Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Why are some countries democratic, but others are not? What is the best institutional framework for multi-ethnic societies? Why are corruption and clientelism rampant in some countries, but not in others? And how do we explain the changing nature of political activism across the globe? This unit answers these and other questions as it introduces students to some key concepts and analytical tools in the field of comparative politics. Using examples from a wide range of countries, it examines how institutions, ideas and social structures affect the nature of political systems and shape processes of socio-political change. Upon completion, students will be equipped with a firm grounding in important analytical skills required for more advanced subjects in political science, international relations and international development.

FacultyFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDirk Tomsa

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Core subject at first-year level for a politics major in Bachelor of Arts (ABA)

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsComparative Government and Politics (9th edition)PrescribedR.Hague and Harrop, MHOUNDMILLS, PALGRAVE MACMILLAN 2013

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2014, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDirk Tomsa

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

Tutorial Week: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments%
Online Activity (equivalent to 800 words)20
Research essay OR Take-home exam (1600 words)40
Short assignment (800 words)20
Tutorial-based activity (equivalent 800 words)20