POLd0106 Comparative Political Institutions

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2021
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 10 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. Marek Rybář, M.A., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Marek Rybář, M.A., Ph.D.
Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Mgr. Lucie Pospíšilová
Supplier department: Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
! POL033 Comparative Institutions && ! NOW ( POL033 Comparative Institutions )
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course focuses on the fundamental political institutions of modern democratic states. Its main aim is to familiarize students with cutting-edge research on the development and the consequences of political institutions and to discuss the fundamental normative and empirical regime-alternatives. We will discuss major theoretical frameworks of comparative government, investigate current institutional reforms, and analyze the ways institutions constrain the behavior of, and distribute sources among, various political players.
Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. compare and evaluate distributional consequences of main political institutions of the democratic state.
2. assess the impact of fundamental normative and empirical regime-alternatives in democratic states.
3. undertake an independent assessment of major theoretical institutional propositions and their revisions in light of empirical data.
  • 1. New Institutionalism
  • 2. Presidentialism vs. Parliamentarism
  • 3. Proportional vs. Majoritarian Vision
  • 4. Direct vs. indirect democracy
  • 5. Parties and party systems
  • 6. Representation and accountability
  • 7. Legislatures
  • 8. Executives
  • 9. State and Interest Groups
  • 10. Institutional Performance
    required literature
  • Democracy transformed? : expanding political opportunities in advanced industrial democracies. Edited by Bruce E. Cain - Russell J. Dalton - Susan E. Scarrow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, xviii, 309. ISBN 97801992911649. info
  • The new institutional politicsperformance and outcomes. Edited by Jan-Erik Lane - Svante O. Ersson. New York: Routledge, 2000, xiv, 329 p. ISBN 0415183219. info
    recommended literature
  • LEVITSKY, Steven and Lucan WAY. Competitive authoritarianism : hybrid regimes after the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, xviii, 517. ISBN 9780521709156. info
  • The SAGE handbook of comparative politics. Edited by Todd Landman - Neil Robinson. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2009, xvi, 563. ISBN 9781412919760. info
  • LIJPHART, Arend. Patterns of democracy : government forms and performance in thirty-six countries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, xiv, 351. ISBN 0300078943. info
Teaching methods
seminars, presentations
Assessment methods
One in-class presentation (15%)
One book review (15%)
Two position papers (10% each)
Final essay (50%)
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: in blocks.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2021, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/fss/spring2021/POLd0106