This page focuses on the course 17.588 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics as it was taught by Professor Chappell Lawson in Fall 2013.
This course provided an introduction to the field of comparative politics. Readings included both classic and recent materials. Discussions included research design and research methods, in addition to topics such as political culture, social cleavages, the state, and democratic institutions. The emphasis on each issue depended in part on the interests of the students.
Course Goals for Students
This course was a graduate-level seminar in comparative politics. It aimed to provide students with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct research in that subfield and to acquaint students with key works in the field.
- Permission of the instructor
- H-Level Graduate Credit
- 17.588 can be applied toward a Master of Science in Political Science
- 17.588 can be applied toward a PhD in Political Science
- Every fall semester
The course typically has 4 to 12 students per semester.
Breakdown by Major
Most of the students in the course are doctoral students in political science, especially students focused on comparative politics.
How Student Time Was Spent
During an average week in the spring semester, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Met once a week for 2 hours per session; 13 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
- Some classes began with a brief lecture designed to summarize works not covered in the syllabus.
- Most of each class session was devoted to discussion questions. All students were expected to actively participate in these discussions; each student took a role in leading the discussion for one session.
Out of Class
- Readings in preparation for class sessions
- Six response papers (1,200 words)