Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 33

School of Politics and

International Relations
Module Outline

POLITICAL ANALYSIS
POL 105
2010-2011

Module Convenor: Lee Jones


(l.c.jones@qmul.ac.uk)

Lecturers: Judith Bara [JB], Claes Belfrage [CB], Lee


Jones [LJ], Brendan O’Duffy [BO’D], Eilis Rafferty [ER],
Paul Rekret [PR]

Seminar Tutors:
Nick Hostettler (n.d.hostettler@qmul.ac.uk)
Simon Kaye (s.kaye@qmul.ac.uk)
Anastasia Voronvoka (a.voronkova@qmul.ac.uk)
Faidon Zaras (f.zaras@qmul.ac.uk)

Timetable:
Lectures: Mondays, 2pm
Seminars: Mondays, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12noon

1
1. Module Description

Political Analysis is dedicated to the close study of core political concepts from
different theoretical perspectives: politics itself; power; and the state. Through
analysing these core concepts, students will also be introduced to some of the
most important ideas, skills, methods and knowledge required to succeed at
university and beyond. Students are simultaneously encouraged to engage with
classical debates on the nature of power and how we should analyse the state,
and to develop core analytical capacities such as the ability to interpret and
criticise published research and to write effective and fluent reports and essays.
Students will have an opportunity to pursue their own small, independent
research project on the topic of ‘power in Britain today’. The course is taught
through lectures and seminars, as well as through direct contact with personal
advisors.
This handbook provides important information about course organisation,
assessment and teaching. Please consult it regularly. You should also consult
WebCT on at least a weekly basis, and check your emails at least every few
days.

2. Aims & Objectives

At its most fundamental, this module aims to teach students how to think about
politics. Its content is thematically grouped around three themes: what is
politics? What is power? And what is the state? Each of these themes feature
classic debates in political science and also raise some of the most fundamental
issues about the way in which political life operates. Is power exercised only in a
clash of wills, or is power about shaping the very content of these wills in the first
place? Is the state penetrable by a wide variety of agents and interests in
society, or is it structurally dominated by particular classes? These debates raise
questions about the fundamental assumptions we make about social reality and
the role that social structure and human agency play in creating political
outcomes.

Part of the module’s purpose is thus to introduce students to these core concepts
for their own sake. But a further purpose is to help students appreciate the even
bigger issues at stake in conceptual debates. Furthermore, through the close
study of political concepts, the module aims to help students develop some
crucial capacities that will help them succeed in their studies and beyond,
particularly the ability to read, think and write analytically and critically. Guided
by their tutors, we hope that students will develop the confidence and ability to
deconstruct scholarly arguments and to clearly articulate their own emerging
ideas.

3. Learning Outcomes

(a) Knowledge
By the end of this module, successful students should be able to:
• identify and debate competing definitions of politics, power, and the state
• show an awareness of a range of analytical approaches employed in the
study of politics
• demonstrate basic knowledge and understanding of research methods in
politics and of their appropriate application

2
(b) Skills
By the end of this module, successful students should be able to:
• construct a coherent written argument and support it with appropriate
evidence and references
• participate effectively in group discussion
• undertake basic research on a defined topic with appropriate support
• reflect on their own learning process and identify areas for improvement
• interpret political sources appropriately, including primary sources and
published sources using a variety of research methods
• identify, locate and reference accurately the sources needed for research
• demonstrate transferable skills through a range of writing styles and
research methods, appropriate for use within and beyond academia.

4. Teaching Arrangements

Political Analysis is team taught. Weekly lectures are provided by academic staff
from the School; weekly seminars are led by Teaching Assistants; and personal
advisers mark coursework and provide students will feedback and guidance.

Lectures will be held on Mondays at 2pm. 1-hour-long seminars are held at 9am,
10am, 11am and 12noon on Mondays. You will be assigned to seminar groups at
the beginning of term – please check the School notice-board on the second floor
of the Arts building. Changes to seminar groups will be allowed only in cases of
timetable clashes. Students will meet their personal advisers five times
throughout the course of the year. Check the Politics notice-boards if you are
unsure as to who your personal adviser is. Personal advisors provide dedicated
sessions to meet with students to provide grades and feedback and to discuss
your progress. A schedule is provided on Blackboard. If due to a timetabling
clash you are unable to meet with your personal advisor you must email them
ASAP to arrange a different meeting, which will likely be during their normal
scheduled office hours.

NB: attendance at seminars and personal advisor meetings is compulsory. Please


read section 8, below.

Seminars for Political Analysis are run somewhat differently to those for other
first-year modules. Their exact content and structure will vary considerably from
week to week, but will include substantive discussion of scholarly debates,
writing workshops, and guided deconstruction of published research. This will
often involve working in pairs and small groups along with plenary discussions
and time for individual writing, sometimes in learning journals which students
are expected to keep for this module (see section 5, below). Tutors will explain
how each session will run, and weekly guidance can also be found in section 11,
below. Seminar activities are almost always tightly integrated with the
coursework you are expected to produce for this module, and are also designed
to help you succeed in your coursework for other first-year modules.

5. Assessment

a) Submission of coursework

Political Analysis is assessed in seven ways, summarised below with the relevant
deadlines. Full details are below.

3
Item Maximum Percentage of Deadline
Length Final Grade
i) Learning Journal N/A (see below) N/A (see below) N/A (see below)
ii) Review Essay: What is 1,000 words 15% 1 Nov 2010
Politics?
iii) Critical Analysis of 1,000 words 15% 13 Dec 2010
Research
iv) Research Bibliography 500 words 10% 10 Jan 2011
v) Essay: Power in Britain 2,500 words 20% 14 Feb 2011
vi) Quantitative Data Analysis 1,000 words 15% 14 Mar 2011
vii) Examination 1.5hrs 25% N/A

(i) Learning Journal Deadline: n/a (formative)

Students are expected to keep a learning journal during this course. This should
be either a notebook, or a ring binder (A ring-binder is best for your journal
because it will allow you to add pages to particular sections as they fill up.)
Students are asked to record their ideas, thoughts and reflections on particular
core concepts and issues in this journal during the course of the year. These are:

• Core Political Concepts: • Core Social Science Concepts:


• What is politics? • Ontology
• Power • Epistemology
• The state • Methodology
• Structure
• Agency

Do not worry if these ideas are unfamiliar to you at first – you will be introduced
to them during the course of this module. However, you will find that these
concepts/ issues will be reflected not just in this module, but in all your other
first-year modules. You are therefore asked to jot down any insights, thoughts, or
questions you have in relation to them, which occur in any module. Divide each
page in half with a vertical line. On the left hand side, write your initial ideas. On
the right hand side you can return to these ideas and write commentaries on
them as you discover answers to earlier questions or change your mind about
things you’ve written. You should aim to write in your journals for 30 minutes a
week.

You should also bring your journals to each seminar as you will often be given
writing tasks to complete which you should enter into your journals.

Although seminar tutors will check your progress over the course of the year, the
learning journal is not part of the formal assessment of the course – it will not be
collected and graded. It is, however, a core part of the learning process. It is part
of your formative assessment: it is intended to allow you to reflect upon the
knowledge and insight you gain over time. There are two seminars at the end of
the course in which you will revisit the contents of your journals which will help
consolidate what you have learned over the year. Your journals, if well-kept, will
also be excellent aids as you revise for the final exam. Please do, therefore, take
this part of the assessment seriously.

4
(ii) Review Essay: What is Politics? Deadline: 1 Nov 2010

Students will produce an essay reviewing four texts on the topic of ‘what is
politics?’, maximum 1,000 words.

You will be introduced to these texts and trained in how to write a review of them
during the seminars in weeks 3 and 4 of Semester A, supported by lectures in
weeks 2 and 3 (see further details in section 11, below).

Guidelines and Advice for Writing a Review

The reviewer generally assumes that the reader is intelligent and informed but
does not know the texts in great detail. Thus, the reviewer may briefly and
concisely describe the works under review during the course of the review.
Relevant details might include:
• The author’s basic line of argument.
• The evidence used to support this argument.

HOWEVER, the bulk of a review should be evaluative, comparative and


analytical, not descriptive. Your goal is to compare and contrast the texts under
review while critically assessing their relative strengths and weaknesses. For
example, Text A could claim that politics is the art of governance, while Text B
claims that politics is expressed in any relationship in which power is exerted,
including, for instance, the family. A mediocre review would merely point out
(describe) this difference; a good review would critically assess the basis of the
disagreement, the evidence authors use to support their case, and make an
argument about which point of view they find most convincing and why.

Compared to an essay title, which is very specific and directive, the task of
writing a review is a little more open-ended. It is up to you to identify the most
important issues raised in the texts, to decide which are the areas of
disagreement and agreement, the themes mentioned by all (or most) authors
across which you want to compare the texts. For this exercise you have already
been given guidance on what these themes might be. But for further exercises,
the following questions might help you devise the basis for your review:
• What are the different authors’ views on the issue?
• What questions are being asked by the different sources?
• Do the different authors present the same themes, or opposing ideas,
arguments and conclusions?
• What relationships between the different sources can be identified?

