PAIR2031 Comparative Party Politics
While some recent accounts suggest the decline of parties, they remain key actors in articulating popular demands and representing them in the policymaking process, mobilizing the masses and recruiting and socialising political elites. This course examines how parties perform these functions in both older Western democracies and younger democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and other world regions. Among others, it will cover such topics as how parties are organised and how their organisation changed over time, the main theories of party competition, the debates related to party funding and its regulation by the state, the role of parties in structuring parliamentary politics, and the formation and termination of governments by parties.
Aims and Objectives
To provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the role and functions that political parties play in contemporary democracies.
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of core concepts relevant to party politics in established democracies in Western Europe and younger democracies in other world regions
- Show understanding of the theories explaining the key aspects of party politics, such as internal party organization and party competition
- Summarise the main empirical facts about parties and party systems in Europe and beyond
- Understand the changing role of political parties in contemporary democracies
- Understand how various phenomena in party politics can be studied empirically in a systematic way
Political parties are key actors in articulating popular demands and representing them in the policymaking process, mobilizing the masses and recruiting and socialising political elites. This course examines how parties perform these functions in both older Western democracies and younger democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and other world regions. Each week will be devoted to a substantive topic in the field of party politics. The examples of the themes addressed include the internal organization of political parties, the relationship between parties and the state, political cleavages, the impact of electoral institutions on party systems, the spatial theories of party competition, the emergence of new parties, the role of parties in parliamentary politics, and the formation and termination of governments by parties.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The course is delivered by a combination of lectures and seminars with the approximately equal distribution of both methods of delivery. Each student will have 2 weekly contact hours
|Total study time||150|
|Essay (1500 words)||30%|
|Research project (3000 words)||55%|
|Essay (2000 words)||100%|
Repeat type: External
To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):
Costs associated with this module
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.
In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:
Books and Stationery equipment
Students may be required to buy one textbook with its price being up to £50.
Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.