Teaching plan for the course unit

 

 

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General information

 

Course unit name: Political Parties and Political Party Systems

Course unit code: 362556

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Carlos Gomez Ribas

Department: Department of Political Science, Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law

Credits: 3

Single program: S

 

 

Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75

 

Face-to-face and/or online activities

30

 

-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face

 

30

Supervised project

25

Independent learning

20

 

 

Learning objectives

 

Referring to knowledge

— Analyse the role of the main actors involved in political life in complex societies, in the political system seen as a series of polyarchies, in political parties and in interest groups.

— Acquire the knowledge and critical thinking skills to understand the features and functions of these organisations.

— Be familiar with the legal, financial, organisational and institutional features of political parties and party systems and understand their relationship with interest groups and the general public. 

— Be familiar with some of the most prominent political parties in countries in the Western world.

 

 

Teaching blocks

 

1. Basic concepts; history; political party theory; political party function

2. Political parties and the legal system: stages in legalisation; the constitution of political parties; legislation and control

3. The funding of political parties: public and private funding: limits and controls; income and expenditure; funding of election campaigns

4. Party models based on different criteria: organisational criteria: cadre or brokerage parties and mass-based parties; election criteria: Kirchheimer’s “catch-all party” and the electoral-professional party; systemic criteria: cartel party theory and anti-establishment parties; ideological criteria: party families

5. Internal organisation: territory and sector; Michels’s theory of the iron law of oligarchy; leadership and dominant coalitions; obstacles to intra-party democracy

6. Institutions and parties: voting systems and their consequences; the structure of the state and its consequences; the impact of parliamentarism and presidentialism

7. Party systems: classification criteria; quantitative criteria and fragmentation; qualitative criteria and polarisation; analysis of party systems

8. Parliamentary groups; legal concept and political reality; parliamentary groups and internal party structure; parliamentary groups and individual members of parliament

9. Political party action: formation of the government; minority and coalition governments; the party orientation of public policies; administration, parties and interest groups

10. Parties and party systems in the United States and the European Union

 

 

Official assessment of learning outcomes

 

Continuous assessment

Continuous assessment consists of a theoretical and practical exam based on reading materials of the course, worth 60% of the final grade; and a final examination on the whole content of the subject, worth 40% of the final grade.

Lecturers may take other activities as evidence of learning outcomes in addition to the assessed activities. The assessment that the lecturer makes of this evidence will allow to improve the arithmetical score obtained as a result of the qualification of the assessed activities. This is particularly relevant if the mark for the final examination is higher than that obtained in the continuous assessment activities (Regulations of academic and teaching outcomes for bachelor’s degrees of the Faculty of Law, art. 9).

Repeat assessment

Students who have undertaken continuous assessment and not achieved a pass grade may repeat the final examination. The mark obtained in the repeat assessment procedure is the final grade in the academic transcript, notwithstanding the aforementioned point 9 of the Regulations.

Students who have been graded absent will not be eligible for repeat assessment.

Extraordinary call for end-of-degree examination

The end-of-degree written examination takes the same format as the single assessment exam.

Language quality clause

Any continuous assessment activity, final exam or single assessment examination, face-to-face or distance, that does not meet the minimum requirements of linguistic accuracy in terms of spelling, grammar and terminology may be given a fail, regardless of the content (with a maximum mark of 4).

 

Examination-based assessment

Students who request the single assessment procedure are required to sit a final theory examination on the whole contents of the subject.

Repeat assessment

Students who have been graded absent will not be eligible for repeat assessment.

Students who have failed the subject are eligible for repeat assessment if they have already been assessed. Therefore, students who have received a grade of “Absent” are not eligible for repeat assessment.

Language quality clause

Any continuous assessment activity, final exam or single assessment examination, face-to-face or distance, that does not meet the minimum requirements of linguistic accuracy in terms of spelling, grammar and terminology may be given a fail, regardless of the content (with a maximum mark of 4).