What you will study
The module is designed around five core themes, each of which expresses key political dilemmas and debates in the UK and beyond.
Powers and structures explores the meaning and location of power – what is it, and who has it? – in contemporary societies, and asks about some of the more enduring structures within which power is to be found. This includes study of familiar political institutions like the House of Commons in the UK, but just as importantly involves power in our everyday practices as citizens.
Centre and periphery looks at issues like: what is the role of the state in our lives, how is it changing and why? What is nationalism, and why has it revived in the post-Cold War world?
Participation and dissent leads us to look, on the one hand, at voting and elections, and on the other hand at demonstrations and new, unconventional forms of political protest (such as anti-globalisation protest loosely coordinated via internet).
Equality and difference takes us through how we are seen as ‘equal’ and ‘different’ to each other and how this matters politically. As part of that, it leads us to look at the ways in which justice and policy ‘construct’ us as citizens – are we the same or are we different, and how does this feed into how we ought to be treated by governments (and each other)?
And finally, Evidence and argument takes a fresh angle on what counts as evidence and argument in political debate and political science.
Modules in government and politics are relevant to a wide range of employment. Politics graduates can be found in all financial and commercial occupations – such as business management, banking and insurance – and in a variety of other professions, including the law and accountancy. They are particularly attracted to the public sector – the civil service, local government and health administration.