Comparative Politics

Track description

The Comparative Politics track focuses on comparative scholarly studies of political institutions, behavior, and processes. The track is open to applicants irrespectively of their methodological orientation and approach as long as they aim at rigorous, transparent, empirical analyses of any political phenomena.

We merely believe that empirical comparison across contexts is beneficial in any political research irrespectively of whether you are interested in democracies or non-democracies; political elites or citizens; comparative government, political sociology, political communication, economics, or cultural studies; nation-states, empires or local politics; qualitative analysis, experiments or survey data; to mention just a few possibilities.

The track offers a particularly large choice in advanced empirical methods courses and often involves students in joint research with faculty members.

Core curriculum

Political Institutions in Comparative Perspective:
4 credits (the study of variation across the contemporary world in constitutional arrangements; legislative, electoral, administrative and other political institutions; political parties, mass media, and non-governmental organizations; as well as the causes and impact of such variation)

Political Sociology:
4 credits (the study of political behavior, social and political psychology, religion, social and political structures, cleavages, voters alignments, minorities, leadership and elites, legitimacy, ideology, political culture, nationalism, gender, race, and class-politics, civil society, public sphere, comparative-historical sociology)

Political Dynamics:
4 credits (the study of development, modernization, (inter)dependency, globalization, political violence, public opinion, value change, revolution, internal wars, social movements, social conflicts and conflict resolution, regime change, (de)democratization, forms of non-democratic regimes, migration, changing forms of citizenship, campaign politics)

Advanced Methods within Comparative Politics:
2 credits (topics rotate annually and cover advanced statistical techniques, set-theoretic methods, and qualitative approaches to generating and analyzing data).

Who should apply?

The track welcomes applications in the following research areas:

  • Political behavior
  • European politics
  • Comparative method
  • Public opinion and voting behavior
  • Social movements
  • Parties and interest groups
  • Governance
  • Political communication
  • Political psychology
  • Institutional change

Track representative: