Main field(s) of study and in-depth level:
Political Science G2E
Explanation of codes
The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:
G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.
A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
The Board of the Department of Government
Political science intermediate level.
On completion of the course the student is expected to know how to - independently discuss and work with political science problems within the fields of Political theory, Swedish politics, Comparative politics, Administrative politics or International politics - distinguish and define Political science problems and independently collect and work on research material relevant to the formulated questions - understand texts with quantitative elements and work with basic quantitative methods - independently define, formulate and carry out a limited research assignment relevant to the theory and chosen problem and using political science methods, write and defend a scientifically structured essay - independently act as opponent which means discussing another student’s essay and the contribution it makes - actively participate in seminar discussions and give presentations of articles and of one’s own work
The course contains three sub-parts.
The first part is a methods course introducing various research methods used in political science. Here some basic methodological concepts will be examined and the different stages of the research process will be discussed. Qualitative as well as quantitative methods of analysis will be introduced during the course. Special attention will be given to quantitative methods.
The next part means a choice between a number of specialisation courses, where some will be offered in the Autumn term and some in the Spring term. The sub-courses are Swedish politics, International politics, Comparative politics, European politics, Political theory, Evaluation and implementation, Middle East politics, Gender and politics and Development studies.
The third and final part consists of doing an independent and specific project chosen by the student and elaborated in consultation with an advisor. The work is to be presented at a final seminar in the form of a written essay.
1. Methods 7.5 hp
The focus of this course is on various research methods used in social science. It explains basic methodological concepts and discusses the main steps of the research process. Students are introduced to quantitative as well as qualitative analysis techniques, albeit with a special emphasis on the quantitative side. An important additional aim is to communicate an understanding of the relative strengths and weaknesses of quantitative versus qualitative techniques. The question of how to provide evidence for the existence of causal relationships in political science constitutes another central aspect of the course.
After completing the course, student are expected to possess:
- the ability to undertake basic empirical research using quantitative as well as qualitative techniques. - satisfactory knowledge of the difference between descriptive and causal research questions - satisfactory knowledge of the relative advantages and disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative techniques - satisfactory knowledge of the problems involved in establishing causal relationships - satisfactory skills in interpreting results from basic quantitative and qualitative analyses - basic skills in computer-based statistical analysis - basic knowledge of statistical inference
Teaching takes the form of lectures and mandatory seminars. The lectures cover the central topics of the course and give an introduction to computer-based statistical analysis. The seminars are the most important part of the course. They provide students with an opportunity to exercise their skills with regard to the main steps of the research process. At each seminar, the students are required to hand in individual, written solutions to a set of assignments. These solutions are then extensively discussed during the subsequent seminar under the guidance of a seminar teacher.
The course ends with a written exam. The purpose of the exam is twofold. First, it provides the basis for grading the students. Second, it encourages the students to review the contents of the course, thereby consolidating the knowledge they have acquired. In connection with the exam, the students should be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to understand, interpret and critically examine a piece of social science literature from a methodological perspective.
Grades are awarded on a scale comprising the grades VG (pass with distinction), G (pass), and U (fail).
To reach the grade G (pass), students must:
- participate in all mandatory seminars as well as present serious attempts to solve all exercise assignments - reach at least the grade G (pass) on the written exam.
2a. Political theory 7.5 hp
Democracy and Moral Conflicts Spring 2013 The course is given in collaboration with Department of Philosophy
Content The theme of the course concerns normative principles regarding public moral reasoning in liberal democracies.
The theme connects to a general change in the political conflict pattern in Western liberal democracy, due to a deepening cultural and religious diversity. Moral conflicts are as important, if not more important, as distributive, economic conflicts. In order to solve moral conflicts in a legitimate way, pure aggregation of preferences according to democratic procedures is not enough. Political legitimacy demands public justification according to principles that everybody can understand. There is a need for a “public reason”, which can be understood and accepted by all citizens, regardless of different comprehensive philosophical doctrines. But what is a “public reason” possible – or even desirable? And what is the epistemic basis for a “public reason”?
