Teaching plan for the course unit

 

 

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General information

 

Course unit name: Collective Action and Interest Groups

Course unit code: 362557

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Laura Chaques Bonafont

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

Credits: 3

Single program: N

 

 

Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75

 

Face-to-face and/or online activities

30

(Theory sessions taught by the lecturer to discuss different aspects of the collective action theory and interest groups.)

 

-  Lecture

Face-to-face

 

18

 

-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face

 

12

Supervised project

20

(Group tutorials to help students clearly define the objectives of the research assignment on interest groups and the methodology based on an in-depth interview.)

Independent learning

25

(Students read compulsory texts to be discussed in class and work on the final research project.)

 

 

Recommendations

 

Students should have a sufficient knowledge of English to understand basic texts.

 

 

Competences to be gained during study

 

   -

Comparative understanding of the structure and operation of different political systems and institutions and specific knowledge of the Spanish case.

   -

Knowledge of the theoretical and empirical explanations for political actions carried out by the general public and organized groups (interest groups, etc.) and the different schools and methods of political science research.

(Knowledge of the theoretical and empirical explanations for political actions carried out by the general public and organized groups (interest groups, social movements, etc.) and the different schools and methods of political science research.)

Learning objectives

 

Referring to knowledge

— Analyse the role played by interest groups in advanced democracies and explain its effects in practical terms.

— Describe and discuss interest groups and collective action, focusing on Spain and the EU as a system of multilevel governance.

— Analyse the main theories about interest groups, from Mançur Olson to pluralist theory and reformed pluralism.

— Discuss how collective action can be explained by social movement theory, referring to the work of theorists like Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow.

— Discuss the importance of changes that have reshaped social movements in recent decades and the impact that new technologies and social networks have on these movements and on mobilisation strategies in collective action.

 

Referring to abilities, skills

— Read regularly in the field to keep abreast of developments and enhance the learning process.

Use critical-analytical skills in the study of scientific texts.

Retrieve and select data and use them in research.

Write reports and summarise ideas and concepts in writing.

Use critical public speaking skills.

Use different groups of methods, techniques and models for public policy analysis.

Apply public policy analysis to the case studies presented on the course.

 

Referring to attitudes, values and norms

— Participate actively in class.

— Defend ideas using discussion skills.

— Demonstrate teamwork skills.

— Think critically about social inequality, especially with regard to gender inequality and the issue of environmental sustainability.

 

 

Teaching blocks

 

1. Interest groups and democracy

*  This section compares and contrasts interest groups with other actors in the political arena, focusing on their functions in advanced democracies and the factors that explain their creation and increasing stability in the course of time. Students also look at the theories about interest groups from a pluralist perspective, considering Mancur Olson’s theory of political science and economics of concentrated benefits versus diffuse costs ("The logic of collective action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups"), neopluralism and reformed pluralism. These theories are then reflected on in the context of the role interest groups play in advanced democracies.

2. The participation of interest groups in the political process

*  In this section students use a comparative perspective to analyse how Spanish interest groups are regulated. They also analyse the instruments that have been developed to formalise the participation of these groups in public policymaking, focusing on Spain at a national level, Spain’s autonomous communities and the EU as a whole. Specifically, students examine the Catalan Interest Groups Register ("Registre de grups d’interès de Catalunya") and other instruments such as the publication of political representatives’ agendas.

3. Social movements

*  In this section, students use case studies to compare and contrast social movements with other features of the political system, considering the changes that social movements have gone through in recent history, the mobilisation strategies they favour and the factors that determine how far they influence political activity and outcomes.

4. Social movements, globalisation and the new technologies

*  This section considers how Internet and the social networks are changing the way interest groups operate and mobilise by examining the current debate between two schools of thought: the school that believes social networks facilitate community action and ensure that it remains plural and open; and the school that believes social networks will eventually replace interest groups as a means of political expression. The debate is analysed from a theoretical perspective supported by case studies.

 

 

Teaching methods and general organization

 

This subject follows the latest teaching guidelines of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), as well as the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), by which it includes face-to-face learning, supervised activities, independent study and time devoted to assessment. The teaching plan provides for an expansion and greater specificity of the contents in each teacher’s course syllabus.

To achieve the objectives of the course, a variety of learning activities are used: reading of books and scientific journal articles, writing papers (individually and in groups), critical analysis of texts, written and oral presentation of text commentaries, discussion of readings, active participation in class, cinema forums, recommended participation in events, such as conferences, training courses, exhibitions, film viewings, and other cultural and study activities.

Other methodologies may also be used for non-face-to-face classes: notes and presentations on the Virtual Campus; synchronous or asynchronous sessions via videoconference; PowerPoint presentations with or without audio or video recordings; publication of external videos that are not recorded by the teaching staff; group work on the topics; forums to resolve doubts and keep up with the course content, etc.

Channels of communication and tutoring may be virtual (forums, chats, email, etc.) or face-to-face, or a combination of both. Face-to-face tutorials will be held by appointment and arranged with the lecturer within the established office hours.

 

 

Official assessment of learning outcomes

 

Continuous assessment

There is only one examination period since the academic year 2012-2013 and all students are assessed by default on a continuous basis unless they submit the formal request for single assessment.

For students following the continuous assessment system, the final grade for the subject is the result of the following components:

— Final examination (on the teaching blocks and recommended reading): 50% of the final grade. The final score takes into account the level of written and oral expression and of the communication of knowledge and learning.

— Assessed activities, worth a total 40% of the final grade. These activities may consist of oral presentations or mid-term exams.

— Class participation: 10% of the final grade.

Students must obtain a minimum pass mark in the final exam and complete all the assessed activities to be eligible to pass the subject.

Students who fail to submit all the assessed activities and to sit the final exam are given a grade of “Absent”. Students who attend some of the obligatory assessed activities but drop out of the continuous assessment process before it is completed are given a grade that is the cumulative grade point average described in the course plan, with a grade of zero (0) for the activities that they have not taken.

Repeat assessment

Students who fail to pass the subject are entitled to repeat assessment by means of a final exam. The mark from the repeat assessment examination is the final grade for the subject in the student’s transcript. The lecturer may take other activities as evidence of learning outcomes and personal improvement so as to improve the cumulative grade obtained as a result of assessed activities.

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).

Lecturers may take other activities as evidence of learning outcomes in addition to the assessed activities. The lecturer’s evaluation of this evidence could improve the mark obtained in the assessed activities. This is particularly relevant when the final grade (CA activities + FE) is equal to or higher than 7 and the grade for the final examination is higher (Academic and Teaching Protocol of the Faculty of Law, art. 8).

Consequences of copying or plagiarism

Copying or plagiarism in any compulsory assessed activity, repeat examination or single assessment, as well as the use of, or cooperation in, fraudulent procedures to undertake these activities will result in a “fail” (with a mark of 0) in the subject, without the opportunity of a repeat assessment, as it represents a lack of respect.

The lecturer must inform the head of studies about cases of copying, plagiarism and fraudulent procedures. If the student is involved in copying, plagiarism or fraudulent behaviour again, a disciplinary procedure shall be initiated.

All grades must be announced within 15 calendar days of the date of examination or submission.

 

Examination-based assessment

There is only one examination period since the academic year 2012-2013.

All students are eligible for single assessment of the subjects, if requested within the established period, which is a month and a half from the start of the corresponding semester.

Students must submit the form provided on the Faculty’s website within the established deadline.

Students registered for single assessment must attend a tutorial session with the lecturer during the first two weeks of the course.

The single assessment procedure may consist of a written examination or the presentation of papers, and must allow for accreditation of achievement of the course objectives, just as continuous assessment does, but globally through a single examination or paper.

In the final examination, and in papers where applicable, the level of expression (written and oral) and communication of knowledge and learning will be taken into account.

Repeat assessment

Students who fail to pass the subject in the single assessment procedure can repeat assessment. The mark obtained in the repeat assessment is the final grade for the subject.

To be eligible for repeat assessment, students must have been assessed already. Therefore, students who have received a grade of “Absent” are not eligible.

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).

Consequences of copying or plagiarism

Copying or plagiarism in any compulsory assessed activity, repeat examination or single assessment, as well as the use of, or cooperation in, fraudulent procedures to undertake these activities will result in a “fail” (with a mark of 0) in the subject, without the opportunity of a repeat assessment, as it represents a lack of respect.

The lecturer must inform the head of studies about cases of copying, plagiarism and fraudulent procedures. If the student is involved in copying, plagiarism or fraudulent behaviour again, a disciplinary procedure shall be initiated.

All grades must be announced within 15 calendar days of the date of examination or submission.

Extraordinary call for end-of-degree examination

This may consist of a written examination or the presentation of papers, and must allow for accreditation of achievement of the course objectives globally through a single examination or paper.

In the final examination, and in papers where applicable, the level of expression (written and oral) and communication of knowledge and learning will be taken into account.

All grades must be announced within 15 calendar days of the date of examination or submission.

 

 

Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB

Book

HIRSCHMAN, A.O. Exit, voice, and loyalty. Cambridge (Mass.) : Harvard University Press, 1970.   EnllaƧ

Edició en castellą  EnllaƧ

KECK, M.E.; SIKKINK, K. Activists beyond borders : advocacy networks in international politics. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1998.  EnllaƧ

MCADAM, D.; MCCARTHY, J.D; ZALD, M.N. Movimientos sociales : perspectivas comparadas. Madrid : Istmo, 1999.   EnllaƧ

OLSON, M. The Logic of Collective Action. Cambridge (Mass.) : Harvard University Press, 1971.   EnllaƧ


Edició en castellą  EnllaƧ

OSTROM, E. Governing the Commons : the Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1990.   EnllaƧ

PUTNAM, R. El declive del capital social. Barcelona : Galaxia Guttemberg : Círculo de Lectores, 2003.   EnllaƧ

TARROW, S.G. El poder en movimiento : los movimientos sociales, la acción colectiva y la política. Madrid : Alianza, 2004.   EnllaƧ

CULPEPPER, P.D. Quiet politics and business power : corporate control in Europe and Japan. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2011.

BAUMGARTNER, F.R. ET AL. Lobbying and policy change : who wins, who loses, and why. Chicago : Chicago University Press, 2009.  EnllaƧ

CHAQUÉS-BONAFONT, Laura. 2004. Redes de Políticas Públicas, Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas

MOLINS, J.; MUÑOZ, L.; MEDINA, I. Los grupos de interés en España : la influencia de los lobbies en la política española. Madrid : Tecnos, 2016.

DÜR, A. and MATEO, G., 2016. Insiders versus outsiders: Interest group politics in multilevel Europe. Oxford University Press.

RAJ Chari, John HOGAN, Gary MURPHY and Michele CREPAZ (2019) Regulating lobbying, Manchester: Manchester University Press

W. Lance Bennett y Alexandra Segerberg (2013) The logic of Connective Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press