Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

comparative politics

PLSC 300: Women and Politics--A Cross-National Perspective
Ms. Megan Sholar
MWF 2:45pm / LSC

This course examines the role of women in international political life.  Our goal is to understand how and why women throughout the world participate in politics.  We will examine a set of inter-related questions:  What strategies have women used to gain political power?  Besides women's participation in the traditional spheres of what is considered politics--women as voters and politicians--are there other, informal ways that women have become "political" actors?  How do different political systems and political cultures influence women's status and power?    How does the presence or absence of women from decision-making power affect public policy and the quality of women's lives?  What barriers continue to exist to women's full political participation and representation, and what (if anything) can be done to overcome these obstacles?  Students will reflect upon similarities and differences amongst women both across societies and within a single society, using the experience of American women as a reference point.

PLSC 300: The Politics of Energy
Professor Gunes Murat Tezcur
TTh 1:00pm / LSC

The struggle for the control of energy sources has been central to international politics since the early 20th century. The politics of energy involve wars, coups, assassinations, the fall of governments, economic crises, environmental disasters and corrupt governance as well as political power, sustainable growth, technological innovation and social welfare. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the politics of energy in the 20th century by discussing the causes, dynamics and implications of the global quest for energy. It offers a historical understanding of the rise of oil politics with a particular focus on the Middle East. Strategic interests based on access to oil, big oil corporations, international cartels, the economics of the oil market, environmental risks, and policies to generate alternative sources of energy are covered at some length. The course also analyzes the politics of other energy sources such as nuclear and water.

PLSC 343: Politics in Latin America
Professor Peter Sanchez
TTh 2:30pm / LSC

This course provides an introduction to the fascinating politics of Latin America. First we will look at the history of Latin America and examine the social forces, historical events and actors that have influenced the region’s politics. Then we will study some of the most important countries in the region – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela. Students will select one of these countries on which to write a research paper on the development status of democracy. Students will also work in groups to produce a Power Point presentation on one of the countries that we will study. By the end of this course, students will have acquired in-depth knowledge of several countries in the region, a general understanding of the key political forces in the region, a detailed understanding of the state of democracy in one country, and enhanced their writing and oral presentation skills.

PLSC 360: Western European Politics
Professor Olga Avdeyeva
TTh 11:30am / LSC

This course offers an overview of politics and governments in several major Western European countries, members of the European Union. The course structure is two-fold: during the first part of the course we will engage in comparative analysis of government structures in different countries. In this analysis, we will aim to balance unique histories with common questions so that we will examine the same institutional and societal issues across boundaries. During the second part of the semester, we will examine the emergence and the development of the European Union. We will investigate how the EU has affected – and has been affected by – the domestic politics of its member states. Raising a variety of important questions, this course will focus on the uniqueness of the EU as an organization and will help students to critically consider its future.

PLSC 368: The Politics of the Middle East
Professor Khalil Marrar
T 4:15pm / LSC

This is a comparative politics course on the Middle East. While examining international relations between Middle Eastern countries, this course focuses especially on their interactions with the West. In this context, the Arab-Israeli conflict receives special emphasis.  This course also examines the impact of globalization on the peoples of the Middle East. 

PLSC 369: Religion and Politics--Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon
Professor Gunes Murat Tezcur
Th 4:15pm / LSC

After being marginalized for most of the 20th century, Shi'i Islam has been transformed into a major political player in the last few decades. This course is specifically designed to explore the configuration of Shi'i politics by adopting a historical-comparative approach. Consequently, the course will be engaged with a series of questions: How has Shi'i Islam formed and evolved differently from Sunni Islam? What are the defining characteristics of Shi'i Islam and how do these characteristics vary over time and across space? What factors have been decisive in the relationship between political authorities and Shi'i communities? Why does Shi'ism remain as a potent force in our times? How does the study of modern Shi'ism inform the discussions of religion and politics?