The aim of this course is to link public policies and policy-making processes to (party) politics. The course takes a comparative angle and will look at how party politics in different institutional settings interferes with public-policymaking and how diverging political ideologies influence and shape public policies. During the seminar, we will answer why governments often respond quite differently to essentially similar policy problems and current economic challenges (e.g. unemployment, financial crisis, globalization, immigration, etc.). In addition to familiarize themselves with the academic literature on public policy and party politics, the seminar requires students to examine policy proposals and how they alter along their journey through the legislative process. This is how researchers will learn how political institutions, third party actors (such as interest and lobbying groups) affect public policies. By doing this, students will also get familiar with primary sources such as policy proposals, parliamentary minutes and other sources of information that can be used to analyze public policies.  By the end of the course students will be familiar with the core literature on party politics and public policy and have an understanding of how to analyze and trace public policymaking in empirical research.


The main objective of this course is to develop an advanced understanding of theoretical approaches to the study of public. The concern is to identify and analyse:

1. some scholarly currents and traditions of public policy

2. core concepts in policy analysis

3. enduring theoretical questions and new dynamics

The course provides methodological tools to conduct research in social sciences. The goal of
the course is to familiarize students with methodological alternatives, fallacies and
opportunities and with the fundamental issues of research design. We will be discussing both
quantitative and qualitative approaches, focusing on dilemmas that are common to both of
them. The principal pillars of the course are: theory and concept formation, building
arguments, hypothesis testing, measurement, descriptive and causal inference, case selection,
scope conditions, levels of analysis, longitudinal, comparative and case study research and
field data collection. We will pay considerable attention to the trade-offs concerning various
methodological approaches and to the possibility of their combinations.

Over the last four decades, the world has witnessed the transition of political and economic regimes - from autocracies to democracies and various types of political regimes in between, and from closed to open market economies and back. The current situation provides ground for disparate, and sometimes outright contradictory, diagnoses about the present state of democracy around the globe, its future development, and the interaction between economic and political processes. Clear non-democracies like China show economic growth rates that are overwhelming both in size and duration, while rulers in Russia and elsewhere could profit from a resource boom that has enabled them to devise sophisticated measures to secure their power and turn their political system into hybrid regimes. At the same time, popular uprisings in the Middle East and Northern Africa have brought down long-standing dictators and citizens seek not only social justice and economic growth but also political democracy. Meanwhile, democracy is in crisis even in its heartland in the North-Western hemisphere, not least due to profound economic transformations and changes.

This course is designed to give a broad overview of the literature on the processes of economic and political regime change and their interaction in the early and late 20th and early 21st century. The aim is to provide students with the analytic tools, theories, and concepts that enable them to make better sense of the current economic and political processes in countries around the globe, with a special emphasis on the link between economic and political changes. The list of concepts discussed is comprised of, among others, types of transitions, hybrid regimes, the consolidation, and the qualities of democracy. The topic of this course will be dealt with from a global perspective. We will thus attempt to capture cases and evidence from different world regions.