Comparative Politics

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Comparative Politics

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study

    History, Political Science, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    ▪ Students will be able to identify and relate the theoretical definitions of democracy (VoD) to the various ways scholars have attempted to measure this concept.

    ▪ Students will be able to identify and discuss the varieties of capitalism (VoC) literature and demonstrate which indicators scholars have used to distinguish between these varieties.

    ▪ Develops knowledge about which indicators can be used to compare contemporary political and economic systems in terms of their outputs for human development and capacity building.



    By the end of the semester students will be able to:

    • Identify the key differences between democratic, transitional, and non-democratic political systems in the world;

    • Differentiate and provide examples of different types of non-democratic regimes;

    • Differentiate and provide examples of policy differences that characterize different types of democratic and capitalist systems;

    • Explain the capabilities approach to development;

    • Know the difference between a concept and a measure;

    • Explain how governments are formed/ended in parliamentary democracies and how that compares to a US-style presidential system or a French-style semi-presidential system; 


    Course Content:

    1. Intro to the Course and Key Concepts

    2. How to Compare States & Judge the “Good” Society

    3. Political Institutions & the Good Society

    4. States & Markets: Types of Political Economies  

    5. Varieties of Authoritarianism

    6. Party Systems in Rich Democracies (Sweden, the USA, and Germany)

    7. Comparative Feminisms & Fast-Track Debates to Parity in Representation

    8. Regimes in LDCs: Focus on S. Korea, Nigeria, Chile & Brazil

    9. Communism, Post-Communism, and the Authoritarian Capitalist State 

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.