Reader for Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics


This Reader for Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics consists of CC-licensed, peer-reviewed journal articles. Below is the General Description, Content, and Objectives based on the C-ID Course Descriptor POLS 130 – Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics.

Curator(s) of Resource

  • Josh Franco, Ph.D.

General Description

Comparative analysis of different kinds of political systems, including their history, political institutions, processes and policies, the environments in which they occur, and their consequences.

  • “The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency.” n.d. Accessed November 21, 2020.
  • Lührmann, Anna, Kyle L. Marquardt, and Valeriya Mechkova. 2020. “Constraining Governments: New Indices of Vertical, Horizontal, and Diagonal Accountability.” The American Political Science Review 114 (3): 811–20.


  1. Introduce different regime types and their resulting institutions in political systems.
    1. Defining Terms
      1. Regime
      2. Institutions
      3. Political systems
    2. “Field Listing :: Government Type — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency.” n.d. Accessed November 21, 2020.
  2. Discuss theory regarding the stability of regimes and transitions from one regime type to another.
    1. Defining Terms
      1. Regime
      2. Stability
      3. Transition
    2. Gerschewski, Johannes. n.d. “Explanations of Institutional Change: Reflecting on a ‘Missing Diagonal.’” The American Political Science Review, 1–16. Accessed November 21, 2020.
    3. Iraq: Mikulaschek, Christoph, Saurabh Pant, and Beza Tesfaye. 2020. “Winning Hearts and Minds in Civil Wars: Governance, Leadership Change, and Support for Violent Groups in Iraq.” American Journal of Political Science 64 (4): 773–90.
  3. Include actual country examples of each regime type in terms of institutions, processes, political culture, historical/cultural context, and role of the people.
    1. Defining Terms
      1. Regime
      2. Institutions
      3. Processes
      4. Political culture
      5. Historical context
      6. Cultural context
      7. Role of the People
    2. “One Page Summaries — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency.” n.d. Accessed November 21, 2020.
    3. Bangladesh: Sheikh, Md Ziaul Haque, and Zahid Shahab Ahmed. 2020. “Military, Authoritarianism and Islam: A Comparative Analysis of Bangladesh and Pakistan.” Politics and Religion 13 (2): 333–60.
    4. Greece: Hangartner, Dominik, Elias Dinas, Moritz Marbach, Konstantinos Matakos, and Dimitrios Xefteris. 2019. “Does Exposure to the Refugee Crisis Make Natives More Hostile?” The American Political Science Review 113 (2): 442–55.
    5. India: Jassal, Nirvikar. 2020. “Gender, Law Enforcement, and Access to Justice: Evidence from All-Women Police Stations in India.” The American Political Science Review 114 (4): 1035–54.
    6. Kyrgyzstan: Hager, Anselm, Krzysztof Krakowski, and Max Schaub. 2019. “Ethnic Riots and Prosocial Behavior: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan.” The American Political Science Review 113 (4): 1029–44.
    7. Romania: Flesken, Anaïd. 2018. “Ethnic Parties, Ethnic Tensions? Results of an Original Election Panel Study.” American Journal of Political Science 62 (4): 967–81.
    8. Switzerland: Hainmueller, Jens, and Dominik Hangartner. 2019. “Does Direct Democracy Hurt Immigrant Minorities? Evidence from Naturalization Decisions in Switzerland.” American Journal of Political Science 63 (3): 530–47.
  4. Discuss the role of the state and popular participation in political and economic development within countries.
    1. Defining Terms
      1. The State
      2. Popular participation
      3. Political development
      4. Economic development
      5. Within country
    2. Denmark: Bhatti, Yosef, Jens Olav Dahlgaard, Jonas Hedegaard Hansen, and Kasper M. Hansen. 2019. “Is Door-to-Door Canvassing Effective in Europe? Evidence from a Meta-Study across Six European Countries.” British Journal of Political Science 49 (1): 279–90.
    3. Kenya: Andrew Harris, J., and Daniel N. Posner. 2019. “(Under What Conditions) Do Politicians Reward Their Supporters? Evidence from Kenya’s Constituencies Development Fund.” The American Political Science Review 113 (1): 123–39.
    4. Mali: Gottlieb, Jessica, and Katrina Kosec. 2019. “The Countervailing Effects of Competition on Public Goods Provision: When Bargaining Inefficiencies Lead to Bad Outcomes.” The American Political Science Review 113 (1): 88–107.
    5. Russia: Dollbaum, Jan Matti. n.d. “When Does Diffusing Protest Lead to Local Organization Building? Evidence from a Comparative Subnational Study of Russia’s ‘For Fair Elections’ Movement.” Perspectives on Politics, 1–16. Accessed November 21, 2020.
  5. Introduce the use of the comparative method by utilizing diverse historical, regional, cultural, political and economic case studies.
    1. Defining Terms
      1. Comparative methods
      2. Case study
      3. Historical
      4. Regional
      5. Cultural
      6. Political
      7. Economic
    2. Barma, Naazneen H. 2016. The Peacebuilding Puzzle: Political Order in Post-Conflict States. Cambridge University Press.
    3. Blair, Graeme, Jasper Cooper, Alexander Coppock, and Macartan Humphreys. 2019. “Declaring and Diagnosing Research Designs.” The American Political Science Review 113 (3): 838–59.
    4. Mathews, Jud. 2020. “Günter Frankenberg’s Comparative Constitutional Studies: Between Magic and Deceit.” German Law Journal 21 (2): 299–303.
    5. Saiger, Anna-Julia. 2020. “Domestic Courts and the Paris Agreement’s Climate Goals: The Need for a Comparative Approach.” Transnational Environmental Law 9 (1): 37–54.
    6. König, Thomas, Guido Ropers, and Anika Buchmann. 2020. “Comparative Politics and Causal Evaluation of Structural Reforms: The Case of the UK National Minimum Wage Introduction.” Political Science Research and Methods 8 (2): 301–14.
    7. Schleutker, Elina. n.d. “Co-Optation and Repression of Religion in Authoritarian Regimes.” Politics and Religion, 1–32. Accessed November 21, 2020.
    8. Thewissen, Stefan, and Olaf van Vliet. 2019. “Competing With the Dragon: Employment Effects of Chinese Trade Competition in 17 Sectors Across 18 OECD Countries.” Political Science Research and Methods 7 (2): 215–32.
    9. Ecker, Alejandro, Konstantin Glinitzer, and Thomas M. Meyer. 2016. “Corruption Performance Voting and the Electoral Context.” European Political Science Review 8 (3): 333–54.
    10. Mello, Patrick A. 2020. “Paths towards Coalition Defection: Democracies and Withdrawal from the Iraq War.” European Journal of International Security 5 (1): 45–76.


At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Identify the role of the state.
    1. Define the state
    2. Roles of the state
  2. Compare political systems, both in theory and with actual country examples.
    1. Theoretical comparison of political systems
    2. Empirical comparison of political systems
  3. Explain the impact of the regional, economic, historical and cultural factors on political institutions and behavior.
    1. Regional factors
    2. Economic factors
    3. Historical factors
    4. Cultural factors
    5. Political institutions
    6. Political behavior
  4. Analyze political systems by using the comparative method.
  5. Distinguish among regime types and their central features.