Political Theory and Comparative Political Systems
Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao
Area of Study
International Politics, Political Science
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
This course contributes to the consolidation of the students' academic-professional profile by helping them to acquire a significant knowledege of the relevant concepts of political theory and the basic dimension of the political system in comparative perspective. The knowledge of the functioning of the political system, and of its elements, is crucial to understand the State in an international context.
*OVERVIEW: ROADMAP OF THE COURSE
1.- POLITICAL THEORY AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS
*KEY CONCEPTS OF POLITICAL THEORY: POWER, AUTHORITY, LEGITIMACY, POLITICAL SYSTEM
*MAIN PARADIGMS OF POLITICAL THEORY: FUNCTIONALISM, STRUCTURALISM, CONSTRUCTIVISM,
NORMATIVE THEORIES, CRITICAL THEORIES
*THE CONCEPT OF POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND ITS ELEMENTS
*WHAT IS COMPARATIVE POLITICS? TWO WAYS TO UNDERSTAND COMPARATIVE POLITICS
2.- STATES AND REGIMES
*THE CONCEPT OF NATION STATE
*THE CONCEPT OF REGIME: VARIETIES OF NON-DEMOCRACIES, AUTHORITARIANISM, TOTALITARIANISM,
*THE CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY: VARIETIES, CHARACTERISTICS, CONSOLIDATION.
*ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND DEMOCRATIZATION
3.- INSTITUTIONS AND RELATIONS BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE AND THE LEGISLATIVE
*FORMS OF STATE
*FORMS OF GOVERNMENT: PRESIDENTIALISM, PARLIAMENTARISM AND OTHER FORMULAS
*FEDERALISM AND DECENTRALIZATION
*EXECUTIVES & BUREAUCRACIES
*THE CONCEPT OF POLITICAL PARTIES & PARTY SYSTEMS
*TYPOLOGIES OF POLITICAL PARTIES: REGIONAL AND TIME VARIATIONS
*THE CLEAVAGE THEORY AND HISTORICAL TRAJECTORIES: EUROPEAN POLITICAL PARTIES
*SOME KEY ELEMENTS ON PARTY SYSTEMS: CLASSIFICATION, PARTY FAMILIES
*INTEREST GROUPS & SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
5.- ELECTORAL SYSTEMS
*CONCEPTS AND CONSTITUTIVE ELEMENTS OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS: REPRESENTATION, DISTRICT
MAGNITUDE, ELECTORAL FORMULA, VOTE STRUCTURE ETC.
*TYPES OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS: PROPORTIONAL, MAJORITARIAN, MIXED
*EFFECTS OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS ON PARTIES AND PARTY
The methodology will be based on:
1 Presentation of different topics described on in the program
2 Practical exercises, discussions proposed by the professor
3 Individual assignments meant for the student to apply and to deepen in and apply the theoretical contents studied in class
4 Individual study
5 Tentative talks by a professional
The assessment will be based on an exam, individual assignments and a small group case study.
The exam will be given 6 points of the total grade
Individual assignments will be given 2,5 points of the total grade
Group essay and presentation will be given 1,5 of the total grade
The grade will be calculated by computing the weighted average of the exam, assignments and group essay. It will be required at least a 5 in the exam to compute the total score of the course
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
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.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.