Comparative politics is concerned with a variety of questions. For
example: What are the consequences of different political institutions
on various outcomes? What are the causes and motivations for mass
political movements, and what is the mechanism by which they are
organized? What are the political causes of underdevelopment? How are
identities created, and what role do they play in politics? Why are
redistribution and the size of government greater in some countries
than others? And many other questions can be addressed using formal
models. This course is designed to provide students with the skills to
develop their own models for answering these and related questions.
We will begin with a brief review of established modeling techniques.
Then, we will study particular models that have been developed by
the previous literature in comparative political economy. We will
conclude by discussing new modeling techniques and their relevance for