Syllabus for Political Science A

Statskunskap A

A revised version of the syllabus is available.

Syllabus

  • 30 credits
  • Course code: 2SK009
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Political Science G1N

    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:

    First cycle

    • 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

    Second cycle

    • 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

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2007-01-24
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Revised: 2014-05-21
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2014
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements and Social Studies 1b/1a1+1a2 or Civics A
  • Responsible department: Department of Government

Learning outcomes

On completion of the A course in Political Science the students are expected to:


Be able to present and discuss:

  • the history of political ideas and the results of them;
  • the political government, public administration and the main features of the official political life in Sweden and other countries;
  • variations in political participation;
  • the political problems of the developing countries and new democracies;
  • the development of international politics during the 20th century;
  • the development of the European Union and the role of Sweden on the international arena.


    Participate actively and independently in seminar discussions and to give some short presentations of their own.


    Treat a defined research problem and in connection therewith:
  • have practised the application of a scientific approach to sources and source material
  • understand the value of, and bases for, good argumentation
  • be able to distinguish between theoretical literature and empirical findings
  • be able to separate personal opinions from the independent conclusions to be drawn from a source material
  • be familiar with the basics of source references.
The course is primarily based on course literature and some shorter scientific texts. At the following levels research books and more advanced scientific reports are introduced. The intention is to give the students an introduction to different research fields of political science and to present some of the research methods used. Much weight is placed on making the students realise what independent and critical thinking means, and to equip them with the necessary tools to evaluate conclusions and arguments. Concerning skills practice the most important thing in this course is the development of the writing ability in the form of written seminar reports and final papers. The first opportunity to practise the speaking ability is given during the seminars and is then further developed within courses at more advanced levels.

Content

The course consists of five parts: Political Theory, State Formation, Citizens and Society, Public Administration, and International Politics.

Political Theory 3.0 hp

Purpose
The aim of the course is to make students acquainted with some elements of political thought and political theory. The student is to acquire the capacity to interpret and assess political ideas in an independent manner, in some cases through the reading of classic sources. On the one hand, the purpose is to try to understand what may appear strange (or insidiously familiar); on the other hand, we aim to judge the truth and fecundity of the texts and arguments that we encounter.

Content
The course is structured by a series of lectures on political thought from Antiquity to the modern age. During the lectures, the students will encounter important political and theoretical traditions and thinkers that have shaped our understanding of the things that are considered important in political theory. In this context, some fundamental political concepts are introduced, such as state, society, political obligation, virtue, constitutionalism, democracy, liberty, justice and dignity. Svante Nordin’s textbook Det politiska tänkandets historia serves as a supplement. This is also true of the other textbook, Johan Tralau’s Inbjudan till politisk teori, which is about what one does when doing political theory. The lectures are intended to serve as an invitation to the students to engage and address the classic ideas and texts of political theory. Some of these are given particular attention. It must also be emphasised that the lectures provides guidelines to how one is to read the literature and deal with the seminar assignments.
The course is thus concerned with the individual and independent reading of classics. This year, we read excerpts from Plato’s Republic, thus giving the students the opportunity to reflect on the role of political thinking and the rational enquiry into right and wrong; moreover, we read John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. In addition, we read some shorter excerpts, mainly from the volume Tretton texter i politisk teori.
The most important element of the course is to be found in the seminars and in the writing of a short scholarly text, a memo. During the seminars, the students have the task to reflect on and evaluate ideas that are not their own. This implies that the history of political thought and the interpretation of this tradition on the one hand, and normative judgements about right and wrong in political and moral issues on the other hand, are considered to belong together. The students are supposed to transcend their own horizon by trying to understand and defend different political ideas that are developed in the required reading.

Teaching
The course consists of lectures and seminars; the students prepare for the latter by reading all of the required literature and reflecting on the questions that they are assigned. The students are expected to bring the literature to the seminars and to be able to look up the relevant passages that are under discussion.

Examination
For the note, the student needs to pass the written exam, to take part in the seminars in an active manner, and to pass the memo written for the fourth seminar. In order to pass the memo, the student needs to make an argument about issues pertaining to principles and problems of interpretation based on the literature, the lectures and the seminars – in an independent manner, yet avoiding the pitfall of mere opinion.

Written exam Political Theory 3.0 hp

The course ends with a written examination, which serves both as basis for grading, and an opportunity for the student to rehearse the content of the course.

Grades awarded for the examination: Fail (U) - Pass (G) - Pass with Distinction (VG).

State Formation 2.0 hp

Goals
This course provides students with a holistic understanding of political systems in general. The course is designed to provide students with the basic terminology, theories and methods within the field state formation; this includes an understanding of the division of power (horizontal and vertical), the function of different political institutions, state-building and policy implementation. The course also aims to provide students with knowledge of Swedish political history. The course has an explicit comparative approach and the course pays special attention to the European Union.

