17.588 | Fall 2013 | Graduate

Field Seminar in Comparative Politics

Instructor Insights

Course Overview

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 Outcomes

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.

Curriculum Information


  • Permission of the instructor

Requirements Satisfied


  • Every fall semester

Student Information


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

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2013
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Instructor Insights