Political Change: Contemporary France (L2157)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Political change, and how best to implement it, underpins French political history, and presents an ongoing challenge for successive presidents and governments in contemporary France. Paradoxically, while elections are typically won on a mandate for change, attempts to implement electoral promises are then frequently met with powerful resistance from the electorate and from groups representing vested interests. This creates a pattern wherein continuously alternating governments are unable to implement the fundamental reforms that are widely considered to be necessary, leading to a perennial problem of ‘immobilism’. This module explores the reasons for this situation, and seeks to identify why, and in what ways, some areas are more resistant to change than others.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: