What is democracy? What factors explain the demise of some authoritarian regimes? How can we explain the persistent underdevelopment of certain countries? What factors explain why civil war emerges in some weak states but not in others? These are the kinds of questions that Comparative Politics seeks to answer and this class will introduce central topics and theories in comparative politics. It will also analyze variations in similarities across regions of the world using in-depth analysis and systematic comparison across and within countries. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Diversity and Cultural Awareness (DCA).