Contents
The course examines political institutions by analysing the roles of the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government as well as the construction of the state and the implementation of policy. The development of the Swedish political system is thoroughly reviewed as is the European Union.

Examination
The students are required to display active participation in the seminars given and to submit written assignments. The students are expected to produce a course paper, connected to the course literature but with free choice of subject, as well as acting as both respondent and opponent at course paper seminars.

Grades awarded for the seminars (including the course paper): Fail (U) – Pass (G). In order to obtain the grade Pass, active participation is required.

Written exam State Formation and Citizens and Society
Written examination, which serves both as basis for grading, and an opportunity for the student to rehearse the content of the courses.

Grades awarded for the written examination: Fail (U) - Pass (G) - Pass with Distinction (VG).

Citizens and the Society 2.0 hp

Goals
The objectives for this basic level course are to provide students with an orientation in the basic terminology, theories and methods within central areas of political science research as well as the presentation of research results from several essential research fields such as: democratisation processes; political parties; political participation and political culture. It is intended that this course should be broad, with the objectives of providing students with elementary political science knowledge and skills which will create the basis for later continuation and specialisation courses within a number of areas. The aim is to train and develop the students' own analytical and reflection skills through both the participation in seminar discussions and the production of short analytical texts in collaboration with others.


Contents
This course is based on a holistic perspective of politics and political systems and has the expressed aim of being comparative. With its starting points in citizens’ roles, political culture and political participation the course focuses on democracy and democratisation processes, the organised citizen society in the form of political parties, and interest groups together with other channels of influence such as the media. The course concentrates on empirical data using examples from states in different areas of the world as well as Sweden. The course has a broad focus and introduces politics and political problems in the advanced industrial societies, post-communist Europe and developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The themes that have been introduced in this course will return at the higher levels.

Teaching
The teaching is given in the form of lectures and seminars. In addition there may be additional lectures by guest lecturers concerning topical empirical or theoretical themes.

Examination
The students are required to display active participation in the seminars given and to submit written assignments. The students are expected to produce a course paper, connected to the course literature but with free choice of subject, as well as acting as both respondent and opponent at course paper seminars.

Grades awarded for the seminars (including the course paper): Fail (U) – Pass (G). In order to obtain the grade Pass, active participation is required.

Written exam State Formation and Citizens and Society
Written examination, which serves both as basis for grading, and an opportunity for the student to rehearse the content of the courses.

Grades awarded for the written examination: Fail (U) - Pass (G) - Pass with Distinction (VG).

Written exam Citizens and Society; State Formation 8.0 hp

Written examination, which serves both as basis for grading, and an opportunity for the student to rehearse the content of the courses.

Grades awarded for the written examination: Fail (U) - Pass (G) - Pass with Distinction (VG).

Public Administration 2.0 hp

Learning outcomes
On completion of this course the students are expected to:

  • understand the role and function of the public administration,
  • have an extended comprehension of central characteristics of the Swedish public administration, i.e. have acquired a thorough familiarity of the organisation of the public administration,
  • be able to interpret and apply public administration concepts, ideas, and notions on political processes and developments,
  • be able to problematise the relationship between power and responsibility within the public administration,
  • have a basic understanding of how to apply a critical perspective on the study of politics and administration.
Contents
Public administration policy is entails ideas and measures directed towards the organisation and working methods of the public sector. During the course some of these measures will be presented and discussed. The point of departure is that the success or failure of public administration policies has a decisive significance on the preparation and carrying out of other policy programs and reforms. Hence, the central focus is on classical problems within political science such as the organisation of government. The literature mainly deals with the Swedish case, but international contrasts will be made during the course.

Instructions
The teaching consists of lectures, seminars and the writing of a short paper. The lectures focus the central themes of the course, and contextualise selected elements of the course literature. At the seminars the students are expected to have prepared answers to the questions to be discussed, and students are also expected to participate actively in the seminar discussions. For the third seminar meeting, a paper of two to four pages should be submitted.


Examination
The students are examined by means of a written exam, participation at seminars and a short paper for the last seminar. The paper to the last seminar should address a theme in the course literature (can be chosen freely), and the paper will be presented and defended in the last seminar by the student. Moreover, at the last seminar the student is also expected to comment on another student’s paper. At the end of the semester (together with the course International politics) there will be a written exam. The course ends with a written examination, which serves both as basis for grading, and an opportunity for the student to rehearse the content of the course.

Grading is based on the student’s ability to reason about relevant problems from the course literature, the lectures and the discussions in the seminar.

Grades awarded for the seminars (including the written paper): Fail (U) – Pass (G).

International Politics 2.0 hp

Goals
This course shall provide students with an overview and enhanced understanding of international politics. The course is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop basic communication (speaking, writing, seminar participation), research, and analytical skills. The course shall prepare students for intermediate (B) studies in this subfield and contribute to preparing students for higher levels studies and qualified employment.

Contents
The course emphasises the development of international politics during the last century and beyond, with a special focus on the European experience. A number of central theoretical traditions and perspectives on international politics are introduced including some or all of the following: realism, liberalism, constructivism, gender. In addition key problems and processes of international politics such as security, conflict, cooperation, integration, and foreign policymaking will be presented.

Instruction
The instruction for this course consists of lectures and seminars.

Examination
Active participation in seminars is required. Grades awarded for the seminars: Fail (U) - Pass (G). The course ends with a written examination.

Written exam Public Administration; International Politics 8.0 hp

Written examination, which serves both as basis for grading, and an opportunity for the student to rehearse the content of the courses.

Grades awarded for the written examination: Fail (U) - Pass (G) - Pass with Distinction (VG).

Instruction

The teaching consists of lectures, seminars and the writing of a course paper. Questions to be discussed, should be prepared for the seminar meetings by the students. Active participation in seminars is required. Grading is based on the student's ability to reason about relevant problems from the course literature, the lectures and the discussions in the seminar.

Additional information regarding instruction and examination will be handed out before each sub-course.

Assessment

The students are examined by means of written exams, participation at seminars and short papers.

Other directives

This course may be included in the Bachelor's Programme in Political Sciences, the Social Science Programme as well as being a separate single subject course in a Bachelor Degree. This course can not be included in a Bachelor 's Degree along with Social and Political Studies AB: Political Science 15 credits.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2014

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Political Theory

  • Platon, Stolpe, Jan Skrifter. Bok 3 : Staten

    Atlantis, 2003

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Hallberg, Peter; Jansson, Maria; Mörkenstam, Ulf Tretton texter i politisk teori : Niccolò Machiavelli, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, John Stuart Mill, Joseph Schumpeter, Robert Nozik, Robert Dahl, Carole Pateman

    2., [utök.] uppl.: Malmö: Liber, 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Tralau, Johan Inbjudan till politisk teori

    Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Nordin, Svante Det politiska tänkandets historia

    3., [utök.] uppl.: Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Mill, John Stuart Ahlberg, Alf Om friheten

    [Ny utg.]: Stockholm: Natur & Kultur, 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

State Formation

  • Bennich-Björkman, Li; Blomqvist, Paula Mellan Folkhem och Europa : svensk politik i brytningstid

    Liber, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Petersson, Olof Den offentliga makten

    3. uppl.: SNS Förlag, 2010

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Möller, Tommy Svensk politisk historia : strid och samverkan under tvåhundra år

    2., [uppdaterade] uppl.: Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2011

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Hague, Rod; Harrop, Martin Comparative government and politics : an introduction

    9. uppl.: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Tallberg, Jonas EU:s politiska system

    5., rev. uppl.: Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

Citizens and Society

  • Bennich-Björkman, Li; Blomqvist, Paula Mellan Folkhem och Europa : svensk politik i brytningstid

    Liber, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Dalton, Russell J. Citizen politics : public opinion and political parties in advanced industrial democracies

    5th ed.: Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, c2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Linde, Jonas; Ekman, Joakim; Uhlin, Anders Demokratiseringsprocesser : teoretiska ansatser och empiriska studier

    Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2006

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Hague, Rod; Harrop, Martin Comparative government and politics : an introduction

    9. uppl.: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

    Kap 1, 4-9, 11-12, ca 160 ss.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

  • Keesing's world news archive

    Bethesda: Keesing's Worldwide,

    Find in the library

  • Global corruption report 2006 : special focus : corruption and health

    London: Pluto, 2005

    Find in the library

  • Countries at the crossroads : a survey of democratic governance.

    New York: Freedom House, c2007

    Find in the library

Public Administration

  • Bennich-Björkman, Li; Blomqvist, Paula Mellan Folkhem och Europa : svensk politik i brytningstid

    Liber, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Peters, B. Guy The politics of bureaucracy : an introduction to comparative public administration

    6th ed.: London: Routledge, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Petersson, Olof Den offentliga makten

    3. uppl.: SNS Förlag, 2010

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Styra och ställa : förslag till en effektivare statsförvaltning : slutbetänkande från 2006 års förvaltningskommitté.

    Stockholm: Fritze, 2008

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Ahlbäck Öberg, Shirin Rothstein, Bo Politik som organisation : förvaltningspolitikens grundproblem

    4. uppl.: Stockholm: SNS förlag, 2010

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added

International Politics

  • Gustavsson, Jakob; Tallberg, Jonas Internationella relationer

    2. uppl.: Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2009

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Nye, Joseph S.; Welch, David A.; Bynander, Fredrik Att förstå internationella konflikter

    Harlow: Prentice Hall, cop. 2011

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Brommesson, Douglas; Ekengren, Ann-Marie Sverige i världen

    2. uppl.: Malmö: Gleerups, 2011

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Articles will be added