Module Catalogue 2019/20

POL3106 : Democracy in Deeply Divided Societies

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ian O'Flynn
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

The general aim of this module is to develop, in a structured and interactive manner, a comprehensive understanding of the causes of, and potential solutions to, ethnic conflict. Its more particular aim is to gain key analytic skills necessary to:
1. compare and evaluate alternative conceptions of ethnicity;
2. compare and evaluate competing theories of ethnic conflict;
3. compare and evaluate competing theories of institutional-design for deeply divided societies;
4. critically evaluate efforts on the part of international community to build democracy in deeply divided societies;
5. critically evaluate the prospects for democracy in particular countries.

Outline Of Syllabus

Ethnic conflict is one of the most pressing political problems that we face today. This is not just because of the untold suffering that so many people are enduring at the hands of neighbouring groups and communities; it is also because the violent effects of ethno-national conflict have profound international consequences.

This module analyses and evaluates competing theories of ethnicity and ethnic conflict. It will consider how democratic power-sharing institutions might be designed so as to manage conflicts in a constructive fashion, and will explore the role that international mediation has to play in securing peace and democracy. The module will use a range of illustrative examples from around the globe, including Belgium, Bosnia, Burundi, Cyprus, Israel/Palestine, Fiji, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. A sound grasp of key political concepts essential to the study of democracy in divided societies.
2. Knowledge of competing accounts of ethnicity and ethnic conflict.
3. A sound understanding of the key institutional and territorial options for deeply divided societies, along with an awareness of the complexity of their implementation.
4. A developed understanding of both the internal and external dimensions of ethnic conflict.
5. Knowledge of a range of empirical cases.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. The ability to engage in conceptual analysis of tough political problems.
2. The ability to write clearly and concisely about deeply divided societies.
3. The ability to conduct research (primarily library-based) independently.
4. The ability to listen to others thoughtfully and to challenge their views appropriately through critical argument.
5. The ability to marshal empirical evidence drawn from actual cases for the purposes of critical argument.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed to provide students with overviews of the key issues surrounding the challenges of building democracy in deeply divided societies, drawing on empirical examples where appropriate.

The seminars will provide an active learning environment in which the understanding of this relationship will be enhanced and in which theoretical and practical controversies surrounding democracy in deeply divided societies, as introduced in the lectures, can be critically explored in greater depth by students.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 word essay
Report2M502000 word policy briefing paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 2,000 word essay will provide students with the opportunity to explore a particular aspect (or aspects) of democracy in deeply divided societies. The essay will provide a means of assessing the ability of each student to synthesise the material gained from lectures and seminars with research conducted through independent study. The essay will also assess the ability of each student to critically and succinctly evaluate such material.

The 2,000 policy briefing will provide students with the opportunity to explore a particular deeply divided society with respect to its current democratic state and future democratic prospects. The policy briefing will provide a means of assessing the ability of each student to synthesise the material gained from lectures and seminars with research conducted through independent study. The essay will also assess the ability of each student to critically and succinctly evaluate such material.

The 2,000 essay will principally allow students to explore conceptual issues, while the 2,000 policy briefing will enable them to apply those issues to a particular country study. The essay will be a typical academic exercise while the policy briefing will give students the opportunity to write for a more general policy audience. In this way, one form of assessment feeds into the other and allows students to gain transferrable skills in the process.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

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.