes, Susan C. (2007). The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics,
Oxford: Oxford University Press. Access on Blackboard
Assignments and Grading
Mid-term exams: 25%.
Two presentations (based on the readings assigned for the class): 20%. Presentation is done in
pairs. A written conceptual individual note is delivered a day after the presentation, and should
integrate the discussion held in class. (1000- 1500 words)
Group presentation and collective/individual paper (3 students): 20%. The exercise consists in
comparing 3 countries, in relation with a specific topic/question. Deliveries are two-folded:
o A group oral presentation: 5%
o A collective conceptual note, which presents the rational and the outcome of the
research project: 5% (1,500- 2,000 words)
o An individual paper focused on one of the three countries: 10% (3,000 words max)
Final exam is an individual paper to be delivered the last day of class: 25% (4000- 4,500
words max., excluding the references)
• Participation: 10% (Includes “professionalism”, i.e. being on time, delivering assignments on
time, politeness, active oral participation in class, constructiveness, readings done).
All students must follow up the news around the world, in relations to this class. First class of the
week will start with a brief overview on the news (one or two students will be randomly nominated by
the instructor to present in 5-10 minutes).
General Regulations
• Attendance policy: The university-wide attendance policy will be applied in this course.
Thus, a student who misses more than 6 classes during the semester may be assigned a
reduced grade for the course –including the grade of “F”–solely on the basis of
inadequate attendance, regardless of excuse. Students are personally responsible for
making up any academic tasks and assignments missed due to their absence.
• Punctuality is necessary and students may not be allowed in after class begins since it
distracts the rest of the class.
• Mobile phones and other electronic devices, except laptops, must be switched off during
• Going out of the classroom during the lecture is not permitted, unless there is an
• Grades are not open for negotiations and no grade will be changed.
• Plagiarism will result in an F in the course.
Detailed information about the University Academic Integrity Policy may be found in the Catalog and
on the University Web site.
NB: Here are the required readings. Changes might occur during the semester.
Readings are available on blackboard.
Week 1: Introduction/presentation
Week 2: What is Comparative Politics?
Feb 5:
Feb 8:
Guiding questions:
Week 3: What is comparative politics? (cont.)
Feb 12:
Feb 15:
Week 4:What is the state?
Feb 19:
Feb 22:
Week 5: Nation-State building - Nationalism
Feb 26
March 1
Week 6:Democracies (representation)
March 5
March 8
Week 7: Democracies (political parties)
March 12
March 15: Mid-term exam
Week 8:Democracies (civil society)
March 19
March 22
23 March: deadline for dropping courses
Week 9:Non democratic systems (authoritarianism – totalitarism)
March 26
March 29
Week 10:Non democratic systems (authoritarianism – totalitarism)
April 2
April 5
Spring Break: April 9 – April 17
Week 11: Group project 01 – Extreme right parties and the crisis of parliamentarism
April 23
April 26
Week 12:Groupe project 02 – Social movements in comparative perspective
April 30
May 3
Week 13: Group project 03 – Dealing with migrations
May 7
May 10
Week 14: Group project 04 – Security policy and State power
May 14:
May 17:
May 20: Groupe Project deadline
May 25: Final Paper deadline
(May 30 Grading deadline for Spring 2017)