Leanne C. Powner

Curriculum Vita

Publications, Papers, and Research

Teaching and Course Materials
General and Writing
Intro to Comparative Politics
Intro to World Politics
Political Economy of Developed Democracies

Summer Academic Working Group

External Links



Introduction to Comparative Politics


You are welcome to use any of these documents in your own teaching provided that you agree to the terms of use below. These documents represent an enormous investment of time on my part, and the terms of use simply ask you to respect that. Other resources of interest may be on the World Politics page, the General/Writing page, and the PE of Developed Democracies site.

Duplication of these documents is permitted for classroom use provided that the copyright notice, if present, remains intact, and the documents are not altered in any way other than to correct obvious typographical errors ("angels" rather than "angles") and/or to replace the course title on the document with your own. Duplication for classroom use includes permission to post the documents in electronic form to protected course management sites (such as CTools, WebCT, or Blackboard); for non-protected sites, please simply link students to the original document postings on this site.


Answer keys for any items below can be provided on request; these would most likely be scans of my hard copy keys.

Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective - fill-in outline for the title essay

Military and One-Party Government Systems - Class activity worksheets. I conducted a library raid for books on China, the Soviet Union, and Mexico, and Burma, Brazil, and Nigeria. (We had discussed all these states.) As a class, we brainstormed ideas of characteristics (i.e., potential variables) on which we could compare these systems. Then, groups of students were asked to compare first the one-party systems on several of those characteristics, collecting their data from their course readings and from the books I had provided. We debriefed those, and then they identified additional characteristics in their group and researched them (with less help from me) for the military systems. This was both a review of characteristics/variables on which states and regimes can be compared as well as a review of the substantive material on 6 countries, and also a chance to model, teach or reinforce basic research skills like using the index, how to locate books in the Library of Congress system, etc., which they needed for their research papers.

Arguments and Research Design
- Crossword puzzle to reinforce vocabulary. Correct answers to the clues are on pp 3-4.
- Application exercises

Principal-Agent Problems - page of homework/application problems in comparative politics contexts

Characteristics of Presidential and Parliamentary Systems - Best done as a small group or partner assignment, then come together to discuss the separate elements and complete the bold chart at the bottom.

Party Systems, Electoral Systems, and the Median Voter Theorem - Using a hypothetical Slobovian opinion polls, students predict election outcomes given a range of electoral and party system configurations. Warning: The percentages add up to 101%. I usually make some joke about due to rounding or minor corruption or the like. The reason though is to avoid 50-50 splits, which confused the first group to use the worksheet.

Spatial Models of Coalition Formation - Election results in Scratchistan, where the president must select a party leader to form a parliamentary government. Assumes that students have already been taught how to construct a two-dimensional spatial model and also that they know the placement of basic European party families on the issues of state control of the economy and welfare/redistribution. ("Gostilna" is really the Slovenian word for pub or bar.)



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LPowner@umich.edu. Last updated 14 July 2007.