Introduction to Political Science
This information is for the 2020/21 session.
Prof Simon Hix and Dr Ryan Jablonski
This course is compulsory on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available on the BA in Geography, BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science, BSc in Social Anthropology and BSc in Social Policy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
The course is an introduction to politics in a globalised world, with a focus on how political science tries to understand and explain cross-country and cross-time differences. The course will begin by introducing students to some of the main empirical variations in political behaviour, political institutions, and outcomes across the world, focusing mainly on democratic and partially democratic countries (in both the developed and developing world), and introducing students to some of the basic theoretical ideas and research methods in political science. Each subsequent week will be devoted to a substantive topic, where a more detailed analysis of political behaviour, political institutions, or political outcomes will be presented and various theoretical explanations will be assessed. Most weeks will involve an interactive element.
This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 50 hours across Michaelmas Term, Lent Term and Summer Term. Some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus lectures and classes. There will be reading week in Week 6 of both the MT and LT terms.
Students will be expected to undertake one problem set and a group assignment (writing a blog piece) in the MT.
W Clark, M Golder and S Nadenichek Golder, Foundations of Comparative Politics, Sage, 2019.
A Lijphart, Patterns of Government: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries, 2nd edn, Yale University Press, 2012.
G. Tsebelis, Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work, Princeton University Press, 2002.
Essay (50%, 2000 words) in the LT.
Online assessment (50%) in the ST.
GENERAL COURSE STUDENTS ONLY:
The Class Summary Grade for General Course students will be calculated as follows: 75% class participation (including attendance and contribution), and 25% for the blog post.
Student performance results
(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2019/20: 291
Average class size 2019/20: 14
Capped 2019/20: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills