Introduction to Comparative Politics

Comparative politics strives to use the art (or is it a science?) of comparison to explore how different communities around the world and throughout history have chosen – or been forced – to govern themselves. In this course, we will become familiar with the tools and logics of comparative politics and apply them to a sample of cases in order to learn more about questions of state capacity, democracy and authoritarianism, ethnic diversity, religion in politics, and civil-military relations. This class is not an exhaustive “politics of the earth” survey; it is substantively delimited in order to focus on skill-building. By comparing four cases with particularly productive similarities and differences - Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, and Indonesia – students will come away better equipped to read news, participate in discussions about global politics, employ comparative logics in other courses, and critically approach social science texts. 

Bryn Mawr, Fall 2016, 2017, and 2018