What a literature review is not:


• A descriptive summary of the texts.
• An evaluation of superficial aspects like the text’s presentation, e.g.,
whether it is well organised, uses bullet points or case studies in boxes.
• An impressionistic report on how you read the text, e.g., ‘I found it difficult
to understand’. Work out which bits of a text you find challenging and
discuss them with your peers and tutor. If the text remains challenging,
what is the reason for this? Is the argument contradictory? The evidence
inadequate? The logic flawed? The writing too dense? You should analyse
the difficulty, and write about this, rather than simply describing the
difficulty.

5
Hints on writing a review:
• Draft the review as soon as possible, while the text(s) are still fresh in your
mind. If this is not possible, at least jot down your ideas.
• If possible, read the texts again.
• In your first draft, you might find it helpful to simply write down all your
thoughts and then cut it down to size, retaining only the most important
points and condensing your ideas. The first draft will be a fairly full
account of the text(s) which can help compensate for fading memories.
• Writing very brief reviews of texts after reading them is a good general
practice. They are useful to refer to when you come to write an essay,
because they provide arguments in embryo.

(iii) Critical Analysis of Research Deadline: 13 Dec 2010

Students will produce a 1,000-word essay which critically identifies the strengths,
weaknesses and underlying assumptions of a scholarly study on power.

Students will be given the opportunity to practice the close analysis of scholarly
research in the seminars in weeks 8 and 9 of Semester A, supported by lectures
in weeks 4-7.

The piece to be analysed for this coursework is: Culley, M.R. and Hughey, J.,
‘Power and Public Participation in a Hazardous Waste Dispute: A Community
Case Study’, American Journal of Community Psychology 41 (2008), 99-114

You should read the piece closely a number of times and then write a critical
analysis of the research. This should be in continuous prose, in formal academic
style (i.e., avoid the use of bullet-points or simply listing ideas).

The following are some questions you might like to ask yourself as you are
reading the research and writing your analysis. However, this list is by no means
exhaustive or prescriptive and you are not expected or encouraged to simply
answer each one in turn.
• How would you categorise the underlying assumptions of this
research? (E.g., ontological, epistemological)
• How would you categorise the methods used by the researchers?
What sort of data do they rely upon?
• How valuable is this data?
• What do the researchers do with the data? How reliable is the way
they use it?
• What theoretical approach do the researchers rely upon, and how do
they make use of it?
• What is the basic argument, and how well is it supported by the use of
argument, evidence and logic?
• If you wanted to dispute the researchers’ findings, how would you do
so? Or, perhaps you have ideas about how they might have done a
better job in proving their case or using their evidence?

You should ensure that your writing is primarily analytical and makes a clear
argument when assessing the research. This means that when identifying, e.g.,
underlying assumptions and the data used, you should limit the descriptive

6
aspect of this to an absolute maximum of one-third of the total word count. You
should spend at least half critically analysing, e.g., how the assumptions/ data
influence the research and might be particularly useful or helpful, or perhaps
unreliable or problematic in some way. The goal here is to even-handedly assess
both the strengths and weaknesses of the approach taken and the authors’
arguments, and to develop your capacity to critique academic research
intelligently and incisively. Select your criticisms with care, but do not pull any
punches!

Research Bibliography Deadline: 10 Jan 2011

Students will have an opportunity to research for and write a research essay on
the general topic of ‘power in Britain today’ (see [v], below). First, however,
students are asked to compile a suitable bibliography (or reading list, presented
as a bibliography) that they will go onto use for researching and writing their
essay. These bibliographies should identify at least eight scholarly sources (i.e.,
books, book chapters, journal articles, or relevant reports from reputable
governments, international agencies or non-governmental organisations; not
popular sources like newspapers or magazines). Students should select sources
which will be helpful in answering the specific question that they have chosen to
address in their essays (see below for a list of suggestions). In essence, you are
constructing a reading list for yourself.

Students will have an opportunity to practice how to identify suitable reading


material through a hands-on workshop in week 12 of Semester A, supported by a
lecture the previous week.

The bibliography you prepare should be formatted according to the School’s


conventions for the presentation of academic work (see the Undergraduate
Student Handbook, Appendix G, for guidance). Beneath the list of works you
should include brief notes on why you have chosen each item – a line or two of
text for each entry is sufficient and can be in note form. (E.g., ‘Source X -
summarises debates on power; Source Y – introductory text on media power,
good overview; Source Z - case study on power of specific newspaper group in
1997 election, might use as an example in my essay’). The total word limit for
this exercise is 500 words.

(iv) Research Essay: Power in Britain Today Deadline: 14


Feb 2011

Students will submit an essay on the theme of ‘power in Britain today’, maximum
2,500 words. The exact choice of title is up to the individual. A list of suggested
titles is presented below, but you may devise your own title if you wish. In this
case, however, you are strongly advised to discuss your ideas with your seminar
tutor or personal advisor to ensure that they are feasible. Failure to do so may
result in your selecting an unmanageable research topic and producing a weak
essay.

Students will have studied power from many different angles during Semester A
and at the beginning of Semester B, and there will be a specific lecture and
seminar on power in Britain in weeks 1 and 2 of Semester B. Naturally, students
are encouraged to use – where appropriate – ideas studied throughout the
module, and elsewhere in their first-year studies, in these research essays.
However, they should ensure that they do not replicate material submitted for

7
assessment in other modules (e.g., copying and pasting text from another essay)
as this may constitute self-plagiarism and result in this essay being penalised for
poor scholarship.

Suggested titles:
A. Are elected ministers more powerful than state bureaucrats in the
United Kingdom?
B. Does the British media have significant power?
C. How would you account for the declining power of trades unions in the
United Kingdom since the 1970s?
D. How powerful are single-issue campaign groups in the British political
system?
E. ‘The financial services sector exercises far too much power in the
United Kingdom.’ Discuss.
F. How can transnational corporations exercise influence over the British
government?
G. Does Britain still govern itself, or has there been a decisive power shift
to the European Union since the 1980s?
H. ‘The United Kingdom is no longer really run from Westminster; power
has been massively delegated to devolved governments across much
of the country.’ Discuss.

(v) Quantitative Data Analysis Deadline: 14 March 2011

Students will produce a report, written in continuous prose, which critically


analyses some quantitative data/ research, maximum 1,000 words. Guidance on
the suggested issues the report should address will be provided along with the
relevant data closer to the time.

Students will be given the opportunity to practice analysing quantitative data


and research in seminars in weeks 3 and 4 of Semester B, supported by lectures
in weeks 2 and 3.

(vi) Examination Deadline: N/A

Students will have 90 minutes to write ONE essay, selecting a title from a list
provided. The titles may draw on all aspects of the course but more emphasis
will be given to the topic of the state, which is not examined by the coursework
exercises. Further guidance on revision will be provided in the lecture in week 12
of Semester B. The exact date of the examination will be communicated to you
by the School office around the time of the spring vacation. A sample
examination paper can be found at the end of this handbook.

b) Submission of coursework

All coursework is marked anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere
on the work, instead you should use your student ID number. This is noted on
your Student ID card.

Students are expected to submit THREE copies of each item of coursework:


• Two paper copies, complete with coversheet, are handed in at the
School of Politics and International Relations office by 5pm on the

8
day of the deadline. Please do NOT try to submit work in any
other way, e.g., via seminar tutors, personal advisors, etc – it will be
rejected and, if simply pushed under doors, etc, will be regarded as late.
• The third - electronic - copy is handed in via Blackboard by 5pm on the
day of the deadline.

It is your responsibility to ensure that all copies are submitted


correctly. Failure to submit all 3 copies will result in penalties for
lateness. 5 marks are deducted for each day (or part thereof) work is late.
(Further details can be found in the Student Handbook, ch.3)

c) Presentation of Coursework

• All coursework must be presented to meet departmental guidelines and


basic scholarly standards, as stated in the Department of Politics’
Undergraduate Student Handbook, appendix C, and on Blackboard.
Coursework that does not conform to these guidelines (e.g. single rather
than double-spaced, incomplete or no bibliography, inadequately or poorly
referenced) will be penalized. Please note that any work that is submitted
without any citations/references may be deemed inadmissable as a piece
of assessed work and may be awarded a zero.
• It is the responsibility of students to make sure that they understand what
plagiarism is and how to avoid it (see section 7 below).

d) Extensions

Seminar tutors can only authorise extensions for up to 3 days including


weekends. If you require an extension, you must have good grounds for seeking
an extension and put your request in prior to the deadline. Applications for an
extension on the day on which work is due will be rejected. All extensions are
only granted at the discretion of individual tutors, who will assess them in
relation to your commitment to the module overall.

