Skip navigation

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

Dr. Hanson's class conducts research at the State Republican Assembly


Comparative Politics

Many factors shape a country's political life, from cultural and religious values to economic processes and formal political institutions.

Comparative politics asks questions such as:

  • How does the organization of formal political institutions (legislatures, executives, courts, electoral systems) influence the exercise of political power and policy outcomes?
  • What is required for a nation to become democratic?
  • How do cultural values influence political life in different countries?
  • What are the best ways to organize political institutions to achieve justice?
  • What determines whether neighboring countries will live in peace or wage war?

Comparative (or international) politics examines the possibilities and constraints of social structures, institutions, ideologies, and culture within and across societies. It also looks at the interplay of economic and political forces in the world arena, including concepts such as globalization, international cooperation, democratization and forms of government such as totalitarianism.

Frequently offered courses include:

  • Anarchy or Order? World Politics
  • Citizenship
  • Democratization
  • Globalization and its Discontents
  • Comparative Courts
  • Global Political Economy
  • Politics of China
  • Politics of Japan
  • East Asia in World Politics