David M. Woodruff


Department of Government
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

p. +44 (0) 20 7955 7282
f. +44 (0) 20 7955 6352









Below are courses I have taught at other institutions, with links to syllabi.

Harvard Government 90gh Classics and Contemporaries in Comparative Politics.

Harvard Social Studies 98gi Political Economy of the Post-Socialist Transition

This tutorial offers a high-level introduction to the political economy issues confronting post-socialist countries in Europe. Although many readings focus on Russia, which is the case the instructor has studied most intensively, there is also some coverage of Poland and the Czech Republic.

MIT 17.588 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics

This course presents a broad introduction to the field of comparative politics through an overview of its intellectual history.

 MIT 21H.467/17.57J Soviet Politics and Society, 1917-1991

Explores political and historical evolution of Soviet state and society from 1917 Revolution to its demise in 1991: (1) creation of a revolutionary regime; (2) causes and nature of the Stalin revolution; (3) post-Stalinist efforts to achieve radical political and social reform; (4) causes of the Soviet collapse. HASS-D.




MIT 17.186 Institutional Economics: Applications to Comparative Political Economy.

"Institutional economics" advances the argument that competitive markets depend on institutions that are deliberately designed and organized, rather than arising from spontaneous, uncoordinated pursuit of profit. This argument nevertheless leaves room for various conceptions of the origins, persistence, and significance of market institutions. The purpose of this course is to give students an introduction to some major alternative ways that social scientists have conceived the institutions underpinning market economies. In particular, it seeks ways to prevent an understanding of the functions of these institutions in promoting apparently voluntary exchange from obscuring the politics of their creation and maintenance. Graduate seminar.

MIT 17.194 Political Economy of the Post-Socialist Transition.

This course examines the political and administrative difficulties accompanying the effort to build market economies in post-socialist countries, focusing on Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Provide sa historical introduction to socialist economic institutions, and discusses the major schools of thought on how they can and/or should be transformed. Examines central processes of privatization, stabilization, enterprise adaptation, and fiscal and administrative development, before concluding by discussing the relationship between democracy and the market-building project.

MIT 17.602/17.603 Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Political Economy

Seeks to put today's radical transformations in the countries of the former Soviet Union (primarily Russia) into a historical context. Begins with review and analysis of main stages of Soviet development, then explores topics relevant both to the system's evolution and the current political scene. Key topics include: state power and bureaucracy; politics and organization of the Soviet economy; role of the Party; causes of the Soviet collapse; conceptions of the post-Soviet transition; politics of economic reform; and center-regional relations. Additional work expected of graduate students.

MIT 17.514 Philosophy of Science and the Methodology of Comparative Politics

Offers tools to analyze the philosophical and methodological issues encountered in designing and conducting dissertation projects in comparative politics. Topics include: nature of the scientific endeavor; differences between natural and social sciences; function of categories in comparative politics; explanation versus understanding as approaches to human behavior; functionalist arguments; rational-choice arguments; arguments from small-N comparisons. A number of empirically-based studies by practicing social scientists employing various methodological and philosophical approaches are considered. Graduate seminar.