Department of Political Science

PSC 503 Formal Modeling in Comparative Politics

Political Science Field: Comparative Politics, Positive Theory
Typically offered rarely

Avidit Acharya
Spring 2013 — W 9:00-12:00

Course Syllabus

Comparative politics is concerned with a variety of questions. For example: What are the consequences of different political institutions on various outcomes? What are the causes and motivations for mass political movements, and what is the mechanism by which they are organized? What are the political causes of underdevelopment? How are identities created, and what role do they play in politics? Why are redistribution and the size of government greater in some countries than others? And many other questions can be addressed using formal models. This course is designed to provide students with the skills to develop their own models for answering these and related questions. We will begin with a brief review of established modeling techniques. Then, we will study particular models that have been developed by the previous literature in comparative political economy. We will conclude by discussing new modeling techniques and their relevance for comparative politics.