How We Vote: Elections and Electoral Systems

This course presents a comparative analysis of general election rules and their political consequences. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts, methods and theories used in the analysis of democratic electoral systems. The emphasis is on general classifications, typological mappings, model-derived explanations and the differences that affect the functioning and behavior of parties and their representatives derived from the differences in electoral systems used across countries. Attention will also be devoted to elections within parties, as opposed to those between parties, which means the candidate selection methods used by various political parties and their ramifications. 

Democratic Legislatures: The Knesset in Comparative Perspective

This course examines and compares democratic legislatures, with a particular focus on the Israeli legislature, the Knesset. The course presents students with the basic concepts, models and theories needed in order to understand the organization and functioning of democratic legislatures, and provides them with the methodological tools required to conduct legislative research.
Several of the course’s meetings will take place in the Knesset. The aim of these meetings is to provide the students an in-depth acquaintance with the Israeli legislature: its legislative process, uncovering its influential players, committee work, legislative oversight of the executive branch, the work of parliamentary party groups, and the influence of the media.

Comparative Politics and Israeli Politics

This course examines Israeli politics in comparison to other democracies, on a theoretical and conceptual level as well as at a practical level. The course focuses on three main axes: 1) a review of the relevant academic literature of the main factors in comparative politics in general and in Israeli politics in particular; 2) a comparative analysis of the institutional arrangements adopted in Israel in comparison to other countries; 3) the presentation and discussion of the most recent research on Israeli politics in academia, at research institutes and in the political arena aimed at advancing proposals for political reform and assessing them comparatively.