Chair of Comparative Politics

Welcome to the Chair of Comparative Politics of the University of Zurich.


Research in comparative politics

Our research is cross-national and empirical with a focus on Europe (both Western and Central-Eastern Europe) and North America, and more generally on the large democracies world-wide: Brazil, India, Japan, South Africa, Turkey. We also have research projects that include Latin America, Asia and Africa. A distinctive aspect of our research activity is the long-term perspective that includes developments since the early-19th century.

We analyze processes of state formation, nation-building and democratization. We conduct research on electoral systems, electoral behaviour, political parties and ideologies, and national identities. Among the doctoral dissertations that are written at the chair there are projects on the welfare state, European parties and EU party federations, new state institutions, ethnic and migration politics, social capital and language structures, and the values of regional and national members of parliament in Europe. A number of research projects are funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. But we also have consultancy collaborations with international organizations such as the World Health Organization.

Teaching comparative politics

We are responsible for a large number of courses and seminars, in particular with the basic and compulsory courses and accompanying tutorials in comparative politics at the bachelor level. At the bachelor and master level we are also in charge with the research seminars which lead to the writing of dissertations. In addition, we offer a number of more specialized seminars.

Our teaching activity is supported by one main textbook:

Caramani, Daniele (ed.)(2014). Comparative Politics, third edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.