Department of Comparative Politics

The Department of Comparative Politics was founded in December 1998 asone of the two successors to the Department of Political Science established in 1989 at MGIMO University. It was initially headed by Prof. Andrei Melville,first Dean of the School of Political Science, followed by Prof. A.Volodin in September 1999. From September 2002 to September 2010 Prof. M.Ilyin was in charge. In 2010, Prof. O.Gaman-Golutvina took over as head of the department.

The Department of Comparative Politics offers MGIMO students a broad spectrum of courses on empirical studies of political institutions and processes from local to international levels. Along with comprehensive training in two foreign languages and fundamental “classic” disciplines that lay the solid groundwork of professional skills, there are workshops based on innovative teaching techniques enabling the students to honethe skills of a political scientist.

At a Bachelor’s level, the department offers two programmes in Political Science:

The degree programme in Public Policy is designed to help students acquirethe skills of empirical analysis and objective assessment of political phenomena, as well as produce reliable results and reasonable conclusions. This unique career-changing set of skills stands out from what other similar degree programmes offer in Russia and many other countries.

The degree programme in Conflict Studies was inspired by the recent mushrooming of international and regional conflicts (ethnic, religious, territorial, social, civilizational and cultural) and a growing need for professionals who can predict and resolve them using the tools of classical diplomacy, as well as political and analytical support.

At a Master’s level, the department offers the International Political Consulting programme, which includes courses on the complex planning and management of political and related processes at home and internationally. Graduates will learnto carry out effective strategic and technical support of leadership, political interaction and communications between the government, businesses and civil society in a broader cultural context. Students who pursue a degree in International Political Consulting will have the command of a broad spectrum of political management skills in international political markets, including risk, media and electoral management. They will acquire the strategic and applied skills of integrated political and corporate management, as well as practical analysis, predicting and modelling non-linear political events and outcomes, building strategies of public presentation based on efficient information and communication technologies, and more.

Upon completion of the programme, students will acquire advanced practical skills, which they can refine and apply during various internships during the entirestudy period in the government (including the Russian foreign ministry) and non-governmental organizations.

The list of potential careersfor graduates includes:

  • Political markets: political consultations, lobbying and electoral agencies; PR- and GR-structures; political parties;
  • Federal and regional government bodes: State Duma and Council of Federation, federal ministries and agencies (ranging from the foreign ministry to the ministries of culture, finance, industry and trade etc.), representatives of the President, regional executive and legislative bodies (departments for international relations, information and analysis and public relations);
  • Large corporate businesses (international communications, analytical accompaniment, PR and FR, political marketing and management, political risk assessment and corporate management technology);
  • Think-tanks;
  • Mass media, political and traditional advertising.

An important milestone in the history of the department, and School of Political Science in general, was marked by the publishing of a fundamental book entitled “Categories of Political Science” (with A.Melville as lead author), created by leading researchers and scholars of the Department of Comparative Politics and School of Political Science. Ever since, the book has seen a few updated editions, which wereadaptedaccordingly for educational needs.

In 2015, the department published a book entitled “Comparative Politics” (750 pp.) edited by O.Gaman-Golutvina, which garnered a lot of positive feedback among professionals in the field. It is currently the most comprehensive Russian book on the topic and compares well to similar international books, covering the history, theory and practice of modern comparative politics.Thebookrevealsthe diversity of subjects and instruments of this subdiscipline of political science and focuses on building the practical skills of comparative analysis, and uniquely combines both the institutional and country-based approaches. The theoretical and methodical approaches of comparative politics outlined in its first part are applied to analyzing geographic and civilizational entities of the contemporary world, from large polities to microstates.

The faculty at the department is represented by E.Antyukhova, A.Veretevskaya, A.Zudin, M.Ilyin, I.Kudryashova, E.Meleshkina, A.Migranyan, I.Okunev, E.Ponomareva, I.Silakova, O.Kharitonova, S.Khenkin.