If you require an extension for longer than 3 days you must submit your essay to
the Office complete with late cover sheet and an Extenuating Circumstances (EC)
Form. The EC form must be accompanied by supporting documentation, without
documentation your request will be rejected. (Further details can be found in the
Student Handbook, Ch 3.9).

Essays submitted 14 days (or part thereof) after the deadline – including
weekends – will not be assessed and will be given a mark of zero.

NB: all coursework must be submitted for students to progress to the


examination. Unless all assessment items are completed, students will
automatically fail this module.

e) Personal Advisors

Students should have been notified in welcome week as to who their personal
advisor is, and will normally have met them at the start of term to register their
modules. However, if you are not sure who your advisor is, check with the Politics
office.

9
You will be expected to see your personal advisor a minimum of five times
throughout the academic year in order to discuss your progress on POL105. This
is in addition to any meetings with your personal advisor to discuss matters
unrelated to POL105, such as personal difficulties, course registration and so on.
Your personal advisor will have regular office hours each week for discussing
these other issues, and in addition will have five office hours over the year
dedicated solely to meeting with students to discuss POL105. These meetings
will take place as indicated below.

10
Personal advisor POL105 office hours

Personal advisors’ POL105 office hours are provided below where they are known at the time of printing the handbook. The
full, completed list will be available on Blackboard and on the first year notice-board. Remember, these are not normal office
hours but are teaching sessions and should be treated accordingly. Please check carefully and make sure that you turn up at
the right time. These meetings are compulsory and your attendance will be monitored in the same way as seminars. It is
your responsibility to make sure that you come at the right time. You may still see your personal advisor during their regular
office hours to discuss pastoral matters, but this will not be accepted as a substitute for attending the five designated
meetings for POL105.

Advisor Name Sem A, Wk 8 Sem B, Wk 1 Sem B, Wk 3 Sem B, Wk 8 Sem B, Wk 12


Claes Belfrage See note 1 below Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm
James Dunkerley Tue 2-3pm Tue 2-3pm Tue 2-3pm Tue 2-3pm Tue 2-3pm
Clive Gabay Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm Mon 1-2pm
Jeremy Jennings Thur 9-10am Thur 9-10am Thur 9-10am Thur 9-10am Thur 9-10am
Lee Jones Wed 3-4pm Thur 4.30-5.30pm Wed 4-5pm Wed 1-2pm Wed 1-2pm
Raymond Kuhn Tue 4-5pm Tue 4-5pm Tue 4-5pm Tue 4-5pm Tue 4-5pm
Bryan Mabee Fri 4-5pm Tue 11-12pm Tue 11-12pm Tue 11-12pm Tue 11-12pm
Brendan O’Duffy Fri 11.30-12.30 Fri 11.30-12.30 Fri 11.30-12.30 Fri 11.30-12.30 Fri 11.30-12.30
Patricia Owens Tue 11-12pm TBA TBA TBA TBA
Wayne Parsons TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Paul Rekret Wed 1-2pm Wed 1-2pm Wed 1-2pm Wed 1-2pm Wed 1-2pm
Jyoti Saraswati Mon 3-4pn Fri 3-4pm Fri 3-4pm Fri 3-4pm Fri 3-4pm
Richard Saull Tue 11-12pm Tue 3-4pm Tue 3-4pm Tue 3-4pm Tue 3-4pm
Jeff Webber Mon 2-3pm Mon 2-3pm Mon 2-3pm Mon 2-3pm Mon 2-3pm
Clare Woodford Tue 2-3pm Mon 3-4pm Mon 3-4pm Mon 3-4pm Mon 3-4pm

Notes: 1. Dr Belfrage is away in week 8. His advisees should report to his office at 1pm on Monday of week 9 instead.
6. Blackboard

All module materials, including a copy of this module outline can be found on
Blackboard. You should familiarise yourself with Blackboard as soon as possible
as further information concerning this module and office hours will be posted
there. To access Blackboard (on or off campus) go to
http://www.elearning.qmul.ac.uk/webct/ . You will require your QM computer
access username and password.

You should also use Blackboard to upload the electronic version your
assignments.

Seminar reading is also available on Blackboard for most weeks. The worksheets
used in seminars, some of which contain useful advice for completing related
pieces of coursework, have also been uploaded.

If you are having problems accessing/using Blackboard, support and information


can be found on the following website -
http://www.esd.qmul.ac.uk/webct/index.html.
Equally you can contact the School Office who may be able to offer assistance.

NOTE: If you have not completed your module registration properly


your modules will not show on Blackboard. It is up to you to ensure you
complete registration and check Blackboard regularly.

7. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the passing off of someone else’s work as your own. This can be a
deliberate attempt to deceive, or may be accidental where, by the time you
come to write your essay, you forget that something in your notes is not actually
your own work (or in your own words) but a verbatim quote from a source.

The School, and the University, takes plagiarism very seriously indeed.
If your work is found to be plagiarised, there are various sanctions that the
School/College employ. Any student found to have plagiarized will have marks
deducted and may be subject to disciplinary action by the college if the case is
particularly serious. In extreme cases this can lead to expulsion from College.

It is your responsibility to ensure you know what plagiarism is, and how to avoid
it. (see Ch 5.3 & 5.4 of the Student Handbook for further details).

If students have any concerns they must speak to their seminar tutor and/or
personal advisor.

8 Other Module Requirements

Attendance (See also Ch 3.7 & 3.8 of the Student Handbook)


• Attendance at seminars is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a
seminar for ANY reason you must inform the seminar tutor at the earliest
opportunity (preferably by email and before the seminar). This is
especially the case if you are due to deliver a presentation to the seminar.
Seminar Tutors will NOT request an explanation from you; it is your
responsibility to account for any absence. Further, it is your responsibility
to inform the seminar tutor; messages passed by third parties are not
acceptable.
• Be punctual in your attendance. If you are continually late for seminars
the seminar tutor will report you to the course convenor. If you are late
you must also make sure that you inform the seminar tutor of your
presence – so that you are marked as present in the register. Do NOT
assume that you will be automatically marked present if you attend a
class late after the register has been taken. Arriving punctually for
seminars and lectures is not only a requirement; it is also courteous and
enhances the learning experience for you and others. To minimise the risk
of lateness due to public transport delays or similar, try to arrive on
campus at least 30 minutes before class.
• If you miss two consecutive seminars or three seminars in the same
semester without sufficient explanation, you will be deregistered from the
course. To avoid this happening it is essential that you keep your seminar
tutor (and/or course convenor) informed of any adverse circumstances as
to why you cannot attend classes. If you are absent from college for more
than 5 days you must supply a doctor’s note. Please ensure that you keep
your personal advisor, senior tutor and/or course convenor informed of
any circumstances that may have an impact on your academic studies and
attendance to ensure that non-attendance does not result in de-
registration. In the Undergraduate Handbook (Section 8), you can find
information about what are legitimate – and what are not legitimate –
reasons for non-attendance at seminars.
• Attendance at sessions with your personal advisor are also compulsory.
These will normally take place in the form of a special additional office
hour
• Students are expected to be available to attend classes 9-5 Monday to
Friday. Students engaged in paid work will be expected to ensure that
their work commitments do not interfere with attendance. The department
is not able to accommodate - through timetabling - those students whose
work commitments clash with classes.
• While attendance at lectures is not monitored, lectures form a critical
component of your learning experience. Attendance at seminars alone is
not sufficient to pass the course, and your experience in seminars will be
greatly enhanced if you have also attended the lecture.

Participation/Preparation
• This handbook details the topics covered each week. You should use the
reading lists provided to help you prepare for lectures and seminars.
• You are expected to read at least two or more items on the ‘essential
reading’ list in preparation for every seminar. Reading lists are provided
for each topic. Failure to read will result in a less valuable seminar
experience, a more shallow learning process and a lower likelihood of
success in the course.
• Remember that university is not like school: guided independent learning
is an integral part of your studies. Reading for seminars is one of the most
important things that you will do at university.
• As per College guidelines you are expected to put in 9 hours per week
independent study time for every full-year module. A large amount
of this should be spent reading.
• You can only demonstrate reading and thinking through making regular
contributions to class discussions.

Communication
• Ensure that you access your Queen Mary email account on a regular basis
(at least 2-3 times a week). You will not be sent email messages to your
personal account (though you may wish to set up a forwarding service
from your Queen Mary account), and ALL important correspondence and
information relating to your academic progress will be sent to your Queen
Mary email address. It is your responsibility to pick up this information via
your QM email account.
• You are obliged to respond to email messages from academic staff, and to
see them if necessary regarding any issue concerned with your academic
progress. Failure to respond will lead to you being reported to the Senior
Tutor and/or Head of Department.
• Please ensure that when contacting a member of staff by email you leave
your full name in any message. The email system does not automatically
identify your name, so messages appear only from your email address
(e.g., tp10101@qmul.ac.uk); therefore, unless you identify yourself, staff
will not immediately know who you are. You can rectify this problem by
changing the settings in your email programme.

