Workshop in Comparative Policy and Politics


Course Objective

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding - The student has acquired knowledge and
understanding of:
(1) political science research in the area of Comparative European

Application - The student has acquired the competences to:
(2) critically evaluate research in the area of Comparative European

Making judgements – the student demonstrates:
(3) critical theoretical and normative reflection on research results.

Learning skills – The student has acquired:
(4) the skills design theory-guided research projects, alone or in
working groups;
(5) the skills to select and apply the appropriate methods and
techniques of data collection and analysis to carry out research
(6) enhanced academic writing skills to report on research for
(7) the skills to work in small research teams.

Course Content

The workshop will focus on the theme of Political Reform in Rough Times:
Are Compromises Still Possible? In particular, attention will be given
to the question whether developments like polarization and the rise of
populism (including permanent campaigning, incessant media attention and
greater transparency, the use of referenda, etc.) are making agreements
on responsible political compromises more difficult, as some political
scientists have claimed, or not, and how this varies across countries
and policy areas. The course aims to provide students with knowledge of
the institutions in the context of which political deals are forged,
ranging from the constitutional level (polity) to the party system and
electoral system level (politics) onto the substantive domain level
(policy). Explanations of their variations is laced with an in-depth
understanding of the impact of the just-mentioned developments since
2001 (taking the 9/11 attacks as a symbolic starting point) on the
capacitity of political actors to agree on reforms by striking
compromises. In addition, this course aims to enable students develop
their skills of comparative cross-national (particularly European)
political analysis and reform process tracing, and to apply theoretical
concepts and methods of institutional policy analysis to instances of
policy reform and/or even constitutional reform and hence to the
(changing) scope for compromise-making under present conditions. The
main aim of the workshop is to train students β€˜on the spot' by letting
them critically evaluate the research of others (looking at contrasting
examples); to develop a theory-guided research design jointly with
fellow students; and to carry out (part of) that research also in small
groups as well as individually. Students can build upon this in
developing a design for their own Master's Thesis.

Teaching Methods

Tutorial. Students will work in small groups, and report on their work
both orally and in writing.

Method of Assessment

Individual assignments and group work as well as in-class participation.

Entry Requirements

Participation in Selected Issues: European Politics and Policymaking


To be announced (see CANVAS).

Target Audience

Students in the Master Political Science (Track Comparative European
Also open as an elective course for Exchange Students.

General Information

Course Code S_WCPP
Credits 12 EC
Period P4
Course Level 600
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. C.E. de Vries
Examiner prof. dr. C.E. de Vries
Teaching Staff prof. dr. C.E. de Vries

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group