The course connects to central issues discussed in Rawlsian political liberalism and in theories of deliberative and epistemic democracy, about the value and function of public reasoning in a democracy.
The course combines a abstract theoretical perspective with a practical political approach. In the first part of the course the theoretical and philosophical positions regarding a “public reason” are discussed. In the second part of the course, we will focus on practical political issues that illustrates the theoretical and normative problems, for example gay rights, abortion, the right to hide your face, the right to practice different religious rituals, animal rights etc. We will specifically focus on the role and place of religion in public education.
Examination: The examination consists of three parts: Reading reports to the seminars, active participation in the seminar, and – most important – a course paper presented at the final seminar. The subject of the course paper can be either theoretical or more political, focusing on a specific moral political conflict.
Goals and expectations: After the course the student is expected to know about, and be able to critically discuss:
• Central epistemic arguments for liberal and democratic institutions. • Different normative approaches to moral disagreements in normative democratic and liberal theory. • Different ideas and conceptions of “public reason” in democratic and liberal theory. • Different institutional and political conditions for solving moral conflicts in democracies. • Different positions regarding the place and role of religion in public education in liberal democracies. • Different positions in moral political conflicts in liberal democracies of today.
2b. Comparative Politics: Conflicts, Democratisation, Institutions and Global Development 7.5 hp
GES HT 2012, i mån av resurser.
Course description The course deals with some of the most central problems described in comparative politics. Why do some people decide to use a gun instead of the ballot when trying to influence politics? What explains differences in degrees of democratisation? Which role do domestic and international factors play in a process of development? What is the role of history – path dependence – for the success of democracy? Can different institutions help solve ethnic conflicts or create justice? These questions are discussed in the course literature, from theoretical perspectives and with reference to empirical research on the US, Europe, South Asia, Latin America, as well as from a global perspective. The language of instruction is English.
The goals of the course The course aims at providing a good understanding of research in the field of comparative politics. It should provide good knowledge of important research contributions and research strategies that aim at, or are useful for, describing and explaining political and ethnic conflicts, socialisation, democratisation, development, in an extensive geographical comparative context, in developed as well as developing parts of the world. Also, the choice of literature and the cases selected to be studied have been made to give examples of different designs of research projects that should be useful for students preparing their C/D/master-level thesis project. In short, after the course, the students should: • have a good idea of what comparative politics is • know the comparative politics discourse better • be better prepared to write a thesis
Contents Comparative politics is a strange name. It is strange because what you find under the label comparative politics – and its synonyms in other languages – often is not (explicitly) comparative. Most of the time it simply is “politics in other countries”; other, that is, than the home country of the author. The conventional distinction between comparative and international politics is that the former deals with politics in other countries, and the latter between countries; this is more easy to remember if one thinks of another common name for the latter – international relations. But clearly there are interesting questions to ask where this demarcation will not hold, not least in the post-11-September world .
If comparative politics is politics in other countries, then it is indeed a lot. Therefore we must make choices what to study. One option would be to attempt to see the world’s political systems as a number of fairly distinct categories, and to learn about these categories and their cases. This has been attempted by numerous text book authors. Another choice is to study a number of constitutional systems in the world. This course is built on another logic. We have chosen to focus on some central research problems in comparative politics. The overall problems concern democracy, conflicts, institutions (rules), justice and development. This is chosen because important parts of research in political science concern these issues, and secondly because these issues are important to many people in many countries; two overriding criteria for any research or teaching in social science. Within this theme the course focuses on these three issues:
• Ethnic Conflicts and Mobilisation • Democratic Consolidation or Crisis • Global Perspectives on Justice and Development
The choice of theme(s) and literature is a conscious attempt to bridge the unfortunate divide between studies of the West and “the rest”. The idea is that we can learn more about industrialised countries, former socialist countries and so-called Third World countries by not separating them but studying them together.
