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Course Code: 
PSIR 422
Course Type: 
Course Language: 
Course Objectives: 

This course is designed to analyze the basic concepts, theories and issues of the field of comparative politics. In this course, history of the field, basic methodological discussion and fundamental readings on comparative politics will be reviewed. This course aims to critically analyze the state-society relations with a comparative perspective. It focuses on the democratic practices of developed and developing countries.
In this course, basic terms and concepts for comparative analysis will be introduced. Analysis of political parties, legislations and system of governments in a comparative manner are among the topics of the course. Historical roots of democracy and its development will be studied comparatively with an emphasis on current issues.

Course Content: 

Basic Concepts and Theoretical Approaches of Comparative Politics, Comparison of party systems, electoral system and political institutions

Majoritarian and Pluralist Systems, State-Society Relations, Democratization and Political Culture

Course Methodology: 
1: Lecture, 2: Question-Answer, 3: Discussions
Course Evaluation Methods: 
A: Exam, B: Experiment, C: Homework

Vertical Tabs

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Program Learning Outcomes Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
Students can define the basic concepts of political science and can correlate them.  1 1,2 A
Students can recognize basic political idioms. 1 1,2 A
Students can comment on political developments accordingly to certain terms and concepts 2 1,2 A
Identify the basic ideological and political approaches  1 1,2 A
Classify the political developments. 1 1,2 A
Associate the developments around the world that seems unrelated. 2 1,2 A
Students examine and question speeches of political leaders.  3 1,2 A
Students can understand and explain the reason behind the developments in Turkey and other places and can relate between them 2 1,2 A
Students can better assess the current developments  3 1,2 A


Course Flow

Week Topics Study Materials
1 Introduction / What is democracy? Relevant readings on the sources list
2 Readings on Social Contract (Hobbes, Locke, Marx and Engels, Habermas, Pateman, Rawls, Foucault) Relevant readings on the sources list
3 Political Culture Relevant readings on the sources list
4 Political Party Systems, Electoral systems, and Political Representation Relevant readings on the sources list
5 Relations between Military Interventions and Democracy  Relevant readings on the sources list
6 Midterm Relevant readings on the sources list
7 Industrialized Democracies, War Regimes, Post-War Transitions  Relevant readings on the sources list
8 Democratization in Post-Communist Countries  Relevant readings on the sources list
9 Return to Multiparty Politics in Latin America Relevant readings on the sources list
10 Democratic transition cases from Africa and Asia Relevant readings on the sources list
11 Political reformation in Middle East and Democratization Process of Turkey Relevant readings on the sources list
12 Problematique of Democracy in Islamic Law Relevant readings on the sources list
13 Review Relevant readings on the sources list


Recommended Sources

Textbook -Landman, T. (2008) Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics: An Introduction, London and Oxford: Routledge.
Additional Resources - Agüero, F. (1997) “Toward Civilian Supremacy in South America,” in Larry Diamond et, al (eds.), Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.


-Almond, G. (1980) “The Intellectual History of the Civic Culture Concept,” in Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba (eds.) The Civic Culture Revisited  (Princeton: Princeton University Press.


- Anderson, C. J. (2000) "Economic Voting and Political Context: A Comparative Perspective."Electoral Studies 19 (2/3).


-Asad, M.(1961), The Principles of State and Government in Islam, University of California Press.

-Cammack, P. (2004) “’Signs of the times’: Capitalism, Competitiveness, and the New Face of Empire in Latin America”, Socialist Register 2005.

-Castorina, E. (2007) “’Democratic Neoliberalism in Argentina”, Socialist Register 2008.

-   -Chhibber, P. and Torcal, M. (1997) “Elite Strategy, Social Cleavages, and Party Systems in a New Democracy: Spain.” Comparative Political Studies 30:1 (February).


Cizre, Ü. (2004) “The Military and Politics: a Turkish Dilemma‟ in B. Rubin and Thomas A Keaney , eds. Armed Forces in the Middle East. London:Frank Cass.


-Collier, D. (1979) “Overview of the Bureaucratic-Authoritarian Model” in The New Authoritarianism in Latin America, Collier (ed.), Princeton University Press.


