Comparative Political Systems

Università di Napoli Federico II

Comparative politics covers a wide variety of topics and themes. The course starts with the definition of the comparative method giving special emphasis to concept formation and historical and institutional approaches. The bulk of the course is devoted to the theory of coalitions and the processes of government formation, functioning, termination. Through several in-depth analyses, the course will throw light on the way democratic regimes are governed. Electoral rules will receive special attention and their impact both on citizens’ behavior and parties and the party system will be thoroughly examined. The types of Parliaments, their structures and their role will be taken into consideration also in order to understand how they affect the formation of governing coalitions. Hence the dynamics and the transformation of those coalitions, with special attention to their more or less frequent rotation in office, will be explored and explained. The assets and the liabilities of the different institutional arrangements will be evaluated. The final part of the course will be devoted to an assessment of the quality of the different democratic regimes and to the proposals for change. The overall picture likely to emerge is that of the existence of several institutional solutions to the challenges and the problems of contemporary democracies.

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Comparative Political Systems
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