Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3281: Trumping the Mainstream: The Populist Radical Right and Democratic Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to provide you with a detailed examination of the historical relation between the PRR and democracy, and of the manifestations of this relationship today. A key emphasis of the module will be to enrich your understanding of the role of PRR parties both as revealing pre-existing democratic crises and cause of such crises, using a range of theoretical approaches and empirical examples. You will also learn about the strengths and limitations of some of the key methods for measuring populist discourse, ideology and attitudes, and about how to apply some these methods using manifesto databases and text-analysis. Key case studies will include the radicalization of the US Republican Party, populism in power in Central Eastern Europe, the causes of Brexit, or the historical evolution of the French Front National. If you take this module and fully participate you will leave with a grasp of key debates in populism studies, an understanding of different approaches to the theoretical conceptualization and empirical measure of populism, and knowledge of historical and contemporary trends in the relationship between democracy and PRR politics.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate substantive knowledge of the role of PRR appeals in the historical development of representative democracy and in its contemporary crises;
2. show expertise on the development of PRR discourse and organizations in a specific country and acquire the ability to put this knowledge in comparative perspective.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary debates in the field of populism studies
4. demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and limits of different approaches to the theoretical conceptualization and empirical measure of party ideology in general and populist forms of the radical right especially.
Personal and Key Skills5. conduct independent research and exercise critical reasoning in weighing academic arguments;
6. evidence familiarity with some key methods of politics analysis, including text-analysis methods and the use of online tools of data visualization and analysis.