Sakharova Prospekt, Moscow (Summer 2019)


Week 1


Introduction to Comparative Politics

What is the value of comparison?

What is political order?

  • David Collier. 1993. “The Comparative Method,” in Ada Winfter, ed. Political Science: The State of the Discipline II, pp. 105-119.

  • Robert Bates. 2009. “From Case Studies to Social Science: A Strategy for Political Research” in Carles Boix and Susan C. Stokes, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. Oxford University Press.

For more on the country cases (China, Hungary, India, Mexico, and Nigeria):

CIA World Factbook: Introduction, Geography, People and Society, Government, and Economy (Overview).

Freedom House: Freedom in the World: Overview and Country Reports.

The Economist Intelligence Unit: Democracy Index and Country Reports.

Video: Democracy Index 2019: A Year of Democratic Setbacks and Popular Protest

Video: 2019: A Year of Major Protests

Week 2


State and Citizens

What is the State?

Does the State solve the problem of political order?

What is the difference between jus soli and jus sanguinis citizenship? Are these useful concepts to understand debates over citizenship in many parts of the world?

  • Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan. Of Commonwealth: Chapter XVII-XVIII (any edition)

  • Max Weber, “Politics as a Vocation” – Selected Pages (“Monopoly of Violence”).

  • Maarten Vink. 2017. “Comparing Citizenship Regimes,” in Ayelet Shachar, Rainer Bauböck, Irene Bloemraad, and Maarten Vink, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship. Oxford University Press.

  • Ornit Shani. 2010. “Conceptions of Citizenship in India and the ‘Muslim Question’.” Modern South Asian Studies. Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 145-173.

India’s Government Wants to Block Some Muslims From Citizenship: Here’s What to Know About a Controversial New Bill – (read here)

Week 3


Political Inequality

What is political inequality?

How is political inequality express itself in Nigeria?

What is the relationship between political inequality and political order?

  • Robert Dahl. 1996. “Equality versus Inequality.” Political Science and Politics. Vol. 29, No.4, pp. 639-48.

  • Sidney Verba. 2003. “Would the Dream of Political Equality Turn out to Be a Nightmare?.” Perspectives on Politics. Vol. 1, No. 4, pp.663-79.

  • Abdul Raufu Mustapha. 2006. “Ethnic Structure, Inequality and Governance of the Public Sector in Nigeria.” United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Introduction, Part 1 and Part II, pp. 1-31.

Nigeria: A Nation Divided (BBC, 2011)

Nigeria: A Nation Divided (Economist, 2014)

Nigeria Election 2019: Mapping a Nation in Nine Charts

Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India by Raghabendra Chattopadhyay and Esther Duflo – Nobel Prize in Economics Winners (2019) – (read here)

Reserving political seats for women increases female electoral participation and responsiveness to women’s policy concerns – (read here)

Week 4


Authoritarianism and Democracy

What are the two political conflicts that characterize authoritarian regimes?

Are all authoritarian regimes the same?

How do political scientists define democracy? What are the weaknesses of this definition?

  • Milan Svolik. 2012. “Chapter 1: The Anatomy of Dictatorship”; “Chapter 2: The World of Authoritarian Politics.” The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. Cambridge University Press.

  • Andrew Nathan. 2003. “China’s Changing of the Guard: Authoritarian Resilience.” Journal of Democracy. Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 6-17.

  • Susan Shirk. 2018. “China in Xi’s ‘New Era’: The Return to Personalistic.” Journal of Democracy. Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 22-36.

  • Philippe Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl. 1991. “What Democracy Is… and Is Not.” Journal of Democracy. Vol 2, No. 3, pp. 75-88.


China’s Imperial President: Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip

China’s New Revolution: The Reign of Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping: The Game Changer of Chinese Elite Politics?

Authoritarian Resilience Revisited: Joseph Fewsmith with Response from Andrew J. Nathan

An Institutional Analysis of Xi Jinping’s Centralization of Power

The Powers of Xi Jinping

How Xi Jinping Made His Power Grab: With Stealth, Speed and Guile

As China’s Troubles Simmer, Xi Reinforces His Political Firewall

Week 5


Income and Economic Inequality

How does the state reinforce or broaden existing income inequality?

When does income inequality become a source of political mobilisation?

  • Joseph Stiglitz. 2012. “Chapter 1: America’s 1 Percent Problem.” The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future." W.W. Norton and Company.

  • Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage. 2017. “Wealth Inequality and Democracy.” Annual Review of Political Science. Vol. 20, pp. 451-68.

  • Claudio Holzner. 2007. “The Poverty of Democracy: Neo-liberal Reforms and Political Participation of the Poor in Mexico.” Latin American Politics and Society. Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 87-122.

  • Rodolfo De la Torre. 2004. “Economic Polarization and Governability in Mexico.” Well-being and Social Policy. Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 1-27.

  • Additional reading: Karl Marx. Excerpts from Part I, Section B of The German Ideology: “Conclusions from the Materialist Conception of History” – (read here).

Experimental evidence from South Africa: “Local Exposure to Inequality Among the Poor Increases Support for Taxing the Rich” by Melissa Sands and Daniel de Kadt (2019) – (read here)