7AAYM203 Political Parties in Europe: Theories and Realities
Module credits: 20 credits
Module tutor: Dr Stathis Kouvelakis
Assessment: One 4,000 word essay
Teaching arrangements: 1 x 2hr weekly seminar
This module is designed to introduce students to the most influential contemporary debates on the role of political parties in European societies and on their recent transformations in the framework of European integration. It will also examine the causes of Europe’s growing political instability and crisis of representation, as expressed by phenomena such as the rising turnover of parties in government, low turnouts, emergence of “incomers” (radical forces from either right or left) in almost all party systems. The module is divided in two parts: the first will be focused on the main theoretical approaches of political parties (elite theories, political market approaches, catch-all, mass, electoral-professional and cartel-party models etc). The second part will focus on the main trends transforming the main political families in Europe: social-democracy, christian-democracy, and the “challengers” from either left or right (the rise of the far right, the emergence of new radical left forces, the stabilisation of green parties).
Robert Michels : Political Parties. A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy. Introduction + Part I : ‘Leadership in Democratic Organizations’
Maurice Duverger :Political Parties. Chapter 1 : ‘Party Organization’ + Conclusion
Otto Kirchheimer : ‘The Transformation of the Western European Party System
A coursepack has been created for this module and will cost £3.50.
Coursepacks are a vital part of your learning at King's and normally contain extracts from books and other useful documents that will inform your study. You will be expected to pay a modest charge for hard copies of these coursepacks and this will save you the extra expense of buying all the books recommended for this module.