Module Catalogue 2019/20

POL2045 : British Politics: State and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Randall
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
POL1017Governing Under Pressure: The Politics of the UK & EU
POL1047Power, Participation and Democracy: Comparative Perspectives
Pre Requisite Comment

Students are required to have studied EITHER POL1017 or POL1047.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

The module aims to explore the interplay of the UK state and society by analysing key features of the context within which British politics is situated. It will examine key economic, social and ideational institutions and relationships, analyse major trends in relation to these and relate them to both government policies and central bodies of contemporary social theory.

Original Summary:
In this module we will explore the relationship between the UK state and society, examining how economic, social and international developments influence the agenda and policies of UK governments and how the UK state has shaped the society and economy it governs. We will consider the UK economy as a constraint upon the state and the political influence of trade unions, businesses, the media and think tanks and intellectuals. The impact of class, gender and ethnicity upon the agenda of UK politics will be examined. In addition, the role of the UK state in maintaining political order will be evaluated in the context of the Northern Ireland ‘problem’ and debates upon civil liberties in the UK. The origin and character of nationalist challenges to the UK state will be considered as will Britain’s role in global politics and its impacts upon domestic politics.

Aims

The module aims to explore the interplay of the UK state and society by analysing key features of the context within which British politics is situated. It will examine key economic, social and ideational institutions and relationships, analyse major trends in relation to these and relate them to both government policies and central bodies of contemporary social theory.

Original Summary:
In this module we will explore the relationship between the UK state and society, examining how economic and social developments influence the agenda and policies of UK governments and how the UK state has shaped the society and economy it governs. We will consider the UK economy as a constraint upon the state and the political influence of trade unions, businesses, the media and think tanks and intellectuals. The impact of class, gender and ethnicity upon the agenda of UK politics will be examined. In addition, the role of the UK state in maintaining political order will be evaluated in the context of the Northern Ireland ‘problem’ and debates upon civil liberties in the UK.

Outline Of Syllabus

Indicative lecture schedule:

Part 1: The British State

1. Introduction to the Module
2. Theories of British Politics: The Westminster Model and Beyond
3. The Changing Character of the British State

4. Party Politics in the UK: 1945-1974 – The Rise and Fall of the ‘Postwar Consensus’
5. Party Politics in the UK after 1974: The Rise and Fall(?) of Neoliberalism

Part 2: State-Economy Relations

6. The UK State and the Performance of the UK Economy
7. The UK State and the Power of Organised Labour
8. The UK State and the Power of Business

Part 3: Social Divisions and the British State

9. Class and UK Politics.
10. Gender and UK Politics
11. The Politics of ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in the UK

Part 4: The British State and Civil Society

12. How the ‘Troubles’ came to Northern Ireland
13. ‘Peace’ in Northern Ireland?
14. Nationalist challenges to the UK state
15. Civil Liberties and UK Politics
16. The Media and UK Politics
17. The Role of Ideas in UK Politics

Part 5: Britain’s World Roles

18. Britain’s World Role: Losing an Empire? Finding a Role?
19. Britain’s World Role: The Anglo-American Relationship
20. Britain’s World Role: Europe and Brexit – The Return or the End of UK Politics?

Characterising State-Society Relationships
21. Leading the UK State

22. Structure and Agency in British politics

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By studying this module students will -

1. Extend their understanding of British politics gained as part of POL117 European Political Systems and, or, POL1047 Power, Participation and Democracy: Comparative Perspectives
2. Be able to make informed statements about the contemporary character of the UK economy, society and position in the international system and identify responses to these developments in both the agenda and policies of recent UK governments
3. Be able to make informed statements regarding the impact of the UK state upon the economy and society it governs
4. Be able to relate these understandings to theoretical perspectives on the nature of British politics and society
5. Through the above, be further prepared to undertake further study, research projects or dissertations on British politics should they wish to at Stage 3.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The module will develop students skills to -

•       Critically evaluate empirical data, policies, concepts, arguments and theories
•       Develop and articulate this critical understanding through independent reading, oral presentations, group discussion and written communication.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion164:0064:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key features of the economic, social, ideational and international contexts of British politics. In addition they serve to outline and illustrate the principal concepts and theories available in understanding these contexts

The seminars will provide an environment in which these empirical, conceptual and theoretical issues can be further explored and critically evaluated by students.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50Take Home Exam (48hr)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A502,000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 48 hour take home examination will assess the students understanding of, and ability to critically evaluate, in time limited conditions, the key ideas, concepts and theories and empirical material of the course across the entirety of the curriculum. The time limited character of this assessment fosters and evaluates the skills that students may be expected to possess in the graduate workplace.

The 2000 word essay will provide an opportunity for students to explore one of the topics in greater depth. It will assess the student’s ability to place and synthesise the material gained from lectures, and seminars and independent reading in appropriate contexts and their ability to critically and succinctly evaluate the ideas, concepts and theories introduced in lectures and explored in seminars.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.