10660 Democracies and Dictatorships: Comparative Politics 1

Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Political Science

Prerequisites: none

The course is based on Democracies and Dictatorships: Ideas, Contexts, Regimes, by B. Neuberger (in Hebrew, The Open University, 2004, 2007); Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction, by R. Hague and M. Harrop (2010, in Hebrew translation); and a reader edited by Benyamin Neuberger and Emmanuel Gutmann.

The course provides students with knowledge about basic concepts in political science: politics, government and state, focusing on the differences between three types of regimes: liberal democracy, illiberal democracy and authoritarian (fascist, theocratic and communist). The theoretical perspective of the course is the comparative approach: its aim is to not to deal with a specific regime or state but to analyze and characterize the similarities and differences among political systems in order to understand the actual political processes that prevail, beyond their formal and legal definitions.

The course deals with the major institutions and processes found in every political system: the Legislative branch, the Executive branch, the Judicial branch, elections, political parties, and interest groups. In addition, the course examines concepts such as political culture, political communication, political participation, state-church relations, and state-army relations, in order to understand the internal dynamics of the political systems studied.

1In its previous version, this was a 3-credit course called Democracies and Dictatorships - Ideas, Contexts, Regimes.