-Collier, D. and Levitsky, S. (1997) “Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research,” World Politics .


-Cox, G. (1990) “Centripetal and Centrifugal Incentives in Electoral Systems.” American Journal of Political Science 34:4.

-Foweraker J. and Landman T.(1999) ‘Individual Rights and Social Movements: A Comparative and Statistical Inquiry’, British Journal of Political Science, 29 (1999).

-Frank, A.G. (1970) “Development of Underdevelopment” in Latin America: Under-development or Revolution, MR Press.

-Gülalp, H. (1998) “The Eurocentrism of Dependenct Theory and the Question of Authenticity”, Third World Quarterly 19 (5). 

-Haggard, S. and Kaufman, R. (1997) “The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions”, Comparative Politics 29 (3).

-Hall, S. (1980) “Popular Democratic vs. Authoritarian Populism: Two Ways of Taking Democracy Seriously”, in Marxism and Democracy, A. Hunt (ed.)

-Heper, M. (2005) ”The European Union, the Turkish Military and Democracy”, South European Society and Politics. 10(1).

-Huntington, S.P. (1996) ”Democracy’s Third Wave,” in Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner (eds.), The Global Resurgence of Democracy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


- Huntington, S. P. (1991) “How? Processes of Democratization”, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. (Norman:the University of Oklahoma Press.


- Jackman, R. (1987)  “Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies.”American Political Science Review Vol. 81.

-Landman T. (2002) ‘Comparative Politics and Human Rights’, Human Rights Quarterly, 24.

- Lane, R. (1992) “Political Culture: Residual Category or General Theory,” Comparative Political Studies.


-Lijphart, A. (1999) Patterns of Democracy, New Haven: Yale University Press.


- Linz, J.J. (1996) “The Perils of  Presidentialism,” in Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner.(eds.), The Global Resurgence of Democracy Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 


-Linz J. and Stepan, A.(1997)“Toward Consolidated Democracies,” in Larry Diamond et, al (eds.), Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.


-Levitsky, S. and Way, L.A. (2005) “International Linkage and Democratization”, Journal of Democracy, 16(3).


- Lipset S.M. and Rokkan, S. (1990) “Cleavage Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments,” in Peter Mair (ed.), The West European Party Systems (Oxford: Oxford University Press.


- - Lipset S.M. and Rokkan. S.(1967) “Cleavage Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments: An Introduction.” In Seymour Martin Lipset and Stein Rokkan, eds. Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives. New York: The Free Press. 


-   -Macridis, R.C. and Hulliung, M.L. (1996) Contemporary Political IdeologiesMovements and Regimes, Boston, Toronto, Little Brown and Co. 


-Mainwaring, S. (1998) “Party Systems in the Third Wave,” Journal of Democracy .


-McFaul M. (2005) “Transitions from Post-Communism”, Journal of Democracy, 16 (3).


-Moore, B. (1996) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Boston, Beacon Press.


-O’Donnell, G.”Illusions About Consolidation,” in Diamond (eds.), Consolidating the Third World Democracies. 


-Özbudun, E. (1996) “Turkey: How Far From Consolidation?” Journal of Democracy, 7 (3).


-Özbudun, E. and Genckaya, Ö.F. (2009) “CH 4: Harmonization Packages and Other Legislative Reforms”. Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey.


-Özbudun, E. and Genckaya, Ö.F. (2009) “CH 5: EU Conditionality and Democratization Process in Turkey”. Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey.


Potter, D. (1997)“Explaining Democratization” in Democratization, D. Potter et al. (eds.), Polity.


- Powell, G. B. Jr. (2004) Political Representation in Comparative Politics. Annual Review of Political Science. 7.


- Powell, G.B. (2000) Elections as Instruments of Democracy, New Haven: Yale University Press. 


- Pridham, G. (2005) “EU Accession and Democratization In Central and Eastern Europe: Lessons from the Enlargement of 2004‟ in Quirico, Roberto Di ed. Europeanization and Democratization: Institutional Adaptation, Conditionality and Democratization in European Union’ s Neighbour Countries. Florence, European Press Academic Publishing.


- Putnam, R. (1993) Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton: Princeton University Press.


