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Politics and Irish Society A

Module Code: POU11021

Module Name: Politics and Irish Society A 2023-24

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1
  • Contact Hours: 2 Hours Lecture per week; 1 fortnightly tutorial
  • Module Personnel: Eman Aboud
  • Module co-requisite: POU11012

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to identify the core issues and debates at the heart of political discourse. Students will be able to use a variety of different theoretical and practical approaches to analysing political questions.

Module Learning Aims

This course has three aims:

  1. First, it seeks to equip students with a basic theoretical knowledge of the key political questions and policy problems the world of politics experiences today.
  2. Second, it will furnish students with the fundamental conceptual and analytical tools used in the discipline of political science in the consideration of such questions.
  3. Third, it seeks to enable students to critically analyse the major political questions in Irish society and beyond.

Module Content

There are three main sections in the course.

  • The first section considers the basic principles of politics and political philosophy, including different conceptions of the nature of power, and basic theories of political analysis. It focuses on questions such as how differing ideas about the nature of human motivation, liberty, equality and justice inform political decision-making. In this section key concepts such as the state, nation, and political system are explored. We look at differing conceptions of the state and explore ideas about what purpose the state serves.
  • The second section examines key elements of a political system including the role of political institutions such as constitutions and electoral systems in shaping how society and government functions. We examine the idea and role of the separation of powers, representation, the executive, and the judiciary.
  • Focusing on democratic theory, this final section explores the conditions that promote and constrain the emergence of democracy and examine authoritarian resilience and re-emergence in various parts of the world.

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Assessment Details

Participation - 10%

Midterm Essay - 30%

Assignment 1 - 10%

Final Essay - 50%

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