This unit aims to provide a focussed discussion of political change in contemporary Europe, centered around two broad issues. Firstly, are we about to witness major changes in party systems, including the futher decline of 'mainstream' parties? Secondly, are we witnessing the 'end of history' (Fukuyama, 1989/1992) - the universal triumph of (liberal) democracy, or is democracy a more fragile flower?
At the end of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate: an appropriate level of both empirical and theoretical knowledge relating to these two broad themes; a similar knowledge of key concepts relating to these themes; a detailed knowledge of at least one topic within these themes and the ability to write and talk about it critically and clearly.
1. Ability to use IT, including the Internet for learning and research. F
2. Ability to select, analyse and present numerical data. F
3. Ability to select and use appropriate ideas to produce a coherent response to a pre-set question. TFA
4. Ability to select, summarise and synthesise written information from multiple sources. TFA
5. Ability to develop rigorous arguments through precise use of concepts and models. TFA
6. Ability to work as a team. F
7. Ability to engage in effective oral academic communication. TF
8. Ability to work to specifications and meet deadlines. FA
i) The Stability of European Party Systems;
ii) Crisis or Revival on the Centre-Right in Europe?;
iii) Is there a Social Democratic Third Way' in Europe?;
iv) The Rise of Extreme Right and Populist Parties: Has the Bubble Burst?;
v) Regional and Micro-nationalist Parties: towards a Europe of the Regions?;
vi) Green Parties, Radical Democracy and the Challenge of Corporate Globalisation;
vii) The Rise of the Referendum and the Internet: New Direct Democracy or New Danger?;
viii) Democratisation in Spain and Southern Europe: Still on the Periphery?;
ix) Democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe: Irreversible Trend?;
x) Federalism, Multi-Level Governance and the Future of Europe;
xi) The Impace of Terrorism in Europe.