Teaching 2016-17‎ > ‎

Gov 1109 Comparative Constitutional Design

This course in Harvard's Government Department is designed for undergraduates. It compares: 
  1. The principles, processes, and goals of constitutional design; 
  2. The mechanisms of institutional design including the basic type of electoral system and issues of electoral management, the design of parliamentary and presidential executives, the decentralization of power in unitary or federal states, and innovative mechanisms designed to strengthen transparency, accountability, direct participation, and deliberation; 
  3. The consequences of institutional design, including for prosperity, welfare, peace and democracy. 
Materials utilize large-scale global comparisons, as well as selected historical case studies of processes of constitutional adoption and institutional change in specific countries. The course compares institutions within established democracies, as well as in third wave democracies and in divided societies emerging from conflict. Role playing exercises will also be included. 

Assessment is through two academic essays, one memo, and a final examination. There are no prerequisites for taking the class.

The syllabus for spring 2012 is available here: Note that this class has moved to Sever 111 from week 3.

All details about the class are available at the Harvard FAS teaching websites: http://isites.harvard.edu/k83760