Course name: Political Institutions

Number of credits: 6 (ECTS)

Participation Prerequisites: Political Institutions course is a continuation of the Introduction to Political Science course.

The goal of the course is to further develop students' knowledge of world politics and skills in working with that knowledge in order to assist them in decision-making in social and political life, thereby better positioning them to be more active members of civic and public life in the long term.

Expected Outcomes: following the course students should:
– be prepared to discuss lucidly basic theories of studying political institutions;
– have a general understanding of the structure and role political institutions play in society;
– be able to compare and contrast political institutions in European countries.

The course syllabus includes the following topics:
1. What are political institutions?
   a) Exploring types and forms of political institutions – an overview
   b) The context for the understanding and study of “new institutionalism”
2. Approaches to studying political institutions
   a) Rational choice
   b) Historical
   c) Network
   d) Constructivist
3. Political institutions by type
   a) The state
   b) Civil society
   c) Civil society in Belarus – guest lecture
   d) Economic
   e) Constitutions
   f) Electoral
   g) Executive
   h) Legislative
   i) Judicial
   j) Political parties

Language of Instruction: English

Course Methodology:
Students will be evaluated on four criteria:
– Lecture attendance (20% of the overall total)
– Individual and group work during seminars (30% of the overall total)
– Essays: Topics will be chosen and distributed to students as mid-year and final papers. Essays must be no less than 1000 words and no more than 1500 words and must adhere to academic standards and norms for overall quality, citations, etc. (30% of the overall total)
– Exam: Students will be required to address two questions in English in written form (20% of the overall grade)

Status: This course is obligatory for students of the Bachelor programme World Politics and Economy Studies