9. Reading

In section 11 below you will find detailed readings suggested for each seminar.
Reading for seminars is one of the most fundamental activities you will engage in
as a student in Higher Education. It is the main purpose for which you are
actually here. As per College guidelines you are expected to put in 9 hours per
week independent study time for every full-year module. A large amount of this
should be spent reading. Every week you should try to read the items identified
as ‘essential’ and you must read at least two of these. The essential reading has
deliberately been kept short and to the point to help you manage the workload.
Please work hard to keep up with your reading, even when you have coursework
deadlines looming – reading and coursework are not to be traded off against one
another, because the less reading you do, the worse you will perform in your
coursework. In many weeks, seminar activities assume that you have read the
essential texts and you will be unable to participate unless you have done so.
Given that many of these activities also help you prepare for specific coursework
assignments, failure to read in advance of seminars will significantly
disadvantage you.

In many weeks, an additional section of ‘recommended reading’ is provided for


students who wish to follow up a topic, perhaps for an essay or in preparation for
the exam, or to dip into to help clarify issues raised in the essential reading. You
should obviously not try to read all of the ‘recommended reading’ in any given
week. Two other general texts that you may find useful, perhaps when preparing
your research essay, are ‘readers’ which compile extracts from various authors
and extensive bibliographies that are a useful source for readings on this topic.
They are:
Haugaard, M., Power: A Reader (2002)
Scott, S, Power: Critical Concepts (1994)
a) Core Texts

A number of texts appear repeatedly on the reading lists, and are listed below.
The most frequent and useful texts are indicated with an asterisk. Pressure on
these texts in the library is likely to be very high. We have tried to alleviate this
by placing relevant texts in the Short Loan Collection, and by scanning some
items and placing PDF copies on Blackboard – but we are very limited in how
much we can do this by copyright restrictions. Accordingly, students may find it
useful to purchase a copy of asterisked texts. Hay’s Political Analysis recurs so
frequently that if you only buy one text, this should be it.

b) On Political Analysis

Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002) *


Hay, C. et al. (eds.), The State: Theories and Issues (2006) *
Heywood, A., Politics 3rd ed. (2005)
Lukes, S., Power: A Radical View (1974)
Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.), Theory and Methods in Political Science
(2010)
Smith, M.J., Power and the State (2009)

c) Academic Skills

Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to


Success at University, 2nd ed. (2008) *
Cottrell, S., Critical Thinking Skills (2005)
Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd ed. (2008) *
Dixon, T. How to Get a First (2004) *
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., How to Write Essays and Assignments
(2010) *
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., The Smarter Study Skills Companion (2010)
Northedge, A. The Good Study Guide (2005)

d) Queen Mary library and E-Journals

You should familiarise yourself with the QM library at Mile End as soon as
possible. You can locate books and hard copies of journals using the online
catalogue at http://catalogue.library.qmul.ac.uk. Many academic
journal articles have been digitised and are available online. Sometimes
you may use a search engine like Google to locate titles and click through
to a PDF version, but sometimes you will need to go through QM’s
dedicated e-journals portal to gain access. All the library’s e-resources can
be accessed via http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/e-resources
10. Course Structure

Wk Lecture Seminar Coursework Due


Semester A
1 Introduction [LJ] [No Seminar]
2 What is Politics? [CB] Introduction: Making the Most of Seminars, Time
Management and Coursework Planning
3 Reading & Writing Politics I [LJ] What is Politics?
4 Power I: 1- and 2-Dimensional Approaches [LJ] Writing Politics I
5 Arguing in Politics I [LJ] Power I: One- and Two-Dimensional Approaches
6 Arguing in Politics II [CB] Arguing in Politics I: Fundamental Concepts in Social Review Essay: ‘What is Politics?’
Science Research
7 Reading Week – No Teaching
8 Schools of Thought in Political Analysis [JB] Power II: Criticising Research I
9 Writing Politics II [CB] Power III: Criticising Research II
10 Power II: The 3rd-Dimensional Approach [PR] Writing Politics II
11 Accessing Political Research [ER] Power IV: The Third-Dimensional Approach
12 Power III: The Fourth Dimension [PR] Accessing Political Research Critical Analysis of Research

Semester B
1 Case Study: Power in Britain Today [JB] Power V: The Fourth Dimension Research Bibliography
2 Interpreting Quantitative Research I [BO’D] Case Study: Power in Britain Today
3 Interpreting Quantitative Research II [BO’D] Interpreting Quantitative Data and Research I
4 What is the State? [CB] Interpreting Quantitative Data and Research II
5 Theories of the State I: Liberalism/ Pluralism [CB] What is the State?
6 Theories of the State II: Marxism [CB] Theories of the State I: Liberalism/ Pluralism Essay on Power in Britain
7 Reading Week – No Teaching
8 [No Lecture] Theories of the State II: Marxism
9 Theories of the State III: Post-Structuralism [PR] Theories of the State II: Marxism II and Writing Politics III
10 Case Study: The British State Today [JB] Theories of the State III: Poststructuralism Quantitative Data Analysis
11 The Transformation of the State? [CB] Arguing in Politics II: Revisiting Fundamental Concepts
12 Conclusion & Revision Guidance [LJ] Reprise: What is Politics?

PAGE 20
11. Seminar Outlines & Reading List

Items followed by ‘(в)’ are (at least partially) available on Blackboard; [е]
indicates that an electronic copy is available via the QMUL library website.

SEMESTER A

Week 2 Introduction

Seminar Activity
Tutors will explain the course requirements and expectations and students will
have an opportunity to ask any initial questions. Tutors will facilitate a discussion
on how seminars operate and how students can get the most out of them, based
on students’ preparatory reading. They will also discuss the cardinal academic
offence of plagiarism and how to avoid it. The second half of the seminar will be
devoted to time-management and coursework planning. Students should bring
along details of all their coursework deadlines for the first semester across all of
their modules. Tutors will facilitate a discussion on the principles and practice of
time-management. Students will be guided through the detailed planning of one
piece of coursework and sketch out a timetable for the remaining pieces.

Essential Reading
• POL 105 Module Handbook
• Northedge, A. The Good Study Guide (2005), ch. 2, 7 (в)

Recommended Reading
Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success
at University, 2nd ed. (2008), ch. 18
Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd ed. (2008), ch. 4 (в)
Dixon, T. How to Get a First (2004), ch. 3
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., The Smarter Study Skills Companion (2010), ch. 8 (в)
‘Making the Most of Seminars’, Sociology Department, University of Sussex;
online at http://tinyurl.com/33ebbyh
‘Getting the Most out of Seminars’, University of Reading; online at
http://tinyurl.com/336pvea

Week 3 What is Politics?

Seminar Activity
Students will analyse a number of readings on the theme of ‘what is politics?’
using one technique to distinguish different themes and arguments within the
texts and to enable comparisons across them. This seminar will begin to prepare
students to be able to produce the first piece of coursework required for POL
105, and also the literature reviews required in their other first-year modules.
Through this seminar, students should begin to appreciate the varied positions
on the nature of politics and gain practice in reading academic texts analytically.
It is obviously vital that the reading listed below is completed prior to the
seminar. Students should make notes on the reading, paying particular attention
to authors’ views on power, the role of the state, the place of consensus and
conflict in politics, and the issue of resource distribution. During the seminar
students will also begin to translate their ideas into writing. Their output will be
used at the next seminar to help them develop their academic writing.
Essential Reading
• Weber, M. Politics as a Vocation (1918) (в)
• Crick, B., In Defence of Politics (1982), ch. 2 (в)
• Leftwich, A., ‘The Political Approach to Human Behaviour: People,
Resources and Power’, in Leftwich, A. (ed.) What is Politics: The Activity
and its Study (1984) (в)
• Schwarzmantel, J., Structures of Power: An Introduction to Politics (1987),
ch. 7 (в)

Recommended Reading
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., How to Write Essays and Assignments (2010), ch. 4,
6, 7 (в)
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., The Smarter Study Skills Companion (2010), ch. 25-
26
Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success
at University, 2nd ed. (2008), ch. 11-12
Heywood, A., Politics, 2nd ed. (2002), ch. 1
Leach, R., The Politics Companion (2008), parts I.1, II

Further Reading
Dunn, J., The Cunning of Unreason: Making Sense of Politics (2000), ch. 1
Goodwin, B., Using Political Ideas, 5th ed. (2007), ch. 17
Hansich, C. ‘The Personal is Political’ (1969); available at
http://www.carolhanisch.org/CHwritings/PIP.html
Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), ch. 2
Hay, C., Why We Hate Politics (2006)
Leftwich, A. (ed.), What is Politics? The Activity and its Study
Locke, J., Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690), ch. 7, §85-90; available in
various translations and editions and online via
http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtreat.htm
Machiavelli, N., The Prince (1515), ch. 15; available in various translations and
editions, and online via http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince00.htm
Miliband, R., Marxism and Politics (1977)
Nancy, J-L., ‘Is Everything Political? (A Brief Remark)’, CR: The New Centennial
Review 2:3 (2002), 15-22
Schmitt, C. ‘The Concept of the Political’ [1932] reprinted in Schmitt, C. The
Concept of the Political, trans. Schwab. G (2007), 19-79
Schwarzmantel, J. The Age of Ideology (1998), ch. 7-8

Week 4 Writing Politics

Seminar Activity
Students will have the opportunity to develop their writing skills and prepare to
develop their first piece of coursework for Pol 105, a review essay on the theme
‘What is Politics?’ Tutors will lead a workshop centred on writing produced in the
previous seminar, to help students write more effective paragraphs and to
structure their arguments and essays. In preparation, students should read the
guidelines for writing a review, and select two additional items from the list
below.

