POLSCI 387 - Comparative Analysis of Government Institutions
Fall 2016, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
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Requirements & Distribution:
SS, QR/2
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
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.

Course 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 majors 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)
 In Person
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM

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