Apart from the books required to be read, the course will make use of some academic articles. One purpose of using these articles is to give you an idea about current debates in international research. All articles will be available for free via the Uppsala University Library.
Within the allocated teaching resources there are a number of seminars you have to attend. We hope that all of you will take an active part in the discussions we will have in all the seminars.
We have achieved our objective with this course if, in at the end of it, you think you have a better (or even much better) grasp of some substantial empirical, or political, problems in the contemporary world and some orientation in a few current debates in international research.
Written exam. Seminars. Book reports. Research design-proposal.
The exam • The exam will consist of two to four questions for five to ten points each, on the books and articles included in the course. Each question will require answers of about one to two handwritten pages. • The main purpose of the exam is to verify that you have absorbed and understood the literature. It also tests your skills in analysing academic literature and to what extent you can summarise complicated ideas in a coherent way. • Remember that you must register for this exam ca 12 days before on our web site.
Seminars: There are four seminars in this course. Attendance is compulsory for all seminars. I you fail to attend a seminar you will have to hand in an extra written assignment. Additional instructions for the seminars may be handed out by the lecturers.
Grading One grade for the whole course will be given according to the Swedish three-level system: Pass with distinction= Väl godkänd (Vg), Pass = Godkänd (G), and Fail = Underkänd (U). To pass, all requirements for the course have to be completed with at least the grade “Pass”.
2c. The European Union 7.5 hp
Autumn semester 2012
The aim of the course is to provide a basic understanding of how the EU political system works, and how the Union affects member-states. The course covers three main themes: First, the EU is studied as a political system. The key institutions and decision-making processes at the EU level are presented. The students are introduced not only to the formal rules of the game, but also to the political practices developed over time. Second, the course examines the basic constitutional problem of the EU. How democratic and effective is the EU political system? Which are the main options for reforming the current institutional set-up? How will the EU evolve as a result of the Lisbon treaty? The third theme covers the processes of Europeanisation: if and how are the political systems at the national level affected by membership in the EU? Are processes of Europeanisation visible in the member-states? How has EU-membership affected executives, parliaments and bureaucracies?
Having completed the course, students are expected to:
• possess basic knowledge of how the EU’s political system works • possess good knowledge of the basic institutions of the EU • possess good knowledge of the decision-making processes within the EU • possess a basic understanding of the most important policy fields within the EU • possess a basic understanding of the constitutional problems linked to the institutional set-up of the EU • possess basic knowledge of Europeanisation • possess good knowledge of how parliaments, governments and administrations at the national level are affected by EU-membership
The course is composed of a mixture of lectures and seminars. The lectures address the basic themes and issues. During the seminar students get the opportunity to discuss questions linked to the basic themes.
The literature includes books, articles and working material.
The course is taught in Swedish.
Examination Examination is based upon participation in compulsory elements of the course and a written exam. The following grades will be applied: passed with distinction (VG), passed (G) and failed (U).
In order to pass the following is required:
(1) participation in compulsory elements of the course; (2) the grade ’passed’ on the written exam.
To pass the course with distinction the student is required to participate in compulsory elements of the course as well as receiving the grade ’passed with distinction’ on the written exam.
2d. Swedish politics 7.5 hp
Autumn semester 2012
Objectives The purpose of this course is to deepen the insights on how the Swedish political system has developed and where it is today that earlier courses at the A and B level provided. Particular weight is put on focusing on areas where the Swedish political development differs or is in some way exceptional in comparison to advanced industrial democracies of a similar standing. Notwithstanding, an implicit comparative perspective guides the course. The aim is to strengthen the students abilities to make oral presentations by either individually or in small groups conduct a minor “field study” during the course. The ability to write in an analytic way is trained through the writing of reading reports and a final course-paper.
