Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Political Movements and Parties

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION The study-unit starts by dealing with the developments from cleavage structures to party systems in Western Europe. It then concentrates on the main political ideologies that shaped 19th and 20th century political thought, showing how these ideologies were harnessed by politicians to shape the European system. It also shows how these political ideologies have been altered and modified over time in order to meet the requirements of changing voter demands. Next it deals with European Political Movements post 1989. It first explains the new world after the fall of communism, outlining the changes that have occurred in the transition from cold war politics to the politics of the 1990s. It then looks at developments taking place in East European political movements, emphasizing the concept of the third way. Next It details the merging politics of East and Western Europe focusing on the rise of the greens, the peace movements, feminist groups and the politics of unemployment within the tradition of the new left. Finally the politics of the new right are covered; neo liberal politics, neo fascist politics, the EU as issue politics, and the power of the new Islamic movements in Europe.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to help students develop an understanding of:
- the political movements and parties are at the core political systems;
- the importance of party systems for the political system;
- the role that different ideologies and parties have played in the political system;
- the role played by political parties in modern political systems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify the transition from ideology to cleavage orientation;
- Understand the importance of party systems for the political system;
- Understand what mechanisms further diversity;
- Understand and evaluate the principles that underpin party systems;
- Understand the role of history in evaluating political change.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Evaluate the importance of diversity in sustaining democracy;
- Evaluate the roles played by political parties in maintaining a viable state;
- Critically analyse the factors that foster and overcome crisis;
- Critically appraise the role that different ideologies and parties have played in the political system.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Lipset, S.M & Rokken S, (1967) Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross National Perspective, Free Press.
Luther, K.R. & Muller Rommell, F (2005) Political Parties in the New Europe: Political and Analytical Challenges. Oxford.
Katz. R.S. & Crotty. WJ., (2006) Hand Book Of Political Parties. Chicago.
Mair. P. et al, (2004) Political Parties and Electoral Change: Party Responses to the Electoral Market. London.
Jungerstam – Mulders, S. (2006) Post Communist EU Member States: Parties and the Party System. Hampshire.
Beyers (2008) Interest Group Politics Routledge.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Isabelle Calleja Ragonesi

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.