POLSCI 387 - Comparative Analysis of Government Institutions
Section: 001
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Two courses in political science or junior standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course addresses the large institutional questions in comparative politics.

This course compares major institutional structures such as presidentialism vs. parliamentarism, unicameralism vs. bicameralism, two vs. multiparty systems, plurality vs. proportional electoral systems etc. The method of analysis is rational choice: We assume that political actors are rational, that each tries to do their best given existing institutional constraints, and the behavior of other actors. We will see that this assumption leads to the conclusion that institutions affect political outcomes in systematic ways. We focus on what political outcomes will be produced by different institutions.

Crs Requirements: Students will be expected to do extensive reading (100+ pages weekly). In addition, each student will “adopt” two countries (one presidential and one parliamentary (selection of one’s own country is not permitted)) and write two 7-10 page reports (in lieu of a midterm and final) comparing the two countries in terms of their institutional features and their consequences.

Intended Audience: Juniors concentrators in Political Science

Class Format: Lecture and class discussion. Grading based on participation (20%) and two papers (40% each).

POLSCI 387 - Comparative Analysis of Government Institutions
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (DIS)
Th 12:00PM - 1:00PM
003 (DIS)
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
004 (DIS)
Th 5:00PM - 6:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780691099897
Veto players how political institutions work, Author: George Tsebelis, Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation [u.a.] 2002
ISBN: 9780300078930
Patterns of democracy : government forms and performance in thirty-six countries, Author: Arend Lijphart, Publisher: Yale Univ. Press 1999
ISBN: 9780521589727
Bicameralism, Author: George Tsebelis, Jeannette Money., Publisher: Cambridge University Press [Repr.] 1997
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for POLSCI 387 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)