Contents The course applies both a historic and a contemporary focus. Sweden’s democratisation from the late 19th century to the eve of World War II is analysed. In a comparative perspective, this process turned out to be surprisingly peaceful and pragmatic. The empirical knowledge about Sweden’s way to democracy is placed in an internationally generated theoretical framework where the consolidation processes in other parts of Europe puts Sweden in some perspective. Politics in Sweden has for the major part of the 20th century been dominated by a social democratic party and movement than in alliance with other political forces built a welfare state that still is extensive. The history of social-democracy in Europe, where the Swedish case forms one of the major examples, is studies in the course. Why did the social democrats become so successful? In the course, the contemporary politics and policies are in focus as well. Sweden is today the world’s most post-materialist country. How does this affect policies? One particular area of “post-materialist” policies is treated, the policies of parental leave and how the re-shaping of the identities of not least men have been a major part of this policy. The course also pays attention to how interest groups and organisations exert influence today and how political parties have been affected by the processes of individualisation that post-materialism has brought with it. The literature consists of research monographs, textbook, articles and book chapters.
Teaching The teaching in this course consists of introductions/lectures on the literature, seminars where the literature is analysed and discussed and a “field study” conducted by the students.
Examination The course is examined orally through the active participation in the seminars and through the oral participation in the “rollspel”. Written reading reports are to be handed in to each seminar, and a final course-paper consists also a basis for examination.
Grades will be given according to the Swedish three-level system: Pass with distinction= Väl godkänd (Vg), Pass = Godkänd (G), and Fail = Underkänd (U).
Specialisation in relation to examination requirements: In this course the analytical skills are trained at a more advanced level than earlier. The literature is partly demanding, requiring a capacity to extract central conclusions from a larger body of information. The literature represents different research traditions and thus requires an ability to reflect independently on research design, sources and conclusions. That means, that a scientific approach is being trained. The oral skills are important, understood here as the ability to present a self-collected material in front of the group in a clear and structured manner.
2e. Organisation, implementation and evaluation in public policy 7.5 hp
Spring semester 2013.
The aim of the course is to provide students with the capacity and skills to critically and independently describe, explain and evaluate single reforms and governing initiatives, as well as more general tendencies and patterns of political steering. They shall become familiar with the research literature, and also become competent to frame relevant problems on organisation, implementation and evaluation issues in public policy and political steering.
Teaching consists of lectures and seminars.
Oral and written examination. The grades are Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U).
2f. Comparative Middle East Politics 7.5 hp
Spring semester 2013
Course content to be announced.
2g. Tragedy of the Commons: Climate Change, Energy, and the Politics of Resource Management 7.5 hp
Spring semester 2013.
Course content to be announced.
2h. International Politics 7.5 hp
Spring semester 2013.
Course content to be announced.
2 i. Gender and politics in a comparative perspective 7.5 hp
Autumn term 2012.
This course aims at providing a good understanding of research in the field gender and politics. The students are introduced to feminist political theories and theories about masculinities. In the empirical part we compare women’s and men’s political participation and representation in different countries and in different political institutions. We will discuss theories about what hinders and what improves gender equality. How do the distribution of power between women and men look like today? What explains women’s representation? Are gender quotas good or bad? What do we mean by state feminism? The course also looks at policies from a gender perspective. Do more women in politics lead to more women-friendly policies? Examples will be taken from the fields of social policy, abortion policy and policies on gender based violence. Is there a connection between the degree of political gender equality and the content of political decisions? How do feminist theories and theories about masculinities contribute to our understanding of these problems?
Having completed the course, students are expected to:
• possess basic knowledge about theories on political representation from a gender perspective • possess good knowledge of how women’s and men’s political participation and representation differs and about the variation over time and between different countries • possess good knowledge about the most common explanations to why there are gender differences in political participation and representation • possess a basic understanding of different types of gender- and welfare policies • possess a basic understanding of the significance of gender for the content of public policies • possess good knowledge of relevant feminist theories and theories about masculinity
The course consists of lectures and seminars. Language of instruction: English.
Oral and written examination. The following grades will be applied: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U).
