Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2019/20 Session

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Module Title LH Controversies in Contemporary Democracies
Department Political Sci & Intern'tl Stud
Module Code 08 22555
Module Lead DR. Bailey
Level Honours Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 1 or 2
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-20 hours
Seminar-20 hours
Guided independent study-160 hours
Total: 200 hours

This module studies a variety of developments that potentially challenge contemporary democracies, including the declining ability of the electoral process, political parties and welfare states to appeal to citizens, and the rise of alternative types of political protest in response. The aim of the course is to provide students with an up-to-date survey of comparative research into these developments, and to enable students to use the comparative method to conduct their own inquiries within this area. Questions to be studied include:

  • Do parties still play a role in democracy?
  • Why is support for far-right parties rising?
  • Has left-wing politics become redundant?
  • Is the welfare state in terminal decline?
  • Can representative democracy survive the rise of `post-materialist' values?
  • Why is political protest increasing? What effect does it have?
  • What role do social movements play in contemporary democracy?
  • What impact has the global economic crisis had upon contemporary democracy?
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the main findings and debates relating to the challenges to contemporary democracies studied on the module.
  • Analyse and practically assess historical events and developments, patterns of political behaviour, and political outcomes within contemporary democracies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage in political analysis through the adoption of the comparative method.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to analyse and evaluate relevant explanations and arguments so as to reach a clear and scholarly assessment.
Assessment 22555-01 : Presentation : Presentation (15%)
22555-02 : "Summative Essay 3,000 Words" : Coursework (50%)
22555-04 : Exam 2 hours : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (35%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment: 1 x Assessed presentation (15%); 1 x 2000 word essay (35%); 1 x 2 hour exam (50%)
Reassessment: None
Reading List