BA Politics and German

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Southern European Politics

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI21012
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course unit aims to:

Αnalyse the political and policy-making processes in contemporary Greece, Italy and Spain. The study of the three countries will be placed into a strong comparative perspective with particular attention focusing on (a) the common historical traits that shaped their political culture and development (b) the similarities and contrasts of their political institutions and policy-making processes (c) the nature of party political competition; (d) the impact of EU membership on their political systems and on their political economy and (e) their foreign policy orientation. 

Teaching and learning methods

20 hours of lectures over 10 weeks, 10 hours of tutorials over 10 weeks – 30 hours in total. The aim will be to promote enquiry-based learning using lectures, student presentations and open discussions. Blackboard will be used as a repository for the introductory lecture slides, presentation materials, and course information.

Knowledge and understanding

·      Develop an in-depth knowledge of the political and policy-making processes of contemporary Greece, Italy and Spain.

·      Build a good understanding of the historical traits that have shaped the political culture in Greece, Italy and Spain; 

·      Enhance their understanding of the political economy of Southern Europe and of the impact of European Union membership on the political and economic landscape in the region.

Intellectual skills

·      Develop their skills on the use of the comparative method in the study of political phenomena

·      Enhance their ability to think critically about key developments in Southern Europe affecting the entirety of the European continent 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

·      Enhance their presentation and essay writing skills

·      Pursue independent study and learning

Assessment methods

Essay:    2,000 words        (50% of total mark)

Exam     2 hours                (50% of total mark)

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

  • Diego Muro & Ignacio Lago (eds.) (2020) The Oxford handbook of Spanish politics. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Erik Jones and Gianfranco Pasquino (eds.) (2016) The Oxford handbook of Italian politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kevin Featherstone and Dimitris Sotiropoulos (eds) (2020) The Oxford Handbook of Modern Greek Politics. Oxford University Press.
  •  Anna Bosco & Susannah Verney (eds.) (2017) Crisis elections, new contenders and government formation¿: breaking the mould in Southern Europe . London, Routledge.
  • José M. Magone (2017) Contemporary Spanish Politics. 3 edition. New York: Routledge.
  • Newell, J. (2010) The politics of Italy: governance in a normal country. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Kalyvas, S.N. (2015) Modern Greec¿: what everyone needs to know. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • William Chislett (2013) Spain What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Dimitris Papadimitriou Unit coordinator

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