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.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and
Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.