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Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Chair of Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics

Research in comparative politics

Our research is cross-national and empirical with a global focus: Europe (Western and Central-Eastern Europe) and North America, and more generally OECD countries, the MENA countries and 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 representation, electoral systems, electoral behaviour, political parties and ideologies, attitudes and national identities. Current projects have a focus on globalization, populist protest and technocracy. Among the doctoral dissertations that are written at the chair there are projects on cabinets, the representation of migrants, party identification, populism in politics and communication, voting rights for foreigners, state formation and ethnic conflict in Africa, and clientelism and direct democracy in Latin America. We also have consultancy collaborations with international organizations.

We regularly present our research in the main conferences, aim at publishing it in leading international journals and collaborate worldwide. We also organize workshops and summer schools.

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 of the research seminars which lead to the writing of dissertations. In addition, we offer a number of more specialized seminars on electoral systems, party systems, political culture, state and nation, representation and ideology.

Our teaching activity is supported by one main textbook:
Caramani, Daniele (ed.)(2020). Comparative Politics, fifth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leitung des Bereichs


Post Docs:
Dr. Kiran Rose
Dr. Jelle Koedam
Dr. Hugo Subtil

Mingiy Zhang
Cheryl Vaterlaus

Assoziierte Forschende:
Eri Bertsou


Wahlen, Wahlsysteme, Wählerverhalten, politische Parteien und Cleavage-Systeme, Staatsformation und Nation-Building, Vergleichende Methoden, europäische Integration, Globalisierung, Regionalismus und GIS Kartographie. Seine Forschung umfasst breite Quer- und Längsschnittanalysen, welche auf einer grossen Menge quantitativen Daten beruhen.

Lehre und Betreuung

The Chair of Comparative Politics has a large offering of courses at bachelor, master and PhD level, ranging from broad introductory courses to specialized seminars. The complete course materials are available on OLAT for students only: lecture slides, syllabi, readings, datasets, instructions for exercises, blogs for comments on texts, links to databases and data archives, etc. Below, information is provided on courses, office hours, references and supervision.

Professor Caramani is the Director of the Doctoral Programme "Democracy Studies" and organizes the Swiss Summer School on Democracy. Eri Bertsou is the convenor of the Masters Colloquium.

Courses Fall Semester

Advanced Module in Comparative Politics
Daniele Caramani

Specialization in Comparative Politics: First Part
Kiran Auerbach and Jelle Koedam

Research Seminar: Political Representation in Comparative Perspective: First Part (Master)
Kiran Auerbach and Jelle Koedam

Elective Seminar: Political Culture
Kiran Auerbach

Elective Seminar: Electoral and Party Systems
Mingiy Zhang

Elective Seminar: The Rise and Decline of the West in the Modern World System (Master)
Not offered this semester

Elective Seminar: Left-Right in Global Perspective (Master)
Jelle Koedam

Courses Spring Semester

Systems and Theories
Multi-lectures course

Specialization in Comparative Politics: Second Part
Kiran Auerbach and Jelle Koedam

Research Seminar: Political Representation in Comparative Perspective: Second Part (Master)
Kiran Auerbach and Jelle Koedam

Comparative and European Politics (Master CIS)
Daniele Caramani and Frank Schimmelfennig

Elective Seminar: Nationalism and National Identity
Mingyi Zhang


Students are welcome to request a reference, by writing to and

The following conditions must be fulfilled:

  1. Have attended one of the main courses and passed with a grade of at least 5.0.
  2. Have participated in tutorials, submitted written work in the form of seminar papers, statistical analyses and/or a bachelor dissertation (with grade of 5.0 or more).

No more than three candidates will be recommended for the same programme, scholarship or grant. The criterion is first-come-first-serve assuming the conditions above are fulfilled. Also, the same student will not be recommended for more than three programmes, scholarships or grants.


Supervision for bachelor dissertations are arranged in the third-year Specialization.
For supervision of master dissertations at the Department see the following guidelines (MA-Richtlinien (PDF, 37 KB)). For master dissertations of the MACIS see information at "Master's at CIS"

Supervision for doctoral dissertation must be discussed in person. Please write to



Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Affolternstrasse 56
8050 Zürich
Tel: 044 634 58 35 / 044 634 38 41
Öffnungszeiten Sekretariat: Montag bis Freitag: 09:00 - 12:00 Uhr / 13:30 - 16:30 Uhr



Prof. Dr. Daniele Caramani
Büro AFL-H-344
Termine via E-Mail

Office hours take place during term exclusively, and they are indicated in the syllabus for each course or seminar. Other dates can be arranged. Please email for an appointment.