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Comparative European politics in theory and practice


Comparative European Politics

7.5 credits




This Bachelor’s level course is about the theory, practice and dynamics of comparative politics, one of the major sub-disciplines of political science, specifically applied to Europe. It covers some core theoretical perspectives in comparative politics and provides the opportunity to specialise. It is also useful preparation for a Bachelor’s essay.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Work with societal decision-making in a wide range of sectors Political Science provides valuable knowledge if you want to work with opinion-building, external analysis, public decision-making or administration. The subject is relevant to many professions and you can work in both the public and private sectors. Former students of Political Science now work in the Government Offices of Sweden, public authorities, the EU, news media and municipal administration in professions such as administrators, analysts or investigators. Studying in Political Science is beneficial for management positions in organisations and public administration, and is a good subject to study if you want to become involved with social movements or political parties. After studying, you will have wide-ranging knowledge of society in general. You will have gained the ability to think and reflect, critically and independently. One of the most important qualities you will gain from studying Political Science is the ability to see how societal resources are distributed and to understand why. You will have the ability to continually question rather than accept things, but also to discuss and deal with different opinions. Scientific studies in the subject teach you to work methodically with clear links to theory and empirical evidence. A degree in Political Science will thus also prepare you to move on to research. Read about research in this subject
Theory and its application in comparative European politics On this course, you will learn about the theory, practice and dynamics a major sub-discipline in political science, comparative politics, and its specific application in Europe. You will also learn to autonomously and critically describe theories of comparative politics and their empirical applicability, and to relate theoretical issues to cases and sub-fields within the study of comparative European politics. The course also examines the dynamics and processes of politics and political systems in comparative European contexts and teaches you to formulate theoretically and empirically relevant research questions within the study of comparative politics. You will have the opportunity to specialise in a subject such as elections and political parties, democratisation, civil society or interest organisations, making the course useful theoretical preparation for writing a Bachelor’s essay. Course design The course is taught through lectures and seminars, and is assessed through written and oral assignments.
Learn to question, discuss, and deal with differing viewpoints Political Science focuses on politics and political decisions. An important issue in Political Science is how people make collective decisions on the distribution of society’s resources – who gets what, in what amounts and why? As an individual and as a citizen, you are constantly affected by political decisions. These decisions are linked to almost all contemporary and important societal issues – our rights as citizens and non-citizens, our personal security, our financial prospects, our education and our healthcare. In Sweden and many other countries, these decisions are shaped through democracy but, in practice, democracy can take different forms. When you study Political Science, you will discuss and investigate questions such as: How does representative democracy work, formally and in practice? How do wars start and how can peace be achieved? How is power organised and distributed in global politics? How can nationalism thrive despite globalisation? Why are political parties and political debates different in different countries? Studying Political Science allows you to analyse decision-making and power relationships and encourages critical thinking about society and how it is organised. You will gain a deeper understanding of how politics works, not only in Sweden but also in other countries and parts of the world. Södertörn University provides broad insight into the most important areas of Political Science, with an emphasis on issues relating to democracy and governance. The university conducts research into political parties, democracy and democratisation, leadership, migration and its consequences. Teaching therefore has close links to current research and modern theories.