Comparative Political Research

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Comparative Political Research

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Political Science

  • 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

     This course presents an overview of the field of Comparative Political Research.

    Learning outcomes:
    Knowledge and understanding – The student has acquired knowledge and understanding of:
    (1) the central debates within Comparative Political Research.

    Application – The student has acquired the competences to:
    (2) understand the features and trade-offs of applications of different strands of comparative research (both qualitative and quantitative).

    Making judgements - The student is able to:
    (3) evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the main types of comparative research and how they may complement each other.

    Communication. The student has acquired the skills to:
    (4) write a research design for a comparative case study which is theoretically relevant and methodologically sound (and feasible). The design is based on deliberate choices on key methodological issues such as internal and external validity, conceptualization, measurement and case-selection.

    In this course students will contrast approaches to doing Comparative Political Research and make a design for a comparative case study themselves. These tasks will help students to gain the basic skills necessary for performing comparative research and to set up a research design.

    The course will be taught in the form of lectures and tutorials. The tutorials provide students with the opportunity to discuss their preliminary answers to the assignments. The more students prepare and participate in the tutorials, the more feedback they receive in return.

    Written assignments (85%). The course requires active participation which includes attendance (1%), meeting deadlines (1%), presentations (3%) and peer reviews (10%). Each week one lecture and one tutorial (and/or feedback by appointment).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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