Essential Reading
• Guidelines for writing a review [on Blackboard]
• Plus, choose two from the list below:

Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success
at University, 2nd ed. (2008), ch. 13-14
Cottrell, S., The Study Skills Handbook, 2nd ed. (2008), ch. 8 (в)
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., How to Write Essays and Assignments (2010), ch. 11,
17-18 (в)
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., The Smarter Study Skills Companion (2010), ch. 34,
38 (в)
Northedge, A. The Good Study Guide (2005), ch. 11 (в)

Week 5 Power I: One- and Two-Dimensional Approaches

Seminar Activity
This is the first of several seminars on the concept of ‘power’. Power is arguably
the central organising principle in Politics and a proper understanding of its
nature is vital. These seminars should help students appreciate the enormous
influence that definitions of important concepts have for the way that we
understand political life (and how we engage politically in our own lives). We will
consider the concept of power from a different perspective, adding additional
layers of understanding and complexity. Students will have the opportunity to
learn about a classic debate in the study of politics but also to practice engaging
in the close, forensic study of difficult analytical concepts and published
research. Along the way, we will explore some of the foundational assumptions
underpinning concepts in political analysis and important issues such as
structure and agency and the notion of post-structuralism.

In this first seminar, tutors will facilitate a discussion on the first two rounds in
the academic debate on the nature of power.

Questions for Discussion


(a) What is Dahl’s definition of power?
(b) How does Dahl measure power in operation?
(c) What conclusions does this lead him to about how power is exercised
within democratic systems?
(d) What do Bachrach and Baratz say that Dahl has overlooked?
(e) Can you think of any contemporary examples of the phenomenon
Bachrach and Baratz say Dahl has missed?

Essential Reading
• Dahl, R.A., Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City
(1961), excerpts (в)
• Bachrach, P. and Baratz, M.S., ‘The Two Faces of Power’, American
Political Science Review 56:4 (1962), 947-952 [е]

Recommended Reading
Bachrach, P. and Baratz, M.S., ‘Decisions and Non-Decisions: An Analytical
Framework’, American Political Science Review 57:3 (1963), 641-651 [е]
Bachrach, P. and Baratz, M.S., Power and Poverty: Theory and Practice (1970)
Crenson, M.A., The Un-politics of Air Pollution: A Study of Nondecisionmaking in
the Cities (1971)
Dahl, R.A., ‘A Critique of the Ruling Elite Model’, American Political Science
Review 52:2 (1958), 463-469 [е]
Debnam, G., ‘Nondecisions and Power: The Two Faces of Bachrach and Baratz’,
American Political Science Review 69:3 (1975), 889-899 (see their reply,
ibid., 900-904) [е]
Domhoff, G.W., Who Really Rules? New Haven and Community Power Revisited
(1978) [Domhoff’s scathing deconstruction of Dahl is helpfully summarised
in his ‘Who Really Ruled in Dahl’s New Haven?’, Who Rules America?,
September 2005, available at
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/local/new_haven.html]
Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), 168-182
Haugaard, M., Power: A Reader (2002), ch. 1-2
Lukes, S., Power: A Radical View, 2nd ed. (2005) (e), ch. 1
Merelman, R.M., ‘On the Neo-Elitist Critique of Community Power’, American
Political Science Review 62: (1968), 451-460 [е]
Morriss, P., ‘Power in New Haven: A Reassessment of “Who Governs?”’, British
Journal of Political Science 2 (1972), 457-465 [е]
Schattschneider, E.E., The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy
in America (1960), esp. ch. 1 (в)
Smith, M.J., Power and the State (2009), ch. 1

Week 6 Arguing in Politics I: Foundational Concepts in Social


Science

Seminar Activity
Tutors will facilitate a discussion of the foundational assumptions that underpin
the research conducted by political scientists and the arguments they make.
These revolve around ontology, epistemology and methodology. Students will
have an opportunity to consider examples of political research and identify their
underlying assumptions. Understanding these difficult but fundamental
philosophical underpinnings of social scientific research will enable students to
unpick the assumptions of academic authors, giving them a tremendous
potential resource for analysis and critique. In the following two week, students
will have the opportunity to analyse one piece of research on power in close,
forensic detail, to identify and critique its underlying assumptions.

Essential Reading
• Furlong, P. and Marsh, D., ‘A Skin Not a Sweater: Ontology and
Epistemology in Political Science’ in Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.),
Theory and Methods in Political Science (2010), 184-211 (в)
• Grix, H., ‘Introducing Students to the Generic Terminology of Social
Research’, Politics 22:3 (2002), 175-186 (e)
• Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), pp. 1-13, 27-65 (в)

Recommended Reading
Moses, J. and Knutsen, T., Ways of Knowing: Competing Methodologies in Social
and Political Research (2007), esp. ch. 1, 2, 7, 8 (в)
Hollis, M., The Philosophy of Social Science: An Introduction (1994), esp. ch. 1 – 4
Hempel, C. G. ‘The Function of General Laws in History’, Journal of Philosophy
39:2 (1942), pp. 35-48; reprinted in Martin, M. & McIntyre, L.C. (eds.),
Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science (1994), ch. 3 [for the
‘naturalist’ view] [е]
Jorgensen, K.E., International Relations Theory: A New Introduction (2010), ch. 9
[very useful on what theory is for and how it is produced, including a DIY
guide to help students theorise]
Leach, R., The Politics Companion (2008), part II
Taylor, C. ‘Interpretation and the Science of Man’, Review of Metaphysics 25:1
(1971), pp. 3-51; reprinted in his Philosophy and the Human Sciences:
Philosophical Papers, vol. 2 (1985), ch. 1, and in Martin and McIntyre
(eds.), Readings, ch. 13 [for the interpretivist/ constructivist view] [е]
Fay, B. and Moon, J.D., ‘What Would an Adequate Philosophy of Social Science
Look Like?’, Philosophy of Social Science 7:3 (1977), pp. 209-227;
reprinted in Martin and McIntyre (eds.), Readings, ch. 2 [a comparison
which rejects the dichotomy] [е]

Week 7 Reading Week – No Teaching

Week 8 Power II: Criticising Dahl I

Seminar Activity
The seminars in weeks 8 and 9 continue to explore the one/two dimensional view
of power and aims to further develop students’ ability to closely scrutinise and
criticise academic research. This task prepares students for the next piece of
coursework on this module. This week, guided by their tutors, students will
critically analyse in depth a published research article on power in the United
States (by Dahl), identifying its component parts and underlying assumptions,
and begin the task of criticising them. It is obviously vital that the essential
reading is completed prior to the seminar.

Essential Reading
• Dahl, R.A., ‘The Concept of Power’, Behavioral Science 2:3 (1957), 201-215
(в)
• Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), pp. 10-13, 168-
182 (в)
• Cottrell, S., Critical Thinking Skills (2005), ch. 3, 6

Recommended Reading
Isaac, J.T. ‘Beyond the Three Faces of Power: A Realist Critique’, Polity 20:1
(1987), 4-31; reprinted in T.E. Wartenberg (ed.) Rethinking Power (1992),
32-55 [е]
Sanders, D., ‘Behavioural Analysis’, in Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.), Theory
and Methods in Political Science 3rd ed. (2010), 23-41
Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd ed. (2008), ch. 10 (в)

Week 9 Power III: Criticising Dahl II

Seminar Activity
Students will complete their close analysis of a Dahl’s research. Having identified
the various components and assumptions behind the research, they will now
focus on criticising the research and writing a short, critical response to it. This
will help them prepare for their next piece of assessed coursework. Students will
be encouraged to reflect on how scholars use evidence and argumentation to
advance a point of view and to consider whether analytical and/or political biases
may enter scholarly work through academics’ foundational assumptions.

