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PO4670 Political Parties

Online noticeboard Term 1 2017–18


Meetings in term 1 took place on Mondays, 12 noon, College Green 2. Meetings were scheduled to run for 1–2 hours; on average they usually lasted around 90 minutes. Note that the schedule for term 2 may be different. In term 2 this module is taught by Dr Emanuel Coman.

The first meeting was introductory, giving an overview of the first term of the module. The remainder of the module for the first term proceeds via weekly seminars (ie not lectures). Please try to refrain from reading / sending texts during classes!

This page was updated weekly during teaching term 1, usually on Monday afternoons. All the downloadable readings are ALSO on the module's Blackboard page.



Meeting Topic number Subject of discussion
Monday 25 September 2017 (2041B, Arts building) 1 Introduction to the module
Monday 2 October 2 Ostrogorski: why parties?
Monday 9 October 3 Michels: iron law of oligarchy
Monday 16 October (Class postponed due to hurricane)
Monday 23 October 4 Congruence of intra-party attitudes
Thursday 26 October (10–12, Regent House) 5 Candidate selection
Thursday 2 November (10–12, Regent House) 6 Party identification
Monday 6 November Reading week
Monday 13 November 7 Downsian model of party competition
Monday 20 November 8 Factions
Monday 27 November 9 Rationality of election campaigning
Monday 4 December 10 Parties and members
Monday 11 December 11 Future of political parties
April / May 2018   Module exam



All should be in the library. Books expected to be in high demand are on reserve, others are on the shelves. Articles are available either on-line through the library website, or (in very rare cases) on photocopy reserve.

Some readings are available here as downloads and they are also on the module Blackboard page:

Topic Date Subject Reading
1 25 Sept Intro, general overview Berman 1997 article; Kolln 2015 article; Schonfeld 1983 article; Ware 2011 article. Chapter 10 of Representative Government in Modern Europe (page 3 of handout) does not quite amount to a summary of the module in one chapter, but is the nearest there is to a 1-chapter overview that provides a context for many of the specific topics covered
2 2 Oct Ostrogorski: why parties? Barker and Howard-Johnston 1975 article; Dannhauser 1966 review; Lipset 1969 chapter; New York Times reviews of Ostrogorski book 1902 and 1910; Pombeni 1994 article; Ranney 1954 chapter
3 9 Oct Michels: iron law of oligarchy Cook 1971 article; Engelmann 1957 article; Hands 1971 article; Koelble 1989 article; Leach 2005 article; Lipset 1969 chapter; Medding 1970 article; Pettitt 2007 paper; Saglie and Heidar 2004 article; Ware 1987 chapter 6
4 23 Oct Congruence of intra-party attitudes Belchior and Freire 2011 article; Buch Jensen 1999 chapter; Kitschelt 1989 article; May 1973 article; Narud and Skare 1999 article; Norris 1995 article; van Haute and Carty 2012 article; van Holsteyn et al 2017 article; Webb & Farrell 1999 chapter
5 Thurs 26 Oct Candidate selection Bochel and Denver 1983 article; Cross 2008 article; Hopkin 2001 article; Indridason & Kristinsson 2015 article; Katz and Crotty 2006 chapter 10 (Hazan and Rahat); Lundell 2004 article; MacGiollabhui 2013 article; Mikulska and Scarrow 2010 article; Norris and Lovenduski 1993 article; Rahat 2007 article; Scarrow et al 2000 chapter 7; Shomer 2014 article; Silvester 2012 chapter; Smith and Tsutsumi 2016 article;
6 Thurs 2 Nov Party identification Bartle & Bellucci 2009 (Chapter 1 by editors; Chapter 3 by Thomassen and Rosema; Chapter 11 by Green & Schickler); Carsey and Layman 2006 article; Clarke and Stewart 1998 article; Dalton 2014 chapter; Garry 2007 article; Groenendyk 2013 chapter; Harrop and Miller 1987 chapter; Johnston 2006 article; Laver 1976 booklet; Laver 1987 chapter; Medeiros and Noel 2013 article; Rose and Mishler 1998 article; Sanders et al 2002 article
7 13 Nov Downs and party competition Barry 1978 chapter; Boatright 1999 paper; Evans 2004 chapter; Gouret et al 2011 article; Green and Shapiro 1994 chapter; Grofman 2004 article; Norris and Lovenduski 2004 article; Sanders et al 2011 article; Stokes 1966 chapter; Ware 1996 pages;
8 20 Nov Factions within parties Belloni and Beller 1978 chapters 1 and 2, chapter 17; Bettcher 2005 article; Boucek 2009 article; Browne and Kim 2003 article; Cole 1989 article; Hine 1982 article; Hrebenar 2000 chapter; Kollner 2004 article; McAllister 1991 article; Morgenstern 2001 article
9 27 Nov Election campaigning Beck and Heidemann 2014 article; Denver and Hands 1997 article; Doron and On 1983 chapter; Farrell and Schmitt-Beck 2002 chapter 3 (Lachat and Sciarini); Hansen and Pedersen 2008 article; Jacobsen 2015 article; Jenkins 2002 article; Katz and Crotty 2006 chapter 11 (Farrell), chapter 13 (Brox and Shaw); Lau and Pomper 2002 article; Lau and Rovner 2009 article; Rose 1967 book (first part); Rose 1967 book (second part); Simon 2002 chapter; Walter 2014 article
10 4 Dec Parties and members Bruter and Harrison 2009 article; Cross & Gauja 2014 article; Cross and Young 2008 article; Gauja 2015 article; Hooghe and Dassonville 2014 article; Katz 1990 article; Low 2014 article; Martin and Cowley 1999 article; Scarrow 1994 article; Scarrow 2000 chapter 5; Seyd and Whiteley 2004 article; van Biezen et al 2012 article; van Biezen & Poguntke 2014 article; Ware 1992 article; Ware 1996 pages; Whiteley 2011 article
11 11 Dec Future of parties Dalton et al chapter 2011; Detterbeck 2005 article; Detterbeck 2008 article; Duverger 1964 pages; Enroth 2017 article; Katz and Crotty chapter 21 (Krouwel); Katz and Mair 1995 article; Katz and Mair 2009 article; Kitschelt 2000 article; Koole 1996 article (and Katz and Mair response); Mair 2006 paper ; Mair 2013 chapter; van Biezen 2014 article;




The handout for Term 1 Political Parties is downloadable here.




On the exam paper there will be two sections, corresponding to the material covered in the two terms, with four questions in each section. Students will be asked to answer 3 of those questions, at least one question from each section, in the allotted 3 hours. The style of question in section A will be the same as that of questions on the exam paper for Section A of the PO4740 paper for each of the last three years and PO4670 Political Parties before that. The three Term 1 essay topics (Michels, Downs, factions) will not appear as exam questions. As in previous years, each question will be easily relateable to a topic (eg a 'factions question', etc) – but ideally you will not think of the 10 topics as distinct silos and will, when answering a question on one topic, be able to bring in where relevant points encountered from another part of the module.

The exam timetable is set by the Examinations Office and details can be expected to emerge in late March or early April 2018, when it will be posted as part of the SS exam timetable on Exams Office site.

The department's undergraduate handbook has useful advice about how to tackle exam questions. Bear in mind that since PO4670 is a final-year course, you are expected to show knowledge and evidence of critical engagement with, rather than mere passive absorption of, the academic literature.




First essay was due 12 noon on Wednesday 6 December 2017 (ie week 11 of term); Essays were returned at the class on Monday 11 December; essays not collected then can be collected at the next class, on Monday 15 January 2018. Essay titles are on p. 16 of the handout.

All three question titles for the essay have appeared in previous years as exam questions, so they should not require any particular 'clarification'. For obvious reasons (chiefly, that I will be marking the final essay and hence should not be making a direct input into it) I can't give detailed advice on exactly how you should answer the question you have chosen to tackle. As the handout says (p. 15), assignments should be about 2,000 words in length – the word count includes any footnotes the essay may have, but is exclusive of the list of references at the end of your essay, ie there is no 'cost' to reading and citing many items, but don't award yourself a 'margin of error' above 2,000 on the basis that some other module allows such leeway.

The first page of your essay needs to be the School assignment submission form, signed by you. Plagiarism regulations are here and the Department's undergraduate handbook here. Please do NOT put your name anywhere on the essay except on this form.

Please submit via; class ID number is 16331949, class name is PO4670PolP, class enrolment password / key is Parties1718 (all of these are case-sensitive). All these details will be different when it comes to the second half of the module. If (somehow) you haven't used the site before, you will first need to register, which you do via the 'New Users' button at the top right-hand corner of the turnitin page. The site will check your essay against all articles, books, and previous essays already in its databank, so be sure that what you write is all your own work!

In addition to the submission via turnitin, please submit a hard copy (which must of course be identical to the version submitted via turnitin). This should be handed in to Room 5.06, 1 Foster Place, preferably between 10.30 am and 12 noon on deadline day, again with the School assignment submission form as the front page and with no mention of your name except on that sheet. If you prefer, you can give it to me at the meeting on 4 December, or bring it to my office at any other time in advance of the deadline; if I'm not there then slip it under the door, please don't try to hand it in to the departmental office.

There is more information about how to write essays - what to do and what not to do - and how to avoid inadvertently plagiarising, in the Department's downloadable undergraduate handbook.





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Last updated 11 December, 2017 4:10 PM