3. Thesis 15.0 hp
On completion of the course the student is expected to:
- have gained the insights and skills required that makes it possible to participate in a meaningful way in the knowledge-seeking process that utmost, in seminar with others, is about trying to prove the validity in an argument,
- independently define, set up and carry out a research assignment with relevance to the theory formation of the field and the chosen problem,
- collect and analyse data relevant to the theory and research problem at hand, being aware of the limitations of the material
- be able to interpret and analyse the material and draw conclusions in a considerate way,
- in dialogue with others, be able to analyse and reflect on the design of other investigation assignments, and thereby be able to consider other standpoints that might apply, as well as communicate such standpoints to others.
The course is about independently defining, setting up and carrying out a research assignment, (thesis/essay), that the student has decided on and outlined in discussion with a supervisor. The written essay is presented in a final seminar. An important part of the seminar is to analyse and reflect on the design of different kind of investigations, the students' own as well as others. In the final seminar the author is expected to give an oral presentation of the essay and should also be able answer questions and reflect on the independently written investigation. Furthermore each student also has to start a discussion on another essay by acting as an opponent and also actively participate in the discussions on the essays that are presented in each seminar group.
The course is conducted in various ways. In the lectures advice is presented on how to go about writing the essay and how it can be done. Also aspects of oral presentation and communication are presented. Each student writing a Bachelor's thesis will be assigned a supervisor who will supervise each student individually and according to the needs of each student. An important part of the education is the final seminar where all the written essays are presented. Here is an excellent opportunity for the students to reflect on how different kinds of investigations have been implemented from start to end and to learn from the specific problems that have been dealt with.
One's grade in the Bachelor's Thesis course depends on the quality of the essay, defence of the essay, opposition, as well as active participation in seminar discussions. The seminars are thus not without significance for one's grade. An essay's contents obviously provide the foundation, but the significance of the opposition, defence, and active participation should not be underestimated. A good seminar contribution can above all lead to a higher grade when the essay as such does not fully correspond to the respective requirements. It is required that the students should be able to present the essay with clarity and be able to reflect on the design of other investigations.
The quality of the essay is essential and is of great importance to the final grade given. Precision in dealing with the question, how well one analyses the relevant material, and the ability to provide clear answers to the issues discussed are fundamentally important matters. The question, the analysis, and the conclusion must hang together. The quality of the essay is determined by the degree of creativity evident and the extent to which the student is able to demonstrate an independent standpoint throughout the various aspects of the essay: the definition of the question, the connection to theory and to previous research, the method, the formulation of the conceptual and analytical apparatus, the selection and management of sources, how well the analysis is conducted, how the results are presented, the organisation of the text, and the conclusion.
Grading System: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG).
The instruction is done in the form of lectures and seminars of varying content and disposition.
Additional information regarding instruction and examination will be handed out before each sub-course.
The course examination is based on active seminar participation, course papers, essay assignment and written tests.
Course level in relation to degree requirements
On completion of the course the students are expected to have deepened their knowledge within one of the sub-disciplines of political science. They will have acquired a general view, and knowledge of the current scientific debate. The students’ ability to analyse, evaluate and critically examine research and to formulate their own research problems will be deepened, as well as their ability to critically discuss and present information both orally and in writing, and their ability to independently search for scientifically relevant data and information. Additional training in the skill to present their arguments orally as well as in writing in a clear and concise way, will be offered.
The awareness and knowledge of methods will be deepened, and the methodological skills required to independently raise scientific questions and to carry out simple empirical studies, will be developed. A basic awareness will be acquired concerning the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society and the public responsibility for its use. While working with the independent project the students’ ability to critically, independently and creatively identify and formulate questions will be deepened, and they will learn to plan and carry out qualified assignments within given time limits and with adequate methods, and to present and discuss the underlying conclusions and arguments, both orally and in writing. The skills required for participation in the research and development work, or for working independently in some other qualified field, will be especially developed here.