Comparative Politics

Subject POLS20023 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Level 1

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Raymond Orr


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to comparative politics. There are many different aspects of and approaches to comparative politics, but all agree that this involves comparing at least two - and often many more - units of political analysis (e.g. countries, types of political system, electoral systems, areas of policy). This subject divides comparative politics by classical and contemporary approaches. Classical approaches to comparative politics examine the concept of authority and the rise of liberal, communist and fascist political ideologies and systems. Contemporary approaches to comparative politics explore institutional differences and voting systems between countries in addition to concepts of social capital, path dependency, political culture and economic development.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Demonstrate familiarity and critical engagement with the main themes in the sub-field of political science known as comparative politics;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of each of these discrete themes within comparative politics;
  • Develop a broad understanding of the main types of political system existing in the contemporary world;
  • Recognise the problems involved in comparing countries and cultures, and the solutions that have been devised to address these challenges;
  • Develop skills in critical analysis and evaluation;
  • Develop the ability to critically evaluate different sources of research in the development of an argument;
  • Work productively and collaboratively in groups.

  • Tutorial participation and contribution (10%) throughout the semester.
  • A 2000 word essay (45%) due mid-semester.
  • A 2-hour exam (45%) scheduled in examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be provided online through the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Politics and International Studies
Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): Politics and International Studies

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