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The principal aim of this subject is to provide an awareness and advanced critique of the major post-war (WWII) theories, approaches and methodologies in the sub-discipline of political science known as 'comparative politics'. Methods of comparing very different kinds of political unit are considered. The term unit is broadly understood, to include, for instance, political systems, political ideologies and political cultures.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- be familiar with the main developments in the sub-discipline since 1945;
- be able to provide a critical overview of each of the discrete developments identified;
- be capable of deciding which, if any, of the approaches will be of greatest value to them in their own subsequent research or work programs.
- Research: through competent use of the library and other information sources (inc. online), and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research.
- Critical Thinking and Analysis: through recommended reading, briefing and essay writing, and seminar discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
- Thinking in Theoretical Terms: through seminar discussion, essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences.
- Thinking Creatively: through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgements and arguments from conflicting evidence and by critical analysis.
- Understanding of Social, Ethical and Cultural Context: through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
- Communicating Knowledge Intelligibly and Economically: through briefing and essay writing, and seminar discussion.
- Written Communication: through briefing and essay preparation and writing.
- Oral Presentation: through seminar discussion and informal class presentations.
- Time Management and Planning: through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
- Group Work: through group discussions.
Last updated: 18 December 2020