Essential Reading
• Dahl, R.A., ‘The Concept of Power’, Behavioral Science 2:3 (1957), pp. 201-
215 [should already have been read] [е]
• Lukes, S., Power: A Radical View, 2nd ed. (2005) (e), pp. 14-29
• Cottrell, S., Critical Thinking Skills (2005), ch. 7, 8 (в)

Recommended Reading
Isaac, J.T. ‘Beyond the Three Faces of Power: A Realist Critique’, Polity 20:1
(1987), 4-31; reprinted in T.E. Wartenberg (ed.) Rethinking Power (1992),
32-55 [е]

Week 10 Writing Politics II

Seminar Activity
Building on the work done in week 4, tutors will facilitate a workshop to help
students develop their writing at university and beyond. Students will have the
opportunity to discuss how to think about responding to essay questions and to
assess and discuss examples of student essays, so as to better appreciate what
tutors are looking for in written work and how their own work could be improved.
These sample essays will have been made available on Blackboard. Students
should arrive at the seminar having read and marked at least two of these
essays according to the criteria in the Undergraduate Handbook. They should
also have written a short paragraph explaining their grade. For each essay,
students should also identify one strength and one weakness.

Essential Reading
• Sample essays (в)
• Undergraduate Handbook section 5 and appendix G (в)
• McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., How to Write Essays and Assignments (2010),
ch. 2 (в)

Recommended Reading
Cottrell, S., The Study Skills Handbook, 2nd ed. (2008), ch. 7 (в)
Dixon, T. How to Get a First (2004), ch. 9-10
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., The Smarter Study Skills Companion (2010), ch. 37,
39-42 (в)
McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., How to Write Essays and Assignments (2010), esp.
ch. 2, 8, 10-16 (в)
Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success
at University, 2nd ed. (2008), ch. 13-14
Northedge, A. The Good Study Guide (2005), ch. 10 (в)

Week 11 Power IV: The Third Dimensional Approach

Seminar Activity
The module returns to its focus on power in politics. Tutors will facilitate a
discussion on the ‘third dimension’ in the academic debate over the nature of
‘power’, as pioneered by Stephen Lukes. Lukes’s critique of the first two ‘faces’
will be considered along with the larger issues it raises for our understanding of
politics, particularly the question of structure and agency.

Essential Reading
• Lukes, S., Power: A Radical View, 2nd ed. (2005), ch. 1 (е)
• Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), 178-187 and ch. 3
(в) [if unavailable see Hay, C., ‘Divided by a Common Language: Political
Theory and the Concept of Power’, Politics 17:1 (1997), 45-52 [е], and Hay,
C. ‘Structure and Agency’, in Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.), Theory and
Methods in Political Science, 1st ed. (1995)]

Questions for Discussion


(a) What does Lukes argue is the most important element missing from the
first two dimensions of power?
(b) How might an individual’s power be (i) enhanced or (ii) constrained by
social and political structures? How might an individual’s preferences be
structurally influenced? Can you think of any examples?
(c) Do you think people have any ‘objective’ interests?

Recommended Reading
Allen, A., ‘Feminist Perspectives on Power’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(2005), available at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-power
Ball, T., ‘New Faces of Power’, in T.E. Wartenberg (ed.) Rethinking Power (1992),
14-31
Barbalet, J.M., ‘Power, Structural Resources and Agency’, Perspectives in Social
Theory 8:1 (1987), 1-24
Benton, T., ‘“Objective” Interests and the Sociology of Power’, Sociology 15:2
(1981), 161-184 [е]
Bradshaw, A., ‘A Critique of Steven Lukes’ Power: A Radical View’, Sociology 10:1
(1976), 121-127 (see Lukes’ reply, ibid., 129-132) [е]
Brodie, E., et al., ‘Understanding Participation: A Literature Review’, Pathways to
Participation, December (2009), available at
http://pathwaysthroughparticipation.org.uk/wp-
content/uploads/2009/09/Pathways-literature-review-final-version.pdf
Clegg, S.R., Frameworks of Power (1989)
Layder, D., ‘Power, Structure and Agency’, Journal for the Theory of Social
Behaviour, 15:2 (1985), 131-149
Hardy, C.B., ‘The Nature of Unobtrusive Power’, Journal of Management Studies
22:4 (1985), 384-399 [e]
Haugaard, M., Power: A Reader (2002), ch. 3-4
Haugaard, M., ‘Reflections on Seven Ways of Creating Power’, European Journal
of Social Theory 6:1 (2003), 87-113 [е]
Hayward, C. and Lukes, S., ‘Nobody to Shoot? Power, Structure and Agency: A
Dialogue’, Journal of Power 1:1 (2008), 5-20 [e]
Herman, E.S. and N. Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of
the Mass Media (1994)
Isaac, J.T. ‘Beyond the Three Faces of Power: A Realist Critique’, Polity 20:1
(1987) [е], 4-31; reprinted in T.E. Wartenberg (ed.) Rethinking Power
(1992), 32-55
Isaac, J. Marxism and Power (1987)
Smith, M.J., Power and the State (2009), 33-42
Rosen, M., On Voluntary Servitude: False Consciousness and the Theory of
Ideology (1996)

Week 12 Accessing Political Research

Seminar Activity
The seminar will take the form of a hands-on workshop designed to train
students in how to access various types of reading and research materials using
on-campus and online resources. This will prepare students for the first next
piece of coursework: the preparation of an initial bibliography for a research
essay on the theme of ‘Power in Britain Today’. In this seminar, students will
have the opportunity to practice their skills in identifying suitable reading to help
them write essays for a given title. Tutors will first brief students on the task,
giving out examples of essay titles, for which students will work in pairs or small
groups to identify suitable readings and write a bibliography, using appropriate
academic conventions.

Essential Reading
• School of Politics and International Relations Undergraduate Handbook, ch.
5 and appendix C (в)
• Dixon, T. How to Get a First (2004), ch. 4 (в)
• McMillan, K. and Weyers, J., How to Write Essays and Assignments (2010),
ch. 5, 17-19 (в)

SEMESTER B

Week 1 Power V: The Fourth Dimension

Seminar Activity
Tutors will facilitate a discussion on the fourth dimension in the academic debate
over the nature of ‘power’, which draws upon the post-structuralist (or post-
modern) approach of Michel Foucault. As well as considering the implications of
this viewpoint for our understanding of power and politics, seminar groups will
discuss the challenge that postmodernist approaches pose for the study of social
life in general.

Questions to Consider
(a) What would you identify as the main point distinguishing the fourth face
from the other three?
(b) Where and in what ways is power exercised to produce human subjects?
(c) Who exercises this power?
(d) What are the epistemological assumptions of postmodernism?

Essential Reading
• Digeser, P. ‘The Fourth Face of Power’, Journal of Politics 54:4 (1992), 977-
1007 (в)
• Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), 187-193 (в) and
ch. 7

Recommended Reading
Dean, M., Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society (1999)
Fairclough, N., Language and Power, 2nd ed. (2001)
Foucault, M., Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Sheridan, A.
(1977)
Foucault, M., Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-
1977, ed. Gordon, C., trans. Marshall, L., et al. (1981)
Foucault, M., ‘The Subject and Power’, Critical Inquiry 8:4 (1982), 777-795 [e]
Foucault, M., The Foucault Reader, ed. Rabinow, P. (1984)
Foucault, M., ‘Governmentality’, trans. Braidotti, R. in Burchell, B. et al. (eds.),
The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (1991), 87-104
Flyvbjerg, B., Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice (1998)
Haugaard, M., Power: A Reader (2002), ch. 10
Haugaard, M., ‘Reflections on Seven Ways of Creating Power’, European Journal
of Social Theory 6:1 (2003), 87-113 [е]
Hindess, B., Discourses of Power: From Hobbes to Foucault (1996)
Hoy, D.C., ‘Power, Repression, Progress: Foucault, Lukes, and the Frankfurt
School’, in idem. (ed.) Foucault: A Critical Reader (1986)
McHoul, A. and Grace, W., A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject
(1997), ch. 3
Newman, S., Power and Politics in Poststructuralist Thought: New Theories of the
Political (2005)
Philp, M., ‘Foucault on Power: A Problem in Radical Translation’, Political Theory
11:1 (1983), 29-52 [е]
Rabinow, P. and Rose, N., ‘Biopower Today’, BioSocieties 1:2 (2006), 195-217 –
read pp. 195-198 for a definition of biopower
Rose, N. and Miller, P., ‘Political Power Beyond the State: Problematics of
Government’, British Journal of Sociology 43:2 (1992), 173-205 (в)
Smith, M.J., Power and the State (2009), 42-52

Supplementary/ Reference Material


Felluga, D., ‘Modules on Foucault: On Power’, Introductory Guide to Critical
Theory (2003), accessible at
http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/newhistoricism/modules/foucaultpo
wer.html
O’Farrell, C., ‘Key Concepts’ (2007), available at http://www.michel-
foucault.com/concepts/index.html

Week 2 Power VI: Case Study – Power in Britain Today

Seminar Activity
Tutors will facilitate a discussion on power in contemporary Britain. Who or what
is powerful and why? How does shifting our understanding of power from the first
through to the fourth dimension alter our answer to this question? Which is the
most appropriate way of thinking about how power operates in practice?

