Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM155: The Politics of Populism: Domestic and global challenges

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 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" and populism, the Left/Right divide, the fringe/mainstream dichotomy and differences between democracy and authoritarianism in historical perspective. 
  • The second part of the module focuses on trends in the rise of the populist claims and parties over the past few decades in the West. It will provide an overview of these trends, focusing especially on the evolving relationship between mainstream and populist political parties over the last decades. The agency of mainstream parties and their impact on populist success will especially be examined 
  • The last section of the course will turn to the consequences of radical right populism for both domestic and foreign policy in Europe and the United States. 

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 hour per week seminars including small group work, presentations, and class discussion.
Guided Independent Study100Reading
Guided Independent Study58Case study writing
Guided Independent Study40Presentation preparation
Guided Independent Study80Essay writing

Online Resources

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