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PL50435: Comparative European politics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: ES 67%, SM 33%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (ES 67%)
  • Seminar (SM 33%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:

* This unit aims to provide a focussed discussion of political change in contemporary Europe, centred around two broad issues. Firstly, are we about to witness major changes in party systems, especially the decline of 'mainstream' parties and rise of new movements and/or apathy/political alienation?
* Secondly, do these and wider developments mean that far from witnessing the 'end of history' (Fukuyama, 1989/1992), we are witnessing the emergence of fundamental threats to liberal democratic system such as: the growth of 'populist' devices like the referendum; the mediatisation of politics and weakly implanted democracies in the communist successor states.

Learning Outcomes:
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

1. Party System Change/Threats to Democracy
2. Mainstream Parties (1): Crisis or Revival on the Centre-Right in Europe?
3. Mainstream Parties (2) Socialist parties today ?
4. Corruption, Crime and political parties.
5. New Parties: Extreme Right and Populist Parties.
6. Charisma and the Mediatisation of Politics
7. The Rise of the Referendum and the Internet: New Direct Democracy or New Danger?
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PL50435 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • THPL-AFM16 : MA Contemporary European Studies: Politics, Policy and Society
  • THPL-AFM17 : MA Contemporary European Studies: Politics, Policy and Society
  • THPL-AFM24 : MA Contemporary Transatlantic Studies
  • THPL-AFM20 : MA International Relations
  • THPL-AFT08 : Postgraduate visiting/exchange students - credit only
  • THPL-AFT09 : Postgraduate visiting/exchange students - credit only

PL50435 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • THPL-AFM22 : MA International Relations and European Politics

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.