Essential Reading
Dunleavy, P., et al., Developments in British Politics, 7th ed. (2003), ch. 18
Peston, R., Who Runs Britain? How Britain’s New Elite are Changing our Lives
(2008) ch. 1, 10
Power Inquiry, Power to the People: The Report of Power: An Independent Inquiry
into Britain’s Democracy (2006), Executive Summary [available at
http://www.powerinquiry.org/report/index.php]
Recommended Reading
Curran, J. and Seaton, J., Power Without Responsibility: The Press, Broadcasting
and New Media in Britain 6th ed. (2003)
Demos, The Power Gap: An Index of Everyday Power in Britain (2009), available
at http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/the-power-gap
Kuhn, R., Politics and the Media (2007)
Lovenduski, J., Feminizing Politics (2005)
Campbell, R., Childs, S. and Lovenduski, J., Women at the Top 2005: Changing
Numbers, Changing Politics? (2005) [available at
http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blogs/publications/archive/2007/10/01/
Women-at-the-Top-2005.aspx]
Marr, A., Ruling Britannia: The Failure and Future of British Democracy (1995)
Monbiot, G., Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (2000)
Power Inquiry, Power to the People: The Report of Power: An Independent Inquiry
into Britain’s Democracy (2006), available at
http://www.powerinquiry.org/report/index.php
Sampson, A., Who Runs This Place? The Anatomy of Britain in the 21st Century
(2005)
Weir, S. and Beecham, D., Political Power and Democratic Control in Britain: The
Democratic Audit of the United Kingdom (1999) [ch.10 on networks in
power might be useful]
Williams, H., Britain’s Power Elites: The Rebirth of a Ruling Class (2006)

Week 3 Interpreting Quantitative Data and Research I

Seminar Activity
Alongside two lectures on how to interpret statistics and quantitative research,
tutors will run two workshops to train students in the basic analysis of
quantitative data and in how to make sense of and criticise the use of such data
in academic research. This will prepare students for the quantitative data
analysis coursework. Students may find it useful to dip into the recommended
reading below when tackling this coursework.

In this first workshop, some simple data will be presented in various forms and
students will interpret it in small groups, guided by their tutors.

Essential Reading
• John, P. ‘Quantitative Methods’, in Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.), Theory
and Methods in Political Science (2010), 267-284 (в)
• Burnham, P. et al. (eds.), Research Methods in Politics (2008), chapter on
‘Descriptive Statistics’ (в)
• Harrison, L., Political Research: An Introduction (2001), ch. 2 [e-book
available via library catalogue]

Recommended Reading
Allison, P., Multiple Regression: A Primer (1998) (в)
Best, J., Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media,
Politicians and Activists (2001)
Healy, J., Statistics: A Tool for Social Research (1998)
Huff, D., How to Lie With Statistics (1954)
Lewis-Beck, M. Applied Regression: An Introduction (1985)
Rowntree, D., Statistics Without Tears: A Primer For Non-Mathematicians (1991)
Shively, W.P., The Craft of Political Research (2009), ch. 8-10

Week 4 Interpreting Quantitative Data and Research II

Seminar Activity
In the second of two workshops, students will analyse some published research
which makes use of quantitative data and methods. Students will begin to
critically analyse how statistics are used to support analysis and argumentation.
They will later write up a full and critical analysis of the research as part of the
Pol 105 coursework requirement.

Essential Reading
• Information will be provided closer to the date.

Recommended Reading
Allison, P., Multiple Regression: A Primer (1998) (в)
Best, J., Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media,
Politicians and Activists (2001)
Burnham, P. et al. (eds.), Research Methods in Politics (2008), chapter on
‘Descriptive Statistics’ (в)
Harrison, L., Political Research: An Introduction (2001), ch. 2
Healy, J., Statistics: A Tool for Social Research (1998)
Huff, D., How to Lie With Statistics (1954)
John, P. ‘Quantitative Methods’, in Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.), Theory and
Methods in Political Science (2010), 267-284 (в)
Lewis-Beck, M. Applied Regression: An Introduction (1985)
Rowntree, D., Statistics Without Tears: A Primer For Non-Mathematicians (1991)
Shively, W.P., The Craft of Political Research (2009), ch. 8-10

Week 5 What is the State?

Seminar Activity
This seminar is the first of four on the concept and object of ‘the state’ which,
like ‘power’, is central to political analysis. Again, the goal of these sessions is to
consider the same analytical object from several different theoretical
perspectives, showing how the theories we adopt shape what and how we see
something. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on the underlying
assumptions of state theories and how they connect with earlier content in the
module. The three theories of the state that are considered roughly mirror the
dimensions of power considered above in that they move from an interpersonal
to a structural and then a post-structural theory of the state. They also raise
issues like structure and agency.

In this first, introductory seminar, tutors will facilitate a discussion on the


historical origins and evolution of the state, from modernity to ‘post-modernity’
(or ‘past-modernity’).

Questions to Consider
(a) Where did states come from? How do they differ from governments?
(b) What are the most important characteristics of the modern state?
(c) What does it mean to say that the state is ‘sovereign’?
(d) In what ways is the state said to be transforming in the contemporary
period?

Essential Reading
• King, R. and Kendall, G., The State, Democracy and Globalization (2004),
ch. 2 (в)
• Poggi, G., The State: Its Nature, Development, and Prospects (1990) (в)

Recommended Reading
Anderson, P., Lineages of the Absolutist State (1974)
Goodwin, B., Using Political Ideas, 5th ed. (2007), ch. 13
Hay, C. et al. (eds.), The State: Theories and Issues (2006), introduction, ch. 9-10
Held, D., et al. (eds.), States and Societies (1985)
Hobson, J., The State and International Relations (2000), ch. 1
Heywood, A., Political Theory: An Introduction 3rd ed. (2004), ch. 3-4
Heywood, A., Politics 3rd ed. (2007), ch. 5 (в)
Krasner, S.D., ‘Approaches to the State: Alternative Conceptions and Historical
Dynamics’, Comparative Politics 16:2 (1984), 223-246
Marinetto, M., Social Theory, The State and Modern Society (2007), ch. 1,
available at http://www.mcgraw-
hill.co.uk/openup/chapters/0335214258.pdf
Meiksins Wood, E. and Wood, N., A Trumpet of Sedition: Political Theory and the
Rise of Capitalism, 1509-1688 (1997)
Meiksins Wood, E., Citizens to Lords: A Social History of Western Political
Thought From Antiquity to the Middle Ages (2008)
McLellan, G., The Idea of the Modern State (1984)
Poggi, G., The Development of the Modern State: A Sociological Introduction
(1978)
Smith, M.J., Power and the State (2009), ch. 5 (в)
Tilly, C., Coercion, Capital and European States, AD990-1990 (1990)

Week 6 Theories of the State I: Liberalism and Pluralism

Seminar Activity
Tutors will facilitate a discussion of liberal and pluralist theory on the state’s
origins and nature. Students will be encouraged to identify the theory’s
underlying assumptions and political implications.

Questions to Consider
(a) What is the origin of the modern state, according to liberals and pluralists?
(b) How does this affect their view of the legitimate scope of the state and its
powers?
(c) Who holds power in a liberal/pluralist state and why?
(d) Does the state have any autonomous power according to this perspective?

Essential Reading
• Smith, M., ‘Pluralism’, in Hay, C. et al. (eds.), The State: Theories and
Issues (2006), 21-38 (e)
• Dryzek, J. and Dunleavy, P., Theories of the Democratic State (2009), ch. 5
(в)

Recommended Reading
Dryzek, J. and Dunleavy, P., Theories of the Democratic State (2009), ch. 2
Hayek, F.A., The Road to Serfdom (1944)
Held, D. and McGrew, A., ‘Globalization and the Liberal Democratic State’,
Government and Opposition 28:2 (1993), 261-288
Hobson, J., The State and International Relations (2000), ch. 3
Klosko, G., ‘Presumptive Benefit, Fairness, and Political Obligation’, Philosophy &
Public Affairs 16:3 (1987), 241-259
McFarland, A., Neopluralism: The Evolution of Political Process Theory (2004)
Marinetto, M., Social Theory, The State and Modern Society (2007), 12-15,
available at http://www.mcgraw-
hill.co.uk/openup/chapters/0335214258.pdf
Mill, J.S., On Liberty (1869)
Laborde, C., Pluralist Thought and the State in Britain and France, 1900-25
(2000)
Locke, J., The Second Treatise of Government (1690), esp. ch. 2, 7-9
Nozick, R., Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974)
Pateman, C., The Problem of Political Obligation: A Critique of Liberal Theory
(1979)
Ramsay, M., What’s Wrong with Liberalism? A Radical Critique of Liberal Political
Philosophy (1997), esp. ch. 7
Rawls, J., Political Liberalism, 2nd ed. (2005)
Raz, J. ‘Authority and Justification’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 14:1 (1985), 3-29
Schattschneider, E.E., The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy
in America (1960), ch. 2
Schmidtz, D., ‘Justifying the State,’ Ethics 101:1 (1990), 89-102
Simmons, A.J., Moral Principles and Political Obligations (1979), ch. 1-5
Stears, M., Progressives, Pluralists, and the Problems of the State (2002)
Wellman, C.H., ‘Liberalism, Samaritanism, and Political Legitimacy’, Philosophy &
Public Affairs 25:3 (1996), 211-237

Week 7 Reading Week – No Teaching

Week 8 Theories of the State II: Marxism

Seminar Activity
In the second section of the seminar, tutors will facilitate a discussion of Marxist
critiques of liberal state theory and Marxist views on the state’s origins and
nature. Students will be encouraged to identify the theory’s underlying
assumptions and political implications. This discussion will be continued and
concluded in the next seminar.

