Module Identifier IP10410  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Lucy Taylor  
Semester Semester 2  
Mutually Exclusive GW10410  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours (18 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 Hours (5 x 1 hour)  
Assessment Essay   1 x 1,500 word essay.   30%  
  Exam   2 Hours   70%  

Brief description

This module will equip students with the analytical tools with which they can examine political life. Students will study the method of comparative analysis and will evaluate the main theoretical approaches to understanding how politics works. They will then go on to examine a wide variety of political systems, looking at the structures and procedures associated with formal government, such as constitutions, parliaments, presidencies etc, as well as the role and influence of institutional actors such as the military or bureaucracy. Students will also learn about the forms of political participation through which people can influence politics, including political parties, elections, grassroots movements and interest groups. Finally students will study the formulation and implementation of the policies which actually affect the everyday lives of citizens.

Aims of the module

This module will give students a solid foundation in the techniques and key ideas associated with the analysis of political life. It is designed to complement IP10210 by equipping students with the tools necessary to empirical analysis.


At the end of the module you will be able to:

- evaluate the relative utility of the comparative method
- analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to the study of politics
- assess the different opportunities and drawbacks associated with differing forms of, or vehicles for, political participation
- critically discuss the relationships and networks of power associated with the formal channels of government and those who interact thorough such channels
- explore the process of policy making by analysing the distinctive roles of different actors, procedures & approaches in a variety of political contexts.

Reading Lists

Rod Hague, Martin Harrop and Shaun Breslin. C.
Todd Landman. Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics: An Introduction (2000).
Gabriel Almond, G Bingham Powell, Kaare Storm and Russell J Dalton. Comparative Politics; A World View, 7th ed. 2000.
Michael G Roskin. Countries and Concepts: An Introduction to Comparative Politics, 5th ed.
Jean Blondel. Comparative Government: An Introduction, 2nd Ed (1995).
Gregory S Mahler. Comparative Politics: An Institutional and Cross-National approach, 2nd ed 1995.