Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PAIR1002 Political Systems

Module Overview

This module provides an introduction to the study of politics and the key concepts and theoretical approaches in comparative politics. Pre-requisite for PAIR2031, PAIR2037, PAIR3039 and PAIR3046

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of core concepts relevant to the study of democratic and authoritarian political systems.
  • Show understanding of the key theories in the field of comparative politics
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key empirical information about political systems in Europe and other world regions
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how political systems can be studied in a systematic and rigorous way


This module provides an introduction to the study of politics and the key concepts and components of political systems. This module is organised as follows: First, we will identify the different types of political regime, and study the differences between political regimes around the world and the conditions for transitions from one regime to another. Second, we will look at the formation and dismantling of states from a variety of perspectives. Third, we will analyse a range of substantive issues for the field such as party systems, political ideologies, elections and referendums. Finally, we will consider citizens in democracies, addressing voter behaviour, declining turnout and political protest. This module provides an introduction to the study of politics and the key concepts and components of political systems.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be 2 hours of lectures per week. All will be recorded and posted on Blackboard. Lectures will be delivered either face to face or online only depending upon University and Public Health England Guidance at the time. Total of 24 hours of lectures (2 hours per week X 12 weeks) per module. Weekly student participation in online discussion boards. 1 hour per week delivered asynchronously. (1 hour X 12 weeks)

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Michael Gallagher, Michael Laver and Peter Mair (2011). Representative Government in Modern Europe. 

Rod Hague, Martin Harrop & John McCormick (2016). Comparative Government and Politics. 

Library resources.

Caramani, Daniele (2014). Comparative Politics. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion board activity 25%
Research project 50%
Research proposal 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

A textbook.

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

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings