THEM AND US: COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - 2020/1
Module code: POL2029
The module lays a theoretical foundation for empirical studies of modern governmental structures. It offers students an understanding of the structures of governments, the variations in state organisation, governmental forms and party systems. In particular, it will examine the main elements of the modern democratic state in a comparative manner, stressing both the commonalities and differences between systems around the world. Technically, the course will provide students with the basic ideas and skills that will serve them for further study of both comparative government and individual case studies, as well as introducing them to core literature in the field.
EXADAKTYLOS Theofanis (Politics)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: L260
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
This module will present the basic elements of modern political systems to students. This works up from basic ideas of the link between state and citizens, to more precise institutional features. Students will apply this material through group work, to create their own state, which they will then evaluate and develop.
- Political Systems: classifications, models and heuristics.
- Constitutions: theoretical basis, models, scope and enforcement.
- Interest Representation: the link between citizen and state, individual vs. collective action, top-down and bottom-up approaches, socio-political change, electoral systems.
- Political Parties: definitions, classifications, activities, relationship to state, contemporary challenges to parties’ roles.
- Executives: definition, function, scope, relationship to legislatures, contro mechanisms.
- Legislatures: definition, function, relationship to executives and citizens, changing roles.
- Judiciaries: definition, function, enforcement mechanisms, politicisation.
- Globalisation and Devolution Effects on the State: how has the State reacted to the opening-up of transnational governance? What is the consequence of increasing devolution? How have these processes affected state structures and processes?
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|School-timetabled exam/test||IN-CLASS TEST (3 x 10 MINS)||20|
|Coursework||LITERATURE REVIEW (1,000 WORDS)||20|
|Coursework||SUMMATIVE ESSAY (3,000 WORDS)||60|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate
- In-lecture quizzes: these aim to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their fundamental knowledge of the class material, ensuring that all students are on the same page; to reflect on their own learning and make use of the reading material; consolidate knowledge through short-answer questions
- Literature review: it aims to provide students the opportunity to identify relevant theoretical frameworks and schools of thought; critically apply their perception on the theoretical framework; gather, organize and employ different opinions; construct reasoned argumenta and exercise critical judgement; deploy a range of research skills; access relevant material to extract information; evaluate different arguments.
- Final essay: it aims to provide the students with the opportunity to apply all the above in the literature review; reflect on their own performance, assess and constructively incorporate previous feedback; identify relevant examples to support their theoretical argument; identify, investigate, analyse and project empirical evidence; apply theoretical frameworks to policy/empirical analysis; adopt a proactive approach to finding new sources; demonstrate a range or research skills
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
- Three in-class quizzes spread throughout the module, unseen and at unknown times. These are 10-minute long and assess knowledge of the material of the previous lecture to the week of the quiz through short-answer questions and multiple choice questions.
- A literature review of 1000 words on a prescribed question that forms the first part of the final essay—as outlined in the handbook.
- A final essay of 3000 words that incorporates a revised version of the literature review above in addition to empirical examples that respond to the needs of the prescribed question.
Assessment deadlines to be confirmed in the module handbook.
Formative assessment and feedback
Students will receive regular feedback based on their knowledge of the module material through the quizzes, and their first assignment will provide feedback to be used in the final essay. Seminars will be an opportunity to discuss feedback and provide peer review to the students’ work.
- Consolidate and develop students' knowledge of comparative government.
- Provide students with skills to describe and analyse national power structures and processes.
- Introduce basic literature to students.
|001||Describe national political systems and their constituent elements.||KCPT|
|002||Identify and interpret power relations between political actors.||KCPT|
|003||Make critical evaluations of differences between various national political systems||KCPT|
|004||Assess challenges to the position of the modern state.||KCPT|
|005||Critically apply theoretical literature to practical examples.||KCPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 128
Lecture Hours: 22
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Introduce students to a new topic, and provide room for student-led discussion of the topic.
The learning and teaching methods include:
- lecture 1x11
- seminar 1x11
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 for THEM AND US: COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pol2029
Programmes this module appears in
|Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons)||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|English Literature with Politics BA (Hons)||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|International Relations BSc (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics BSc (Hons)||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Public Affairs MPA||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics and Economics BSc (Hons)||2||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 2020/1 academic year.