Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code POLI222
Coordinator Dr L Bernardi
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15


Examine the reasons for state-building and their implications for contemporary political developments around the world;

Analyse the establishment, durability and overthrow of authoritarian regimes using historical and contemporary case studies;

Examine the process of democratization in countries transitioning from authoritarian regimes and the conditions determining its success or failure;

Consider the issue of support for democracy in developed and developing countries and its potential decline;

Explore the potential of social movements to effect change in a variety of different political regimes;

Relate changes and developments in regional contexts to the theoretical literature on comparative politics.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Identify and describe the historical factors that have shaped political institutions and structures;

(LO2) Describe the evolution of cultural norms, attitudes, ideologies and traditions that affect how politics is viewed and conducted;

(LO3) Outline and be able to classify political forms, including the ways in which leaders are chosen and power is distributed and restrained;

(LO4) Compare and contrast countries using comparative models, with regard to each of the above;

(LO5) Apply differing models in political structures and policy approaches, and evaluate their effectiveness and usefulness

(LO6) Evaluate one’s own political system, its strengths and its weaknesses, by comparing it to others.

(S1) Ability to work autonomously and demonstrate initiative, organisation and effective time management

(S2) Ability to work with others and explore different viewpoints

(S3) Enhanced research skills.

(S4) Ability to communicate complex ideas both written and orally.



Topics covered during the module may include:

Introduction to the module and the comparative method;

State building and the Nation-State;

Case study: State-building, nationalism and conflict in the Balkans;

Regimes: Varieties of democracy;

Case study: Comparing democratization in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe;

Regimes: Varieties of autocracy;

Case study: competitive authoritarianism in the post-Soviet space;

Social movements and contentious politics;

Case study: Social movements in South Africa and the United States;

Political culture and support for democracy.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: The one hour lecture will introduce students to the topic and the core theories/scholarship underscoring it.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: The one hour seminar will discuss the independent study students have undertaken through a combination of group discussions, debates, and activities.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Exam There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  2 hours    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.  -2000 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.