GV454      Half Unit
Parties, Elections and Governments

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Torun Dewan

Availability

This course is available on the MSc in European and International Politics and Policy, MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science (Political Behaviour) and MSc in Political Science (Political Science and Political Economy). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course focuses on key topics in political science concerning voting and representation. Topics covered include:

• Party and Candidate Strategy

• The Role and Origins of Parties

• Government Formation and Termination

• Electoral Systems: Franchise, Ballot, and Allocation formulas

• Leadership

• Political Careers

• Government Accountability

Examples will be drawn from a wide range of democracies.

Teaching

This course is delivered through seminars totalling 20 hours across the Winter Term. There is a reading week in Week 6 of the WT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to submit one non-assessed essay.

Indicative reading

The course is focussed mainly on journal articles. However the following books are relevant to some of the topics covered:

 

Gary Cox, Making Votes Count (1995); Gary Cox & Mathew McCubbins, Setting the Agenda (2005); George Tsebelis, Veto Players (2002); Kenneth Shepsle and Mark Boncheck, Analysing Politics (1997); Tim Besley, Principled Agents (2005); John Aldrich, Why Parties (1995); Bruce Bueno de Mesquita. Alastair Smith, Randolph Siverson and James Morrow, The Logic of Political Survival (2003); Giovanni Sartori, Comparative Constitutional Engineering (1997); Michael Laver & Norman Schofield, MultiParty Government: The Politics of Coalition in Europe (1990).

Assessment

Essay (100%).

Student performance results

(2020/21 - 2022/23 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 31.4
Merit 52.9
Pass 13.7
Fail 2

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2023/24: 11

Average class size 2023/24: 11

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication