Content and Structure

What is Political Sociology?

The task of political sociology is to explore and explain the relationship between politics and society, between social and political institutions, and between social and political behaviour.

Contemporary political sociology also “concerns cultural politics, which is the interpretation of social meanings that support, challenge, or change the definitions, perspectives and identities of social actors, to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of others, across state and society” (Nash 2010).

This course aims to explore some of the great debates about the relationship between politics and society. In particular, it explores the challenges faced by nation-state as a result of social movements, new conceptions of democracy and globalization.

 

Contents

Power

  • Key concepts in political sociology
  • Power and Legitimacy
  • The distribution of power

Globalization and Ideologies

  • Ideologies
  • Ideology and Hegemony
  • Hegemonic culture
  • The end of the end of ideologies
  • Global world, globalization and ideologies

Democracy

  • The quality of democracy
  • Representative and direct democracy
  • Deliberative democracy
  • Participatory democracy

Representation 

  • The transformation of political representation
  • Political Parties
  • Elections and voting
  • Post-representative politics

Democratic Innovations and Citizenship

  • Social Cleavages
  • Gender, Ethnicity and post-national citizenship
  • Civic engagement and political behaviour
  • Active citizenship and quality of democracy
  • Forms and tools of democratic innovations

Political Participation

  • Institutional and Non-Institutional forms of political participation
  • Critic citizens and the new forms of participation
  • Social conflict and urban practices of participation
  • Social Movements
  • Movement Parties

Media, Politics and Society

  • Basic concepts
  • Models and theories of communication
  • The role of Cultural Studies
  • Political Communication

Depoliticisation and the Post-Political

  • Depoliticisation: basic concepts
  • Privatisation and the democratic government
  • Governance vs Government
  • Technocracy and the post-political

The rising of the new populism

  • Post-democracy and post-representative politics
  • Populisms and populist political parties
  • Direct democracy and technopopulism
  • New populisms between hyper-representation and “direct representation”

State, Nation and Society

  • What is the modern Nation-State
  • Differentiating Government from the State
  • Nation and Nationalisms
  • The Welfare State
  • Democracy and legitimacy