Comparative Politics

Subject 166-274 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Three: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment to Study 8.5 hours per week
Prerequisites: 12.5 points of Level 1 Politics and International Studies
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
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 Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Leslie Templeman Holmes


Prof. Leslie Holmes

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). One major theme will be the extent to which political culture (which will be defined) appears to explain differences between political systems. The subject will range across various types of system around the world.
Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • be familiar with the main developments since 1945 in the sub-field of political science known as comparative politics;
  • be able to provide a critical overview of each of the discrete developments;
  • have a basic knowledge of the main types of political system existing in the contemporary world;
  • be aware of the problems involved in comparing countries and cultures, and of the solutions that have been devised to address these.
Assessment: 1 x 2000 word essay, 50% (due mid-semester) and a 2-hour exam, 50% (scheduled in examination period).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.

Daniele Caramani (ed.),Comparative Politics .Oxford UP, 2008

Recommended Texts:

K. Newton and J. van Deth, Foundations of Comparative Politics (Cambridge UP, 2005)

R. Hague and M. Harrop (eds.), Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

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
Generic Skills: Students who successfully complete this subject should
  • be able to research a topic through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically,creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge logically and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision;
  • be able to participate in team work through small group discussions.
Notes: This is available as a breadth subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics & International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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