SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L223109
Module Leader Ruth Lightbody
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Politics
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally, the successful completion of a Level 1 Politics module or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to some of the core concepts and ideas that are instrumental to understanding political institutions, behaviour and issues. It is split into four parts. The first of these focuses on several important concepts and theories relating to the state, such as power, legitimacy and sovereignty. Part Two focusses in more detail on the different ways of conceptualising democracy. More specifically, it looks at democracy in its various forms and how it shapes our understanding of citizenship, equality and political participation more generally. Part Three, on the other hand, looks both 'above' the state, by exploring concepts such as globalisation and supranationalism, and 'below' the state, by focusing on regionalism and local politics. These first three sections of the module are designed to add conceptual depth to students' understanding of political systems. With Part Four the focus shifts to salient political issues, such as the environment and gender as well as examining the policy process in relation to these issues. This section not only aims to furnish students with an understanding of these pertinent political issues, but also acts as a 'taster' in the sense that it introduces some of the topics which form the basis of level 3 and 4 politics modules. Summary of how PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module: The module's focus on conceptual and theoretical debates surrounding political institutions and political behaviour furnishes students with the knowledge and analytical faculties required to contextualise and critically evaluate concepts such as PRME.


Part I: Theorising the State The first section of the module provides an introduction to political theory. Topics that are covered include theories of the state, citizenship and bureaucracy. This familiarises the student with key concepts which will be discussed throughout the module such as power, sovereignty and human nature. Part II: Democratic Models and Movements The second section of the module particularly focuses on democratic models. Using the newfound understanding of the individual and society the lectures will centre round representation and participation. This will also include ideas on rights and obligations of the citizens and a particular look at social order. Part III: Politics From the Local to the Global The lectures and seminars in the third section discuss the various ways in which citizens participate and differing ideas on the role of government. The lectures will focus on globalisation, supranationalism and local politics and the classes will consider how these different levels of governance impact on identity, toleration and social justice. Part IV: Political Issues The final section will apply the concepts and discourses introduced throughout the module to salient political issues. Therefore, the lectures will look at feminist theory, environmental theory and public policy. The module will conclude with an overview / Exam Revision

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to1 demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political concepts;2 critically evaluate the conceptual and theoretical debates surrounding political institutions and political behaviour;3 demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various salient political issues;4 identify the workings and roles of political systems, from the local to the global.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Content delivery consists of lectures and seminars. All students will be required to consult set readings and prepare to stay informed on current political events. Coursework will be submitted and marked electronically via Grademark.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books and articles: -864 Boucher, D. and Kelly, P. (eds) (2009) Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present, 2 nd edition (Oxford: Oxford Uni Press). Carter, N. (2007) The Politics of the Environment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Close, P. and Ohki-Close, E. (2012) Supranationalism in the New World Order (London: Macmillan) Dahl, R. (1989) Democracy and its Critics (Yale: Yale University Press). -720 Dryzek, J.S. and Dunleavy, P. (2009) Theories of the Democratic State (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan). Elstub, S. and McLaverty, P. (2014) Deliberative Democracy: Issues and Cases (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Uni Press). -720 Goodin, R.E. (2012) Innovating Democracy: Democratic Theory and Practice After the Deliberative Turn (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Held, D. (2006), Models of Democracy, 3 rd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press. Heywood, A. (2000) Key Concepts in Politics (London: Palgrave) -864 Heywood, A. (2004) Political Theory: An Introduction (London Palgrave) Hoffman, J. and Graham, P. (2006) Introduction to Political Concepts (Harlow: Pearson) Jackson, R. (2007) Sovereignty: The Evolution of an Idea (Polity Press) Keating, M. (2000) The New Regionalism in Western Europe (Edward Elgar) Keating, M. (2004) Plurinational Democracy: Stateless Nations in the Post Sovereignty Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press) McKinnnon, C. (2014) Issues in Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Rhodes, R. A. W., Binder, S. and Rockman, B. (eds.) (2008) The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Scholte, J. A. (2005) Globalization: A Critical Introduction (London: Palgrave) Online Sources: The BBC Democracy Live weblink: http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360b7 Carrying out assignments and effectively organising time b7 Developing written and oral communication skills b7 Enhancing IT skills Enhancing critical thinking and analytical skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars 12.00
Independent Learning 124.00
Lectures 24.00
Assessment 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% 2000 essay
Course Work 02 n/a 50.00 35% Group wiki of 1000 words