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Comparative Politics - Fundamentals (Basic modul)

Module POL10500

This Module is offered by Department of Governance.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2016/7

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2020WS 2016/7

Basic Information

POL10500 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
180 h 60 h 6 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The module introduces the fundamentals of comparative analysis of political systems. It focuses on the main concepts, theories and methods of comparative analysis of political systems. Different political system types, and particularly democracies, will be systematically presented and analyzed comparatively in terms of their structures and institutions (polity), actors and processes (politics) and policies and policy content (policies). The content emphasized is thus: the methods of comparison, system theory, comparative political regimes, majority and consensual democracies, parliamentary and presidential democracies, veto players theory, electoral and party systems, political values and attitudes, interest group and social movement influence, and policy analysis in selected policy areas.

Learning Outcome

After participating in the module’s courses, students will be able to: define basic terms, concepts, theories and questions found in comparative political system analysis; to use basic scientific methods of comparative analysis; to identify structural elements of political systems; to understand fundamental operating logics of political systems; and to be able to identify the general conditions and factors determining system dynamics of political communities; and to reconsider criteria to the evaluation of political processes in different contexts.


no info

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

In a lecture format, basic concepts, theories and methods of comparative analysis of political systems will be presented using general examples. In accompanying exercises, these contents will be deepened and extended with the help of specific examples. As part of the course, students have the opportunity to consolidate the material learned with in-depth discussions and comments and to put it into practice themselves with concrete examples.


Course reserve readings, Online-Reader, PowerPoint, Exercises


Detlef Jahn: Einführung in die vergleichende Politikwissenschaft. 2. Auflage. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2013. Hans-Joachim Lauth, Gert Pickel, Susanne Pickel, Vergleich politischer Systeme. Schönigh, Paderborn 2014. Kenneth Newton, Jan van Deth, Foundations of Comparative Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The module exam consists of a 120-minute written exam in which students are expected to recall and remember basic theories, methods and empirical findings of Comparative Analysis of Political Systems without any aids (international students are allowed to use a German dictionary). Both knowledge and transfer questions will be asked, which must be answered with the help of independent formulations. Half of the exam content consists of questions related to the content of the lecture and half of questions related to the content of the exercise.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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