What constitutes a good piece of research? You consider the basics of scientific work and procedures in the social sciences in order to understand the philosophy and theory of social scientific investigations, and to improve your research throughout your degree.
Voters, in theory, should shape economic policy. But in practice, this is often determined by the preferences of politicians and private market forces, both legal and illegal. You develop an understanding of the beliefs, incentives and behaviour of political actors which explain the link between political processes and economic policy.
Why do some people participate in politics and others do not? Why have voting rates plummeted in most democracies across the globe? What factors cause political violence? And what are the implications of inequalities in political participation for public policies? This module studies different forms of political behaviour ranging from voter turnout to terrorism. It combines micro- and macro-level perspectives and covers trends in political participation around the globe.
Does everyone in a political party subscribe to the same core ideology? How do you pick which party to vote for? How do you persuade more people to vote? You examine party systems, party competition, electoral behaviour and party organisation in advanced liberal democracies.
How has the UK political system changed over the last 20 years? Centring on the decline of the traditional Westminster Model of democracy and its replacement by a political system in which power is more dispersed, you explore topics including devolution, Britain’s relationship with the EU, coalition government, the Human Rights Act, and the changing party system.
Public opinion is an important part of the democratic process, both in theory and in practice. But how do we know what the public think? In this module, you'll think more deeply about what public opinion means, become a more discerning consumer of opinion poll results, and you'll conduct and analyse your own public opinion survey about an issue that matters to you.
How can we answer political questions using statistical data? Learn how to find relevant research designs and questions in order to use quantitative methods in political research, assisting you in your other modules and improving your job prospects.
Applied Qualitative Methods and Field Research in Political Science
Political Scientists using qualitative methods leave their offices to meet, experience and study the real world and the people in it. The course emphasises application, with students running their own qualitative research. Students also will learn how qualitative and quantitative research can be combined. The course uses various examples from the field of comparative politics of development for illustration and to produce best practice examples.
Does policy or luck better explain political outcomes? Game theory provides a tool for understanding a wide variety of political phenomena, from campaigns and elections, to ethnic conflicts, to wars and deterrents.
Violent Non State Actors: Violence, Crime and Conflict
Given the rise of groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the focus on violent non-state actors has become more and more important. You discover why non-state actors resort to violence and crime, what tactics and strategies they use, how they fund their existence, how they undermine the state and what can be done to counter the instability they cause.
How should we approach relationships between different countries?
Explore different theoretical lenses through which the world can be viewed, including bargaining theory, liberal institutional approaches, and emotion-based, psychological models of the behavior of international political actions.
How do international organisations and NGOs contribute to and/or undermine development? What challenges do they face in developing countries? How do they try to achieve their aims, and what can they do to improve? You examine the key issues which face developing countries including debt, disease, famine and inequality, and how IOs and NGOs intervene in these situations.
Understand the evolving field of conflict resolution through exploring the causes and effects of armed conflict across the world, and scrutinising the theory and practice of how this can be managed peacefully.
Our world is increasingly globalised, and modernisation has led to a partitioning of the world into so-called developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries. You consider the development of the state and its influence over a society in the wake of globalisation in relation to the non-western world.
Learn to analyse the everyday politics of Sub-Saharan Africa: what are important socio-economic drivers and trends? What historical factors drive political development in Sub-Saharan Africa today? Study a variety of issues related to elections, development, and conflict with the tools of comparative politics, to understand both ordinary and particular political dynamics on the continent.
This module will introduce you to “principles of social justice”. These principles tell us how a political community should distribute resources and opportunities between individuals and groups. The module examines competing principles of social justice by examining the work of the most important political philosophers to have defended them and also applies these principles to concrete social and political issues.
Understand how politics and social life is shaped by language and meaning. Draw out the implications of political speech, social norms, and debate for how we act and think as citizens and social beings as you explore the intimate relationship between political rhetoric, discourse and power.
Is torture ever morally justified? Should pornography be banned? Should prostitution be legalised? Take part in the intellectual search for the moral principles that should govern how we answer these questions and others in governing public policy.
How are decisions made in the EU? What impact do states and government have on European policy, and vice versa? Gain an understanding of the relationship between the EU and its members through studying the origins of European Integration and the institutional systems of the EU.
Britain is a diverse, multicultural society. Yet traditional histories of Britain often ignore the fact that British society has been remade and its culture enriched by people from a wide variety of different cultures, communities and backgrounds.
The module will examine how 'race' became a defining concept for understanding British society, how mass immigration transformed concept of Britishness, and how Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities had to fight in order to exercise their rights as British citizens.
It will also examine the history of Europeans in Britain throughout the twentieth century, from anxieties about Jewish immigration in the 1900s, to uncertain welcome afforded to refugees and migrant workers in the 1930s and 1940s, and finally to contemporary debates about the EU and 'Brexit'.
This is a module that focuses on the agency and experience of the people in Multicultural Britain as much as on their interactions with power, while never downplaying the enormous impact of racism and xenophobia. It highlights the diverse range of cultural experiences which make up the fabric of British history.
Finally, it makes clear that understanding the history of multiculturalism also requires an understanding of its intersections with race, gender, and sexuality. Multiculturalism in Britain has not gone uncontested, but it is made Britain what it is today.
This module gives you a unique opportunity to apply your historical knowledge and research skills to help Colchester Castle Museum connect their collections with the communities that they serve. You will work with Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service’s curatorial team and get a unique behind the scenes look at the work of an important museum. This will give you a valuable insight into the way in which heritage organisations share the material culture of the past with the public of today. We will examine the ways in which curators use objects to tell stories in exhibitions and permanent displays and think critically about the way this has changed over time. You will work as a team to create a virtual exhibition using objects and images from the Colchester Museums collection, including countless things that have never been seen by the public. Working to a theme set by the curators, you will each choose an object from the collection, and use your primary source analysis and research skills to interpret it. Your individual objects and interpretations will be combined into an interactive online exhibition.
This module is a gateway to introduce you to an interdisciplinary approach to China and Chinese history, and you’ll examine significant and complex issues in its modern history. We examine materials that deal with the historical, political, social, and artistic aspects of famous sites and phenomenon, such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Yellow River, in order to understand modern China at its politico-cultural core, in its relations with the outside world, its symbolic function in the new global order, as well as its path to modernisation.
Resistance and Rebellion in the World of Atlantic Slavery
Where there was slavery, there was resistance. In most cases, the resistance was covert, but instances of open rebellion were surprisingly common. In this module you’ll examine the phenomenon of slave resistance in the Atlantic World from ca. 1522 (the first recorded rebellion by enslaved Africans in the Americas) to 1888, when slavery was finally abolished in Brazil.
Life in the Three Kingdoms: Societies and cultures in early modern Britain and Ireland
The early modern British Isles were home to four, or even five, nations, six languages, and peoples with vastly differing cultures. You examine the clashes between these different cultures and their hostile perceptions of each other, the different languages and why some survived whilst others disappeared, the conceptions of honour and status, the different ways of maintaining law and order, and the basic social unit of the early modern British Isles: the family.
Between Protection and Control: Policing Europe in the 20th Century
Policing activities are essential for any state and offer an insight into the relationship between state and society. This module explores police activities between state protection and social control in 20th century-Europe. You’ll examine the relations between the state, the police and the public tracing continuities and differences in policing dictatorships and democracies.
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