2023-2024 / SPOL0966-1

Comparative Politics in a Globalized World


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (Odd years, organized in 2023-2024) 5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE (OUT))5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (in Science, Technology et Societies (STS))5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE (IN)), 1st year5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology)5 crédits 


Julien Pomarède

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Scope of the course:

Comparing means traveling. Traveling across cultures, political systems, intellectual traditions. This course of Comparative politics is conceived as a travel among different socio-political worlds. Comparative politics is certainly one of the most commented and consolidated sub-disciplines of political science. Comparative politics is, also and in essence, transversal, as it touches to a variety of realities covered and studied by political and social sciences, with the aim of comparing them, essentially among the political units of reference, which are the nation-states. Democracy, autoritarism, or political regimes are classical objects of comparative politics, but the sub-discipline has recently paid more attention to other phenomenon such as globalization, wars and gender.

This course is introductory, with the aim of familiarizing the students to the main theories and themes developed in Comparative politics. The objective is not to provide an exhaustive view of the sub-field, but to initiate the students to the scientific and empirically-informed practice of comparison. More importantly, the course explores the logics of inclusion and exclusion structuring our contemporary collective forms of life and how globalization influences these dynamics.

To do so, the sessions rely on a nuanced, but also problematized, trenchant and global approach to themes such as the (non)Western trajectory of the nation-state, democratization, political parties, gendered politics, and racial inequalities and war.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By the end of the course, the students will:

  • have a consolidated understanding of the comparative approach and method in political science
  • be able to use the comparative approach to analyse concrete socio-political dynamics
  • have a strengthened ability to comment and analytically read scientific texts (articles, chapters, etc.)
  • be in possession of a significant knowledge about the classical and new debates in the field of comparative politics

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
The course will be taught entirely in English. Students will be required to read scientific articles, to participate in class and to pass a written exam, all in English. Therefore advanced notions of English are required.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course prioritizes understanding over substance. It means that the objective is not to provide an exhaustive and unilateral panorama of comparative politics issues, but rather to focus on the essentials and take time to listen to the students. Consequently, a significant space will be dedicated during the sessions to the exchange between the teacher and the audience, whether through questions or collective activities.

The course combines ex-cathedra lectures, collective discussion and "revision" sessions. In the ex-cathedra classes, the teacher gives lectures about some of the comparative politics problematics listed in the learning content unit. The students are strongly encouraged to read the texts attached to these lectures, as it will amplify their understanding of the course and facilitate collective exchanges. Collective discussions on the readings during the course are highly welcomed and encouraged. It will consolidate the lecture, and the outcomes of the discussion will add original elements of reflexion.

One "revision" session is organized at the end of the semester. The session is dedicated to the learning needs of the students and consists in collective talks about the previous sessions and the readings.The objective is to optimize the preparation of the students to the final exam. Therefore, in preparation to this session, students are strongly encouraged to think about the potential misunderstandings, knowledge needs, or other types of course-related questions.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

All the sessions will be taught onsite in a classroom setting.

The presence to the sessions is mandatory. To pass the course, students are strongly encouraged to be present.


Recommended or required readings

Status of the readings:

The course is based on mandatory - subject to questions at the final exam in January 2024 - and recommanded readings. The full list of readings is available in the syllabus of the course. The readings provide an in-depth analysis of the issues addressed. They are very useful supports to consolidate your knowledge of comparative politics. By extension, it would be a plus for the exam, which aims to assess the way you master the learning objectives described above (see "Purpose of the course").

To stimulate the use of readings among the students, the texts will also serve as a basis for the lectures.

Mandatory readings:

Charles Tilly. 1985. "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime", in Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Thea Skocpol (eds.), Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 169-187.

Romain Malejacq. 2016. "Warlords, Intervention and State Consolidation: A Typology of Political Orders in Weak and Failed States", Security Studies 25(1): 85-110.


Daniele Caramani. 2017. Comparative politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carles Boix, Susan Stokes (eds.). 2007. The Oxford handbook of comparative politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jeffrey Haynes. 2005. Comparative politics in a globalizing world. Cambridge: Polity.

Rod Hague, Martin Harrop. 2004. Comparative government and politics. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

John Baylis, Steve Smith, Patricia Owens. 2017. The globalisation of world politics: an introduction to international relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

The assessment consists in a final written exam - January 2023.

The exam will be based on the in-class lectures, the readings and the ppt presentations of the course. It will be a closed-book exam.

The exam aims to assess the students' ability to master the main learning outcomes of the course (see "Purpose of the course").

The final exam will be divided in three parts:

- Open questions on the course

- Question(s) on one of the mandatory readings (see the readings section).


Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Tuesdays, 11.00am-01.00 pm

B.31 Marx

In-class sessions


Dr. Julien Pomarède
Assistant Professor in International Politics, Departement of Political Science


Bât. B31 International Politics
Quartier Agora
place des Orateurs 3
4000 Liège 1

Office R.77, level 0
email: julien.pomarede@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Course syllabus
Course syllabus

Readings of the course