POLSCI 658 - Comparative Institutional Analysis
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
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Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The course compares major institutional structures, such as presidentialism vs. parliamentarism, unicameralism vs. bicameralism, federal vs. unitary government, two- vs. multiparty systems, cadre vs. mass parties, plurality vs. proportional electoral systems, etc. The method of analysis is rational choice: we will assume that political actors are rational, and that each one of them tries to do the best possible given existing institutional constraints, and the behavior of other actors. We will see that this assumption leads to the conclusion that institutions affect political outcomes in systematic ways. We will focus on what political outcomes will be produced by different institutions.

Course Requirements:

The reading load is expected to be around 200 pp/week. Additional requirements are weekly reports with suggestions of three discussion points and one (or two for the whole semester) 1 page report(s) (with 10 points of suggested class discussion one day ahead). Finally, you can select either of two options: 1. A term paper on any question relevant to the course (with consent of instructors), for example empirical research covering one policy area in at least three different countries. 2. A literature review of a topic covered in the course (if no such review is readily available).

Intended Audience:

Graduate Students in Political Science

Class Format:



POLSCI 658 - Comparative Institutional Analysis
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Th 10:00AM - 12:00PM

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