Introduction to Comparative Politics

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This course is a core course in the BA Politics and provides a general introduction to the study of Comparative Politics. This course not only 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 culture, political development, comparative political economy, nationalism, ethnic politics, 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.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the major theories and approaches in the discipline of Comparative Politics
  • Critically evaluate and apply such theories and approaches
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of major substantive themes in Comparative Politics
  • 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
  • Analyse world politics from a variety of perspectives
  • Apply theories to case studies


This module will be taught over 20 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: 10%
  • Assignment 2: 40%
  • Assignment 3: 10%
  • Assignment 4: 40%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules