This information is for the 2019/20 session.
Dr Robin Archer, STC.S114a
This course is available on the BSc in Language, Culture and Society, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Sociology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
Political Sociology concerns the way in which political and social factors interact to produce the societies in which we live. This course aims to discuss some central empirical and theoretical questions in the field. The course begins by examining classic comparative debates about the relationship between the development of the state and democracy on the one hand, and the rise of capitalism and liberalism on the other. We will then examine the impact that social cleavages have on parties, elections and other political institutions in a number of different countries. We will examine the strength and political impact of both labour movements and other important social movements. And we will examine why similar countries can develop very different social and economic policies. In addition we will examine some of the founding writings of Marx, Weber and Tocqueville and critically assess the use of political concepts. Throughout the course we will consider some of the main theoretical approaches that are used in the study of political sociology.
10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.
Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in MT Week 6 and LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.
At least one class presentation and a termly paper in both MT and LT.
R Dalton, Citizen Politics, 5th edn; G Esping-Andersen, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism; E. Gellner, Nations and Nationalism; A Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory; R Inglehart, Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society; J Manza & C Brooks, Social Cleavages and Political Change; F. Piven and R. Cloward, Poor People’s Movements; D. Rueschemeyer et al, Capitalist Development and Democracy; T Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions; S Tarrow, Power in Movement.
Exam (70%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (30%, 2500 words) in the ST.
An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the first Thursday of Summer Term.
Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.
Student performance results
(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Total students 2018/19: 17
Average class size 2018/19: 12
Capped 2018/19: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving