Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
Department of International Relations and European Studies

Code Name Level Year Semester
IRES 106 Comparative Politics Undergraduate 1 Spring
Status Number of ECTS Credits Class Hours Per Week Total Hours Per Semester Language
Compulsory 4 2 + 1 100 English

Instructor Assistant Coordinator
Damir Kapidžić, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Damir Kapidzic, PhD Damir Kapidžić, Assoc. Prof. Dr.
[email protected] [email protected] no email

This course will introduce students to main concepts used in contemporary comparative political analysis. It will examine the reasons for why some states provide better living conditions for their citizens. Are these differences due to political institutions, parties and party systems, or social forces such as culture? Class lectures will focus on developing adequate explanations for why states vary so substantially in their performance.

This course aims to introduce students to basic concepts and methods of comparative politics.

On a theoretical level it aims to help them understand the differences between democratic and authoritarian regimes, and different elements of a political system.

In a practical sense it aims to equip them with skills to comparatively analyze and evaluate political systems of countries in the world.

  1. Introduction to comparative politics: Multiple meanings of comparison
  2. Comparative research methods: Qualitative and quantitative methods
  3. The origin and development of states and regimes
  4. Democracies
  5. Autocracies
  6. Legislatures and judicial power
  7. Governments and bureaucracies
  8. Mid-Term Exam
  9. Elections and referendums
  10. Federal and local government institutions
  11. Political parties and party systems
  12. Interest groups and social movements
  13. Political culture and political participation
  14. Globalization and the nation state
  15. Course Summary

  1. /
  2. Methods practice
  3. Case study: UK
  4. Case study: France
  5. Case study: Russia
  6. Case study: USA
  7. Case study: China

  1. /
  2. Case study: Germany
  3. Case study: India
  4. Case study: Brasil
  5. Case study: Switzerland
  6. Case study: TBD
  7. Case study: TBD
  8. /

  • Interactive Lectures
  • Presentation
  • Discussions and group work
  • Student debates
  • Assignments
  • Case Studies
  • Use of educational films
Description (%)
Method Quantity Percentage (%)
Midterm Exam(s)130
Term Paper120
Final Exam130
Total: 100
Learning outcomes
    • Caramani, Daniele, Comparative Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
    • Newton, Kenneth & Jan W. van Deth, Foundations of Comparative Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
    • Landman, Todd, Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics. London: Routledge, 2008.
    • O\'Neil, Patrick H., Essentials of Comparative Politics. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.
    • O’Neil, Patrick H., Karl Fields, & Don Sher, Cases in Comparative Politics. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.
    • Schlager, Neil & Jayne Weisblatt, World Encyclopedia Of Political Systems And Parties. New York: Facts On File, 2006.
    • Schmitter, Philippe C & Terry Lynn Karl, What Democracy is...and is not. Journal of Democracy 2(3), 1991. (pp. 75-88)
    • Zakaria, Fareed, The Rise of Illiberal Democracy. Foreign Affairs 76(6), 1997. (pp. 22-43)

    ECTS (Allocated based on student) WORKLOAD
    Activities Quantity Duration (Hour) Total Work Load
    Lecture (14 weeks x Lecture hours per week)14228
    Laboratory / Practice (14 weeks x Laboratory/Practice hours per week)14114
    Midterm Examination (1 week)122
    Final Examination(1 week)122
    Preparation for Midterm Examination12222
    Preparation for Final Examination12222
    Assignment / Homework/ Project11010
    Seminar / Presentation 0
    Total Workload: 100
    ECTS Credit (Total workload/25): 4