SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L224377
Module Leader Neil Russell
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Politics
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May 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 broadens the focus by exploring issues surrounding the topic of political engagement. More specifically, it looks at voting behaviour, the concept of citizenship and political participation more generally, and also explores issues relating to the composition, formation and measurement of political attitudes. 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, immigration, 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 2. Power, Authority and Legitimacy , 3. Theories of the State 4. Sovereignty and the Concept of 'Nation' 5. Models of Democracy 6. Theories of Representation 7. Theories of Bureaucracy Part II: Political Engagement 8. Citizenship 9. Political Attitudes 10. Political Participation I 11. Political Participation II 12. The Politics of Social Movements Part III: Politics From the Local to the Global 13. The Politics of the Local 14. Regionalism 15. Supranationalism 16. Europeanisation 17. Globalisation Part IV: Political Issues 18. The Politics of Immigration in Europe 19. The Politics of the Environment 20. The Politics of Gender 21. Political Issues and the Policy Process 22. Overview / Exam Revision

Learning Outcomes

On Successful completion of this module students should be able to: 1 Introduce students to the study of political concepts;2 Provide students with an understanding of the conceptual and theoretical debates surrounding political institutions and political behaviour;3 Introduce students to the study of various salient political issues;4 Provide students with an understanding of the workings of political systems, from the local to the global.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Content delivery consists of lectures and seminars. In addition, to ensure that students are engaged with the module and the appropriate literature, they will be expected to engage in online directed tasks such as the creation of wikis and online discussions. GCULearn plays a vital part in the GSBS learning and teaching strategy as a blended learning tool. The School will ensure that all modules are not only GCULearn-enabled, but also at the cutting edge in developing online learning materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn, ensuring effective student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is normally provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books and articles: Carter, N. (2007) The Politics of the Environment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Close, P. and Ohki-Close, E. (1999) Supranationalism in the New World Order (London: Macmillan) Heywood, A. (2000) Key Concepts in Politics (London: Palgrave) 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. (2008) 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 b7 Enhancing critical thinking and analytical skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning 126.00
Seminars 12.00
Assessment 40.00
Lectures 22.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
CW1 Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% Essay (2000 words)
CW2 Course Work 02 n/a 50.00 35% Online Group Exercise