Political institutions are the decision norms and organizations that govern political life. Academic and policy interest in such institutions is flourishing as previously authoritarian states seek to craft democratic constitutions, while established and new democracies contend with non-democratic, illiberal, or populist challenges to their political systems. This course introduces students to major political institutions and the debates about their relative merits. Readings, assignments, case studies, and class discussions and presentations will explore institutional structures and choices in contemporary polities, including parliamentary and presidential systems; federal and unitary arrangements; plurality and proportionality electoral designs; formal and informal political institutions; the nature of “hybrid” political systems; and problems of institutional design in transitional political or constitutional contexts.
After completing this course, students will be familiar with:
1. Varieties of constitutional designs and political institutions across countries of the globe;
2. Scholarly and policy debates about alternative strategies or options for institutionally designing and redesigning political systems;
3. Opportunities and challenges of political innovations and institutional reforms in contemporary political systems;
4. Approaches for independently evaluating the relative merits of alternative constitutional or institutional designs.
Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
T/F 8:30AM - 10:20AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
Categories: Fully In-Person , All courses , Politics
Tags: reading and writing , theory , design , institutions , politics