Undergraduates often struggle with theoretical perspectives in political science. Often students can get a better handle on theories if they are able to relate them to something tangible in their experience. Lichbach and Zuckerman lay out cultural, rational actor, and structural perspectives as a way to think more systematically about comparative politics but often students struggle with these meta-theories and the different ways they encourage us to think theoretically about comparative politics. In this paper, we discuss a set of exercises that enable students to get a better handle on cultural, rational actor, and structural perspectives on comparative politics by making them “lab rats in their own experiments.” We group these exercises together and treat them as a Comparative Politics Game Show. In this paper, we describe the different exercises and how they were used and our view of the utility of this approach for teaching comparative politics theory.
Asal, Victor, Steve S. Sin, Nolan P. Fahrenkopf, and Xiaoye She. “The Comparative Politics Game Show: Using Games to Teach Comparative Politics Theories.” International Studies Perspectives (April 2013): 1-12.