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Comparative Politics

With its broad geographic scope, comparative politics covers a wide range of research questions: Why are some countries democratic and others not? What explains the differences in social policy between countries and over time? How do political institutions shape economic development? Under what conditions do ethnic identities become politically relevant and how does their politicization affect political results? Why does political violence occur and what are its effects? How do citizens learn and understand the actions of political elites? A hallmark of comparative research addressing such questions at Columbia is its methodological diversity, with students and scholars incorporating case studies, statistics, formal modeling, field experiments, ethnography, and historical analysis into their research.

The comparativists of Colombia also often draw on their in-depth expertise in certain regions - including Africa, East Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East - to answer questions that are important for these regions and also for political science research in general. The comparative section at Columbia is well integrated with other sections, with frequent intellectual debates with scholars of American politics and international relations.

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Affiliated faculty

Photo by Lisa Anderson Photo by Lisa AndersonEmeritus faculty

Lisa Anderson

James T. Shotwell Professor Emeritus of International Relations; Emeritus Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs; Special lecturer for international affairs and public affairs

Research interest

Comparative Politics

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