MA Political Science - European Politics & Policy Pathway (Standard Route) / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Understanding Political Change
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
•To outline the contemporary nature of citizens involvement in politics in advanced industrial democracies.
•To identify the key changes in citizens’ political orientations, attitudes and activities over time. This will focus particularly on the decline of more conventional modes of engagement and the growth of newer unconventional forms of participation as well as the rise in populist anti-elite political sentiment.
•To review the key theoretical and empirical literature relevant to explaining and interpreting change in citizen politics in the post WWII era.
•To examine role that longer-term socio-economic and cultural forces play in shaping citizen orientations toward political actors, organizations and institutions as well as other short-term factors such as the media and campaign environment.
•To critically review empirical measures and analyses of citizen political behaviour.
•To promote independent analysis by students of citizen politics using major comparative datasets.
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:
•Identify different forms of political participation and their significance from a comparative perspective.
•Understand and critically assess the main theories explaining the changes that have occurred in citizens’ political behaviour and orientations across the post WW II period.
•Understand the rise of populism and related election outcomes, such as the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s vote for Brexit”
•Critically assess the role of a range of formal and informal actors, system-level forces and individual characteristics in influencing citizen politics.
•Read, interpret, critically evaluate and conduct empirical studies of citizen political attitudes, values and behaviour.
Teaching and learning methods
10 - 1 hour lectures
10 - 1 hour seminars (with student led discussion/presentations)
1 - 2 hour data workshops – sourcing and analysing election / social attitudes data
|Written assignment (inc essay)||75%|
3000 word Essay (75%), 1000 word Critical Debate Exercise (25%)
- Achen, C.H. and Bartels, L.M., 2017. Democracy for realists: Why elections do not produce responsive government (Vol. 4) Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Cramer, K. 2016. The Politics of Resentment University of Chicago Press.
- Dahl, R. 1989. Democracy and its Critics. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Dalton, R.J. 2019 (7th Ed.) Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies , CQ Press, USA
- Fieldhouse, E, Green, J., Evans, G., Mellon, J., Prosser C., Schmitt, H. and van der Eijk C. (2020). Electoral shocks: The volatile voter in a turbulent world. Oxford University Press.
- Gest, J., 2016. The New Minority: White Working Class Politics and Marginality. New York: Oxford University Press
- Hay, Colin. 2007. Why We Hate Politics. Cambridge: Polity
- Hibbing, J. R. and E. Theiss-Morse. 2002. Stealth democracy: Americans' beliefs about
- how government should work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Manin, B., 1997. The principles of representative government. Cambridge University Press.
- Merkel, W. and Kneip, S. (eds.) 2018. Democracy and Crisis. Challenges in Turbulent Times. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
- Norris, P. 2011. Democratic Deficit: Critical Citizens Revisited Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Norris, P. and Inglehart, R., 2019. Cultural backlash: Trump, Brexit, and authoritarian populism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Stoker, G. 2006. Why politics matter: making democracy work. Basingstoke: Palgrave
- Van Beek, U. (ed), 2018. Democracy Under Threat: A Crisis of Legitimacy? Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, van Deth, J., J.R. Montero and A. Westholm (Eds) Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies: A Comparative Analysis, London: Routledge.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Christopher Butler||Unit coordinator|
|Edward Fieldhouse||Unit coordinator|
|Jonathan Mellon||Unit coordinator|