Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3230: Trumping the Mainstream: Populism and Democratic Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to provide you with a detailed examination of the historical relation between populism 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 populist parties both as revealers of pre-existing democratic crises and cause of such crises, using a range of theoretical approaches and empirical examples. 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, and knowledge of historical and contemporary trends in the relationship between democracy and populist 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 populist appeals in the historical development of representative democracy and in its contemporary crises.
2. Gain expertise on the development of populist 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. Apply the comparative method to the analysis of populist developments in contemporary democracies
Personal and Key Skills5. Conduct independent research and exercise critical reasoning in weighing academic arguments
6. Demonstrate analytical capacity and structure in written and oral expression