Comparative Politics OpenCourseWare: A Free Bachelor Level Introductory Course on Comparative Politics by MIT

Published Jan 30, 2009

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Political systems across the globe are explored in 'Introduction to Comparative Politics,' an OpenCourseWare project from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This free online course is particularly applicable for students interested in or currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, although students simply wanting a better understanding of world government may also benefit from these introductory materials.

Introduction to Comparative Politics: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes Yes

Introduction to Comparative Politics: Course Description

This course applies a theoretical approach to the study of global politics. Professor Chappell Lawson taught 'Introduction to Comparative Politics' on the MIT campus, paying special attention to the subjects of democracy and economic development. Professor Lawson provides OpenCourseWare students with downloadable lecture notes from the Fall 2006 section of this course. Lectures incorporate empirical evidence from case studies of the U.S., Germany, Italy, Iraq and other countries. Students compare the American political system with the systems of other major countries, seeking to understand why some countries choose and maintain democracies and others do not. The course also examines the effects of democracy on economic progress and political conflict. The ultimate goal of this self-study course is to provide students with a basis for understanding major global political events, in the context of theoretical evaluation. 'Introduction to Comparative Politics' is part of the curriculum of MIT's Political Science department.

This free online course includes lecture notes, essay topics for assignments and exams, a reading list and study questions. To learn more about world politics, visit the comparative politics course page.

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