Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Young people and politics

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION This Study-unit introduces participants to the fundamentals of political theory. Central concepts in the study of politics such as power, authority, legitimacy and political culture will be examined and discussed, while emphasis will also be placed on analysing and appraising the different theoretical approaches to the study of politics. Seminal works, representative of these diverse approaches, will be examined to shed light on the nuances of each different approach. Modern systems of government (from liberal and social democracy to autocracy and totalitarianism) shall also be explained and critically analysed with reference to the contemporary political scenario. Course participants shall also be familiarised with the major elements in democratic systems of power, namely, political parties, pressure groups, social movements and so forth. The contribution of each of these elements together with the role of youth activism toward the democratisation of the political process and the distribution of political power shall also be assessed.

Study-unit Aims:

(a) To increase course participants' political awareness;

(b) To encourage course participants to analyse and assess political issues and themes in the local and international political arena through the gloss of political theory;

(c) To equip course participants with the theoretical tools necessary for critical engagement with the subject matter;

(d) To position youth work and the youth worker as important catalysts for young people's political empowerment and participation;

(e) To ensure that prospective youth workers and youth studies specialists are au courant with important aspects of the political process and to be able to discern and reflect upon the diverse shades of political ideology.

Learning Outcomes:

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

(a) Define politics and understand the importance of the practice of the art and science of politics for conflict resolution and social stability and advancement;

(b) Have a clear understanding of the youth worker's role in empowering the participation of young people in the political process;

(c) Identify the diverse approaches that have characterised the study of politics and to distinguish between the different characteristics central to each approach; and,

(d) Distinguish between the characteristics of the various systems of government and to acknowledge the importance of the protection of fundamental rights and civil liberties for the advancement of democracy in democratic societies.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) Engage with the subject matter academically;

(b) Analyse political issues and themes critically and through the gloss of the theoretical paradigms presented;

(c) Synthesise and apply other related course content, and;

(d) Compare and contrast the diverse theoretical models in question.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Ball, A. R. & G.P. Peters. 2005. Modern Politics and Government. London: Macmillan. (available)

Dahl, R.A. 1989. Democracy and its Critics. New Haven: Yale University Press. (available)

Femia, J.V. (1981). Gramsci's Political Thought: Hegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (available)

Grant, W. 1995. Pressure Groups, Politics and Democracy in Britain. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. (unavailable)

Heywood, A. 2000. Key Concepts in Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (available)

Holden, B. 1974. The Nature of Democracy. New York: Harper Row. (available)

Holden, B. 1993. Understanding Liberal Democracy. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. (unavailable)

Holden, B. 2000. Global Democracy: Key Debates. London; Routledge. (unavailable)

Marx. K. , and F. Engels. 2008. The Communist Manifesto. London: Pluto Press. First published 1848. (available)

Scruton, R. 1985. Thinkers of the New Left. Harlow, Essex UK: Longman. (unavailable)

Scruton, R. 1988. Conservative Thinkers. London: Claridge Press. (available)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Andrew Azzopardi

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 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.