Varieties of Politics: The Comparative Politics of Parties, Institutions and Regimes

School: School of Government
Department of Political Science and International Studies

Modular value: 20 credits
Term long 
Contact Hours: 
3 hours per week

This module will compare political systems across the globe, examining both authoritarian and democratic systems, although focusing more on the latter. In particular the distinction between majoritarian and consensus democracies will be explored. In addition, students will seek to identify and explain variations and similarities in parties and party systems, electoral systems and voting behaviour, constitutions, legislatures, executives.  

On successful completion on the module, students will demonstrate an ability to:

  • Understand the strength and weaknesses of the comparative method
  • Display a familiarity with some of the most widely used theoretical and methodological perspectives in the field of comparative politics and an ability to relate them to the practice of political phenomena in the contemporary world
  • Identify and analyse the differences between political systems, institutional frameworks electoral politics across the globe
  • Apply the frameworks of comparative politics to specific case studies


  • Formative: 1 x in class test
  • Summative: 1 x 4500 word essay