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Module Code: POU33021

Module Name: Irish Politics A: Constitution, Elections, Parties and Parliament 2020-21

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer – Professor Michael Gallagher; Module teaching assistant Samuel Johnston
  • Online noticeboard (Trinity computers only): click here

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

  • have an enhanced understanding of the Irish political process
  • be familiar with academic research into Irish politics
  • have been encouraged, and ideally have learned, to critically assess the material they encounter.

Module Learning Aims

The aim of this module is to deepen students’ understanding not only of the substance of Irish politics but also of the academic research that aims to interpret and understand it.

Module Content

The module covers political culture, the constitution, elections and electoral behaviour, parties and the party system, the electoral system and its political consequences, and the role of parliament.

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Visiting students

This module is OPEN to one-term and full-year visiting students. However, visiting students should bear in mind that this module is not designed as a beginners' guide to Irish Politics or as the equivalent of a summer school course, and that those with little or no prior knowledge of the subject will need to do some initial catching up on the basics. Reading chapter 1 of the course textbook (Politics in the Republic of Ireland, see below) in advance of term or early in the term is recommended for those with little background knowledge of Irish history. A useful and fairly introductory overview of the country is Eoin O'Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Incoming Socrates / Erasmus / visiting students are required to fulfil the same module requirements, in terms of coursework and exams, as TCD students. Registering for the module implies acceptance of this.

Recommended Reading List

John Coakley and Michael Gallagher (eds), Politics in the Republic of Ireland, 6th edition (Abingdon: Routledge and PSAI Press, 2018).

Eoin O’Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) is a general and lively introduction to Ireland, including history and society as well as politics, designed particularly for visiting students.

Assessment Details

One essay (1,700 words), counting 25%;

One 90-minute exam (answer 2 questions from 5), counting 75%.

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