SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Frameworks of Political Analysis

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 2

The module presents a critical overview of core concepts and debates in comparative politics as well as an introduction into the comparative method. Drawing on comparative politics debate developed in the West, the module primarily focuses on non-Western regions of the world.

Concretely, this course takes a historical and comparative approach across time and space. The purpose of this class is to give students the opportunity to learn a wide range of concepts in comparative politics and to explore them in the context of Asia. 

To study such an immense and diverse region poses daunting intellectual challenges: This course seeks to achieve two main objectives: 1) to integrate Asian studies with mainstream broad theoretical themes such as state-building, social movements, political party systems, revolution, democratization, autocracy and rule of law; and 2) to examine the varieties of Asian concepts of political authority, contentious politics and political economy.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Evaluate and ‘test’ a broad range of concepts and theories that arise from both outside and within the regions.
  • Present ideas and explore important concepts in writing and through presentations


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour seminar per week

Method of assessment

Assignment 1: Essay 100%

Suggested reading

  • Mark T. Berger, “After the Third World? History, destiny and the fate of Third Worldism,” Third World Quarterly Vol. 25, No. 1 (2004), pp. 9-39.
  • Paul Cammack, Capitalism and democracy in the Third World: The doctrine for political development (Leicester University Press, 1997), pp. 1-62.
  • Frances Hagopian, “Political development, revisited,” Comparative political studies Vol. 33, No. 6-7 (2000), pp. 880-911.
  • Peter A. Hall and Rosemary CR Taylor, "Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms," Political studies Vol.44, No. 5 (1996), pp. 936-957.
  • Atul Kohli et al, “The Role of Theory in Comparative Politics,” World Politics, Vol. 48, No. 1 (1995), pp. 1-49.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules