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Transformations in Modern Politics: Democracy, Conflict and Globalisation


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos
  • Assessment: a 1500-2000-word essay (25%), four online quizzes (10%) and a two-hour examination, or take-home test if the module is delivered online (65%)

Module description

Why has the Arab Spring not led to the democratisation of the Middle East? What explains the rise of new populist parties, movements and leaders in the West? How did a billionaire businessman with no extensive political experience become US President? These are the kinds of questions addressed in this module, with reference to key concepts and theories of democracy, conflict and globalisation.

You will learn about the historical transformation of modern politics, from the rise of the modern state and the notion of human rights, to the contemporary challenges of climate change and multicultural identities. You will acquire knowledge of how states operate domestically, and an understanding of the effect of international politics on domestic politics, as well as a wider familiarity with the formal processes and intuitions associated to democracy, government and globalisation in different regions of the world.

Indicative module content

  • State, Nation and Violence
  • Democratic Politics
  • Authoritarian Regimes
  • Social Transformations

Learning objectives

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the competing theories of democracy, conflict and globalisation, and the emerging social and political issues related to the conduct of politics and the exercise of government between and across different parts of the world
  • demonstrate knowledge of the context in which political transformation takes place and the ways in which political institutions and social processes help or hinder such change
  • demonstrate an understanding of how various theoretical approaches drawn from the social sciences and humanities contribute towards the understanding of social and political transformations in the modern world
  • make use of relevant research methods and study skills when critically analysing transformations in modern politics
  • apply the methods and techniques you have learned to assess competing theories and empirical evidence as to the nature and scale of the social and political changes induced contemporary globalisation.