Populism and Politics

Module code: M1535
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Dissertation

Populism is a widely used term in politics but rarely conceptualised in political science. This module explores the phenomenon of populism and its relationship to politics and particularly to representative politics and considers populism, its meaning, its causes and effects in a systematic and comparative way. Populism is understood in its widest possible sense in this module so that we explore populism of the right and of the left and we examine a wider range of disparate cases of populism from different parts of the world. The module has essentially two elements: the first is the examination of a range of different examples of populist movements, moments, personalities and parties (eg from Russia, North America, Latin America and Europe). The second element is to examine the conceptualisation of populism and to engage with the debates about whether to and how to define populism. The module will be empirically oriented allowing you to develop interests in a small number of cases with an eye to clarifying your positions on the wider conceptual debates regarding populism.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify a topic suitable for research relating to populism
  • Plan and carry out a research project relating to populism which sustains a line of argument
  • Locate and evaluate a range of resources approriate to a topic on populism
  • Make use of constructive feedback on the development of their ideas in the implementation of a research topic related to populism