Course Description from the syllabus:
Political institutions are the decision norms and organizations that govern political life. Academic and policy interest in such institutions is flourishing as previously authoritarian states seek to craft their first democratic political institutions or constitutions. This course introduces students to major political institutions and the debates about their relative merits. Readings, assignments, and class discussions and presentations will focus on alternative institutional structures of contemporary polities, including parliamentary and presidential systems; federal and unitary arrangements; plurality and proportionality electoral designs; formal and informal political institutions; the nature of “hybrid” political systems; the challenge of institutional design in democratizing and post-conflict states; and illustrative country cases.