Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Populism: Pathology or Panacea? (PLIT10114)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to introduce students to one of the most complex and challenging phenomena in contemporary politics: populism. We will analyse existing theorizations of populism; the major justifications and criticisms of it, some comparative case studies, and will conclude with examining the causes of populist politics.
Course description This course aims to introduce students to one of the most complex and challenging phenomena in contemporary politics: populism. We shall approach populism from four different directions which will match the four key sections of the course: (1) conceptually, we will survey and assess various theorizations of populism including the notions of populism as a discourse, ideology and political style; (2) analytically, we will explore both justifications and condemnations of populism; (3) comparatively, we will examine various regional contexts in which populism has gained traction, paying attention to both left-wing and right-wing movements and parties; and (4) critically, we will probe the causes of populist politics and the means by which it proceeds.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have not taken Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World (PLIT08012), but have taken a similar course, should contact the Course Organiser to confirm if they are eligible to take this course.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Section for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand different conceptualizations of populism
  2. comprehend various justificatory and critical perspectives on populism
  3. grasp the complexity of regional varieties of populist movements and parties
  4. reflect on the historical and social causes that explain the rise of populist politics
  5. contribute to discussions about how polities and citizens may respond to populism
Reading List
Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira, Paul Taggart, Paulina Ochoa Espejo and Pierre Ostiguy, The Oxford Handbook of Populism. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Laclau, Ernesto. On Populist Reason. London/New York: Verso, 2005.
March, Luke. Radical Left Parties in Europe. New York: Routledge, 2011.
Mudde, Cas. Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Mudde, Cas, and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Very Short Introductions. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Müller, Jan-Werner. What Is Populism? Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.
Panizza, Francisco, ed. Populism and the Mirror of Democracy. London/New York: Verso, 2005.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students should have strengthened their skills in:
- analysing evidence and using this to develop and support a line of argument,
- presenting and discussing information orally
-synthesizing theoretical knowledge and applying to real-world cases

KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Luke March
Tel: (0131 6)50 4241
Course secretaryMs Ieva Rascikaite
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information