-Roskin, M. (2004) Countries and ConceptsPoliticsGeographyCulture, New Jersey, Prentice Hall.


-Rustow, D.A. (1970) “Transitions to Democracy: A Dynamic Model,” Comparative Politics.


-Sartori, G. (1990) “A Typology of Party Systems,” in Mair (ed.), The West European Party Systems, Oxford University Press.


- Schmitter P.C. and Karl, T.L.(1996) “What Democracy Is…and Is Not,” in Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner (eds.), The Global Resurgence of Democracy, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 


-Shugart, M. (1995) “Parliaments Over Presidents?” Journal of Democracy 6:2 (April).


·       -Schumpeter, J.(2008) CapitalismSocialism and Democracy, Harper Perennial Modern Classics.


- SobergShugart M. And Carey, J.M. (1992) Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Designs and Electoral Dynamics New York: CambridgeUniversity Press.


- Stepan, A. and Linz, J. (1996) “Democracy and Its Arenas” in Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America and Post-Communist Europe Baltimore: the John Hopkins University Press.


-Topal A. (2010) “Transition to Neoliberalism and Decentralization Policies in Mexico” in Economic Transitions to Neoliberalism in Middle-Income Countries: Policy Dilemmas, Economic Crises, Forms of Resistance, A. Saad-Filho and G.L. Yalman (eds.) Routledge.


-Yalman, G. (1985) “Popülizm, Bürokratik-Otoriter Devlet ve Türkiye”, Onbirinci Tez, 1.


Material Sharing

Documents Readings on the sources list
Assignments Assignments about the topics covered in semester
Exams Midterm and Final



Midterm / Final 1 65
Participation 1 15
Homework 1 20
Total   100
Contribution Of Final Examination To Overall Grade   % 35
Contribution Of In-Term Studies To Overall Grade   % 65
Total   100


Course’s Contribution to Program

No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5  
1 Students will demonstrate their comprehensive knowledge of the basic concepts and theories of Political Science and International Relations as well as other related disciplines such as Law, Economics and Sociology.       X    
2 Students will interpret the structure, institutions and operation of national, international and supranational entities via utilization of the concepts and theories of Political Science and International relations and produce project reports that include possible solutions to problems of such institutions when necessary.        X    
3 Students will demonstrate that they have developed a comparative, analytical and interdisciplinary approach vis-à-vis human societies and political systems.     X      
4 Students will have improved their skills and awareness of personal responsibility and team membership through conducting group or independent research projects, doing internships and producing their graduation dissertations. X          
5 Students will demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and qualitative data collections methods. X          
6 Students will prove their understanding of the rapidly-evolving dynamics of national and global environments requires  constant self-assessment, life-long learning, and the ability to formulate innovative solutions to maintain their personal and professional development.   X        
7 Students should be able to critically evaluate the body of knowledge in political science, assess self-competency and direct self-learning efforts accordingly.     X      
8 Students will implement written and oral communication skills in English and Turkish in both academic and professional settings.        X    
9 Students should be able to effectively demonstrate their knowledge of written, oral and reading skills in English both in international institutional settings and follow and interpret the global dynamics of the International Relations discipline.       X    
10 Students will demonstrate their social skills and experience required by public or private institutions or in the academia.    X        
11 Students will show empathy and respect towards societies other than one’s own.     X      
12 Students should be able to effectively utilize computer and information technologies commonly-used in the social sciences. X          
13 Students will interpret domestic and international developments and express opinions, having acquired advanced knowledge and proficiency in the via communication with international scholars and students.     X      
14 Students will respect personal, social and academic ethical norms.     X      
15 Students should understand the personal, social, and ecological dimensions of social responsibility, and show duties of active and global citizenship.   X        
16 Students should know that universality of social-political and legal rights and social justice are the principle components of contemporary society, and that scientific thinking is an essential prerequisite for maintaining social advancement and global competitiveness.     X      



Activities Quantity Duration
Course Duration (Including the exam week: 16x Total course hours) 15 3 45
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice) 12 4 48
Mid-terms 1 10 10
Homework 1 10 10
Final examination 1 10 10
Total Work Load     123
Total Work Load / 25 (h)     4.92
ECTS Credit of the Course     5