Questions to Consider
(a) How do Marxists understand the origin of the modern state?
(b) What is the relationship between state and society in the view of Marxist
state theory?
(c) Who holds state power, according to Marxists? Why?

Essential Reading
• Jessop, B., State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in its Place (1996), ch.
6 (в)
• Hay, C., ‘(What’s Marxist About) Marxist State Theory?’, in Hay, C. et al.
(eds.), The State: Theories and Issues (2006), 59-78 (e)

Recommended Reading
Barrow, C., Critical Theories of the State: Marxist, Neo-Marxist, Post-Marxist
(1993)
Dryzek, J. and Dunleavy, P., Theories of the Democratic State (2009), ch. 4
Haugaard, M., Power: A Reader (2002), ch. 4
Hobson, J., The State and International Relations (2000), ch. 4
Jessop, B., State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in its Place (1996)
Jessop, B., State Power: A Strategic-Relational Approach (2008)
Marinetto, M., Social Theory, The State and Modern Society (2007), 17-25,
available at http://www.mcgraw-
hill.co.uk/openup/chapters/0335214258.pdf
Meiksins Wood, E., ‘Separation of the Economic and Political in Capitalism’, New
Left Review I/127 (1981)
Offe, C., ‘The Theory of the Capitalist State and the Problem of Policy Formation’,
in Lindberg, L.N. et al. (eds.), Stress and Contradiction in Modern
Capitalism: Public Policy and the Theory of the State (1975)
Sayer, D., ‘The Critique of Politics and Political Economy: Capitalism, Communism
and the State in Marx’s Writings of the Mid-1840s’, Sociological Review
33:2 (1985), 221-253

Week 9 Theories of the State II: Marxism II; and Writing Politics III

This week’s seminar is split into two parts. In the first part, tutors will facilitate
continued discussion of Marxist state theory, focusing on the debate between
Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas. Students will be particularly encouraged to
reflect upon the emphasis each author places on structure and agency.

In the second half of the seminar, tutors will facilitate the final writing workshop
of the module, using the essays recently submitted on power in Britain.

Questions to Consider
a). Exactly how is the capitalist class supposed to exercise domination over
the state, according to Marxists?
b). What role do Marxists give to structure and agency in their view of the
state?

Essential Reading
• Barrow, C.W., ‘The Miliband-Poulantzas Debate: An Intellectual History’, in
S. Aronowitz and P. Bratsis (eds.), Paradigm Lost: State Theory
Reconsidered (2002), 3-44 [available at
http://www.scribd.com/doc/27339084/Aronowitz-State-Theory-
Reconsidered-Paradigm-Lost]

Recommended Reading
Aronowitz, S. and Bratsis, P. (eds.), Paradigm Lost: State Theory Reconsidered
(2002)
Barrow, C., Critical Theories of the State: Marxist, Neo-Marxist, Post-Marxist
(1993), ch. 1-2
Block, F., ‘The Ruling Class Does Not Rule: Notes on the Marxist Theory of the
State’, Socialist Revolution 7:3 (1977), 6-28
Jessop, B., State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in its Place (1996)
Jessop, B., State Power: A Strategic-Relational Approach (2008)
Miliband, R., ‘The Capitalist State – Reply to Poulantzas’, New Left Review I/59
(Jan-Feb 1970), 53-60
Miliband, R., ‘Poulantzas and the Capitalist State’, New Left Review I/82 (Nov
1973), 83-92
Miliband, R., The State in Capitalist Society (1969)
Miliband, R., Capitalist Democracy in Britain (1982)
Miliband, R., ‘State Power and Class Interests’, New Left Review I/138 (April
1983), 57-68
Miliband, R., Class Power and State Power (1983)
Poulantzas, N., ‘The Problem of the Capitalist State’, New Left Review I/58 (Nov-
Dec 1969), 67-78
Poulantzas, N., Political Power and Social Classes (1973)
Poulantzas, N., ‘The Capitalist State: A Reply to Miliband and Laclau’, New Left
Review I/95 (Jan-Feb 1976), 63-83
Poulantzas, N., State, Power, Socialism (1978)

Week 10 Theories of the State: Poststructuralism

Seminar Activity
Tutors will facilitate a discussion of post-structuralist theory on the state’s origins
and nature. Students will be encouraged to identify the theory’s underlying
assumptions and political implications.

Questions to Consider
(a) Why do poststructuralists think it important to theorise the state as a set
of relationships rather than a ‘thing’?
(b) What is the relationship between state and society in post-structuralist
theory?
(c) Does post-structuralist state theory offer a coherent or convincing answer
to the question of ‘who governs?’

Essential Reading
• Finlayson, A. and Martin, J., ‘Poststructuralism’, in Hay, C. et al. (eds.), The
State: Theories and Issues (2006),155-171 (e)
• Marinetto, M., Social Theory, The State and Modern Society (2007), ch. 2
(в)

Recommended Reading
Bartelson, J., The Critique of the State (2001)
Jessop, B. ‘From Micro-Powers to Governmentality: Foucault’s Work on
Statehood, State Formation, Statecraft and State Power’, Political
Geography 26:1 (2006), 34-40
Lemke, T. ‘Foucault, Governmentality and Critique’, Rethinking Marxism 14:3
(2002), 49-64
Lemke, T., ‘An Indigestible Meal? Foucault, Governmentality, and State Theory’,
Distintkion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory 15 (2007), 43-66
[available at
www.thomaslemkeweb.de/publikationen/IndigestibleMealfinal5.pdf]
Rose, N. and Miller, P., ‘Political Power Beyond the State: Problematics of
Government’, British Journal of Sociology 43:2 (1992), 173-205
Selby, J., ‘Engaging Foucault: Discourse, Liberal Governance and the Limits of
Foucauldian IR’, International Relations 21:3 (2007), 324-345

Week 11 Arguing in Politics II: Revisiting Fundamental Concepts

Seminar Activity
This week students will have an opportunity to reflect upon and consolidate their
understandings of some of the foundational concepts in social and political
studies, specifically, epistemology, ontology and methodology, and structure and
agency. This week builds upon the introductory session devoted to some of these
concepts in semester A, and touched upon thereafter. Students will be
encouraged to reflect on what they have learned about these concepts and to
produce their own understandings of them in the light of their study of power
and the state, through a role-play dialogue with partners. Prior to the seminar,
students should read over the sections of their journals devoted to foundational
concepts and write responses to what they have written.

Essential Reading
• Hay, C., Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction (2002), ch. 3, conclusion
• Students’ journals, sections on foundational concepts

Week 12 Reprise: What is Politics?

Seminar Activity
Tutors will facilitate a discussion in which students will reflect on the themes and
issues of the module, returning to the core question of ‘what is politics?’ They
will be invited to reflect on their progress and how their views of politics, the
state and power may have changed over the course of the module. Prior to the
seminar, students should read their journals, focusing on their entries for politics,
power and the state. They should add comments on their thoughts as
appropriate. They should also select what they consider to be their most
important single entry, and, on a separate page, write an explanation of why
they have chosen this. Please bring journals to the seminar.

At the seminar, there will also be an opportunity to discuss how best to prepare
for the final examination. Finally, students will be asked to complete a feedback
form for the module.

Essential Reading
• Definition of ‘what is politics?’ written by students in semester A.
• Students’ journals, sections on politics, power and the state.
13. Sample Examination Paper

2010-11 is the first year in which POL 105 has involved an examination. The
following questions thus comprise a sample paper to give an indication of the
sorts of questions that might be asked in the final exam.

Time allowed: 90 minutes


Answer ONE question

1. Where do states get their power from?

2. Critically assess the pluralist view of the state and power in


contemporary politics.

3. Why are states now the predominant way in which political life is
organized?

4. ‘Marxist state theory is unpersuasive since it presents politics as simply


being determined by the economy.’ Discuss.

5. ‘If, as poststructuralists argue, power is everywhere, it is also nowhere,


since we can never locate the large-scale concentrations of power and
wealth that other theoretical approaches were able to identify and
critique.’ Discuss.