Comparative European Politics
Postgraduate: Level 7
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
05 June 2020
Requisites for this module
The first part of the module will be devoted to studying the roots of party systems, party competition, electoral systems, the rise of populist and extremist parties, corruption, and linkages between citizens and politicians in West and East European countries. In the second part, we will study the institutional foundations of welfare-capitalism and examine how coordinated and liberal capitalism types responded to challenges such as globalisation and deindustrialization.
A large part of the module is devoted to studying the power-sharing arrangements in the European Union. In this context, we will analyse what the euro crisis, influx of refugees, and disintegration dynamics implies for the future of the EU. The module also provides an accessible introduction to research design and methods that political scientists have used to address these topics.
The aim of this module is to provide a better understanding of democratic political and economic processes in Europe.
By the end of the course students will have a sound knowledge of contemporary European politics. Specifically, students will become familiar with the political and economic institutions as well as with party politics and economic policymaking in Europe. The module familiarizes students with the advantages and limitations of comparative research. Students are encouraged to critically assess the validity of conflicting theoretical claims and arguments on the basis of appropriate empirical evidence.
The module will cover the following topics:
Week 2: Methods and Concepts of Comparative Research
Week 3: Social Cleavages and Party Systems
Week 4: Dynamics of Party Competition
Week 5: Populist Parties and Linkages between Voters and Citizens
Week 6: Economic Crises and the Rise of Radical Right Parties
Week 7: Electoral Systems
Week 8: Unitary States, Federal States, Devolution, and Bicameralism
Week 9: Democracy and Social Capital
Week 10: Democratic Backsliding
Week 11: Executive-Legislative Relations
Week 16: Direct Democracy and Referendums
Week 17: Interest Groups
Week 18: Varieties of Capitalism and Skill Regimes
Week 19: The Welfare State and Welfare State Retrenchment
Week 20: Theorizing the European Union
Week 21: The Eurozone and Influx of Refugees
Week 22: Disintegration Dynamics in the EU
Week 23: The EU and Foreign Policy
Week 24: Patronage and Corruption
Week 25: Central Banks
Study on this module entails:
1. Thinking, discussing, and writing clearly and logically.
2. Linking together, and understanding the linkages between, empirical facts and abstract concepts.
3. Retrieving, synthesising, and critically evaluating information from diverse sources, using the Library and the Internet.
Teaching on the module will be in the form of weekly seminars (two hours).
The seminar structure allows a flexible approach towards the topics provided by the module outline. The seminar will often start with a brief introductory lecture by the supervisor, leading to other seminar methods where the students are more actively involved (student presentations, group discussion, recap quiz).
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Short Response Paper 3
||Short Response Paper 4
||Essay and Peer Review
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Alexandra Hennessy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Alexandra Hennessy
Module Supervisor: Dr Alexandra Hennessy email@example.com or Module Administrator Jamie Seakens (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr Nicholas Walter Vivyan
University of Durham
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
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