AIS2050 - Comparative Politics and Societies

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Asian and International Studies
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
Course Offering Term*:
Not offering in current academic year

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

The course introduces students to the comparative study of politics and societies worldwide. While it is typical for introductory courses in comparative politics to follow a descriptive, country-by-country approach—focusing on the differences and similarities between the legal/constitutional structures found in different societies—this course takes a more thematic approach, exploring some of the major explanatory questions that form the subject of real-world, comparative research in the social sciences. What accounts for the failure of state- and/or nation-building processes? Why are some countries democratic, while others are still ruled by despotic, authoritarian regimes? How do political institutions develop over time? How do political institutions affect a country’s political life, its stability, and its prosperity? Can certain desirable outcomes be “engineered” through the design of the right institutions? What explains the intensity of the inter-group conflicts that define a country’s politics? How can the rivalry between ethnic and other identity-based groups be kept from spiraling into violence? And how does a country’s politics affect its levels of economic development? These questions—and others like them—will be tackled as part of this course’s wide-ranging introduction to the study of comparative politics and societies.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


Useful Links

Department of Asian and International Studies