This course is designed to offer an introduction to major concepts and theories in comparative politics, as well as to familiarize students with the basic tools of comparative analysis. During our time together, we ask and attempt to answer questions such as when do revolutions occur? Why are some countries democratic while others are not? What is the interplay between culture and politics? How do economic factors influence political development? To what extent are political processes the result of individual volition versus larger structural forces? In doing so, we examine cases from around the globe and across time. The objective of this course is two-fold: to provide students with a theoretical grounding through which to understand the political world we inhabit, as well as to introduce the academic field of comparative politics, along with its empirical expectations and modes of argumentation.
Harvard Division of Continuing Education