Why do states wield violence against its citizens? Does the expansion of state power always threaten individual freedom? When do ordinary people create social change peacefully, and when do they go to war? Is democratization an inevitable force in our world? Is there a trade-off between economic growth and economic equality? These are the types of puzzles we will be exploring through various theoretical and methodological lenses. We will compare variations in political behaviors, processes, and structures at work in different countries around the world. Each week, we focus on a different topic in comparative politics, then dig deeper into a few country cases related to that topic using the assigned readings and in-class discussions and activities. We begin with states, regimes, and ideologies; move on to social movements and political violence; then end with debates on development and globalization.