POPULISM AND DEMOCRACY IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE - 2018/9

Module code: POL3081

Module Overview

In a time of dramatic and global growth in populist politics, the module provides an occasion for students to grasp the complex relationship between populism and democracy. Beyond engaging students with an on-ongoing conceptual debate on the essence of populism, the module will introduce them to a multiplicity of case-studies from different times and different world regions. The comparative approach will help students to relate individual cases amongst them and with theories explaining populist mobilization and impact.

 

The module nicely complements the Politics program, as it is strictly connected (both empirically and theoretically) to themes and issues dealt with in other modules, such as political institutions, party competition and elections, ideologies, political culture and social identities, as well as to the political and economic dimensions of international relations.     

Module provider

Politics

Module Leader

MASSETTI E Dr (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: L210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

At a conceptual and theoretical level, the module directly engages the debate on the competing definitions of populism and on competing theories on the causes of its emergence and success. From a normative theoretical perspective, the module will enable students to discuss the relationship between populism and democracy. Empirically, the module examines populism old and new, left-wing and right-wing, in agrarian as well as in industrial and post-industrial societies, in relatively homogeneous as well as in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies, taking into consideration a wider range of disparate cases from different regions of the world.

Indicative content includes:


Classic populism (XIX century Russia and US)
The evolution of populism in Latin America
The evolution of populism in India (and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party)
Right-wing populism in Europe (e.g. the Front National in France, Alternative for Germany, UKIP in Britain)
Right-wing populism in the US (e.g. the rise of Donald Trump)
Left-wing populism in Europe (e.g. Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, the Five Star Movement in Italy)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ARTICLE/BOOK CHAPTER REVIEW - 1,500 WORDS 40
Coursework ESSAY - 2,500 WORDS 60

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to:

•           demonstrate an understanding of and capacity to engage with conceptual/theoretical debates.

•           employ theory to underpin an explanation of a particular case-study.

•           employ empirical evidence to make a theoretical argument.

•           use the comparative method to build (or revise/qualify) a theoretical argument

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

•           Article/Book Chapter Review – 1,500 words – 40%

•           Essay – 2,500 words – 60%

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback in class concerning their contribution. 

Module aims

  • Identify the key instances of populism in a range of different geographical and historical settings.
  • Develop a position on how populism should be conceptualized and, possibly, defined.
  • Gain a sophisticated understanding of the causes and dynamics of populist mobilisation.
  • Identify recurrent features in the government style of populist leaders that are in office, particularly in relation to compliance with democratic standards/procedures.
  • Engage with debates on the relationship between populism and democracy.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Competently engage in an academic discussion on the essence, the causes and the impact of populism. K
002 Link specific cases of populist mobilization or populist governance with general trends of socio-cultural and/or socio-economic change. KC
003 Discuss the relationships between social structure, political culture and political institutions in shaping the way populism (may) interact(s) with democracy. KC
004 Develop a deeper understanding of logic and use of the comparative method: gather, organise and deploy evidence/data in a comparative perspective. CT
005 Develop research, writing and presentation skills. PT
006 Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Build on students’ existing knowledge gained through in particular POL 2029 and POL2035 by developing their understanding of why and how populism develops in democratic systems and authoritarian electoral regimes. This is done through an interactive lecture in which students are able to engage with the subject content as well as seminar activities. The latter are there to ensure that students are connecting with the topic through student-led discussion.

The learning and teaching methods include:

•           1 hour lecture per week x 11 weeks

•           1 hour seminar per week including class discussion x 11 weeks

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for POPULISM AND DEMOCRACY IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pol3081

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics with Creative Writing BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics with German BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Politics BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.