Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Politics and Social Movements

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION A sociological investigation of Politics, Social Movements and the State. The course will discuss classical and contemporary perspectives on the state and will analyse the politics of social movements.

The study-unit will focus on the following areas:
- Pluralism, Neo-Pluralism and Governance
- Elite Theory
- Market Liberalism
- Conservatism
- Marxism
- Identity Politics
- Postmodernism
- Competitive Electoral Politics
- Politics in small states
- Democratic critique and renewal
- Populism
- Introduction to social movements
- Social movements, politics, protest and uprising.

Study-Unit Aims:

The unit aims to develop a comprehensive sociological understanding of politics. Particular emphasis will be made on political ideologies and discourses, and the way they characterise the state and social movements. In turn, this will enable a critical analysis of concepts, events and processes such as governance, protest and empowerment.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- analyse political organisations, processes, issues and governance from a sociological perspective;
- analyse the importance of sociological constructs such as structure and agency and different dimensions of power (macro, micro);
- trace the development of political ideologies and discourses and their influence on policy-making;
- analyse the relationship of politics with other factors within social formations.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- interpret and analyse key aspects of policy-making processes such as empowerment, lobbying, ideology and strategy;
- sociologically reflect and critically engage with political issues;
- recognize the plurality of political ideologies and discourses;
- apply the course material to analyse specific political issues;
- write a scholarly paper.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- John Dryzek and Patrick Dunleavy (2009) Theories of the Democratic State - (Palgrave Macmillan).
- Hank Johnston (2014): What is a social movement (Polity).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Michael Briguglio

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
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.