The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with the aims, rationale, methods, and various cases of comparative studies in the social sciences and in historiography, with a focus on recent criticism of the comparative approach and the innovative “paradigms” proposed to overcome its shortcomings. In order to fully exploit the comparative method's potential, the course employs an interdisciplinary approach that overcomes the rigid division between history and social sciences. Due to unavoidable time and space limitations, the course cannot provide an exhaustive treatment of all fields of macro-social comparative studies; its aim is not to equip students with a full complete set of tools, but rather to stimulate their interest and develop their sensitivity to the comparative method.