Comparative Politics

Discipline: Comparative Politics
Instructor: Mayes
Credits: 3

Field Work: Day 1 - Tuesday, 15 March | South Africa Download Syllabus

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts and theories employed in the comparative study of politics and regimes. We will identify, compare, and analyze the core cultures, the central political actors and institutions, and the chief political processes of a small number of states.  The concepts that will be explored include state and nation, regime and government, political institutions and behavior, political culture, democracy and authoritarianism, development, globalization, and violence.  To the extent possible, we will focus on the countries and regions on our voyage.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1 - Tuesday, 15 March

We will meet with experts on the difficult transition and ongoing political challenges of going from apartheid to civil society and democracy in South Africa. We will travel to District Six Museum, which sheds light on the experience of more than 60,000 ethnic minorities forcibly moved from area during apartheid.

Academic Objectives:
1. Understand how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission was run and how the Institute continues to work so that the lessons learned from South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy are continued to be disseminated and advanced.
2. Identify what the continuing political and societal challenges are for South Africa.
3. Explore what the legal, social, political goals are for South Africa in the future.