AZA2012 - Comparative politics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Ms Busisiwe Khaba

Unit guides


South Africa

  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The purpose of the unit is to provide comparative analysis of different political regimes/systems, particularly among countries of the Global South. Comparative politics will be used to address such puzzles as varying degrees of democracy, political and social conflict, and wealth, and to inform debates about political reform for countries in transition to democracy. The unit will draw comparisons between countries that help us to understand differences between countries, political institutions and economic development.


Upon successful completion of the unit the student will be able to:

  1. be familiar with important concepts, ideas, and analytical tools used to understand the structures and processes of different types of political systems in the developing world and particularly in Africa;
  2. understand the nature of different regime types;
  3. be knowledgeable on the similarities and differences among various government systems, including parliamentary and presidential systems in different African countries;
  4. compare governments in Africa to the South African government;
  5. identify, describe and analyse different processes of development at all levels of society;
  6. successfully undertake a variety of research and written tasks;
  7. demonstrate improved oral and written communication skills in relation to the analysis and explanation of ideas and the development of an argument.


Within semester assessment: 60%

Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study