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 Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The first few classes provide the conceptual basis for the rest of the course. Drawing on contemporary political theory and the history of political ideas, they place the evolving meaning of key concepts such as "The People", populism, the PRR, and differences between democracy and authoritarianism in historical perspective. This first part of the class also provides a comparative overview of key trends and patterns of success in the rise of the PRR claims and parties over the past few decades in the West.
  • The second part of the module focuses on major demand and supply-side factors that help explain the trends outlined in Part 1. These classes will examine a variety of factors such as the role of social change and modernization theory, the agency of radical political forces, the impact of a changing media landscape and the responsibility of mainstream political actors.

The last part of the module turns to present and future trends, focusing on both the consequences of radical right populism for democratic politics and the ways in which these consequences might be answered, for instance through institutional engineering, the emergence of national political alternatives or transnational forms of politics.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2211 x 2 hours per week seminars including small group work and class discussion
Guided Independent Study63Reading
Guided Independent Study50Case study writing
Guided Independent Study15Case study plan

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).