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Introduction to Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics is the study of political phenomena occurring predominantly within countries. The comparative method is a way of examining such phenomena. The subfield itself is broad and encompasses a variety of pertinent question. In this introduction, we will focus on the thematic question: How does regime type affect policy outcomes? As a first cut, we will explore the selectorate theory. We will use its logic to demonstrate how democracies can have policy outcomes that are systemically distinct from their autocratic counterparts. Next, we will explore the economic and cultural determinants of democracy and study how transitions to democracy can occur. In third part of the course, we will emphasize the institutional variations within democracies and identify its consequences. For the last part the course, we will re-examine the policy consequences of regime type. Is it merely a dichotomy; namely that “democracy is good” and “autocracy is bad”?

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka