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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Sociology

Postgraduate Course: Nationalism, Populism and Democracy (PGSP11608)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on the relation between nationalism, populism and democracy. It will explore nationalism and populism, as two of the most heatedly contested social science categories and powerful social forces that span continents, and their role in contemporary democracies. It will also examine the growing appeal of nationalist and populist discourses and strategies and their reflection on contemporary political debates, in particular on issues related to identity, nationhood, political economy, immigration, sovereignty, citizenship and multiculturalism.
Course description This course focuses on the relation between nationalism, populism and democracy. It seeks to analyse the rise of (ethno)nationalism and populism, including their thorny connection with far-right politics and authoritarianism, in contemporary democracies. The key guiding questions that this course seeks to address are: What is populism and what role does it play within the context of democratic politics? Does populism cut across left¿right lines? Is populism always conducive to authoritarianism? What is the relationship between nationalism and populism? What is the connection between economic inequality and populism? Are contemporary national populist movements across the globe comparable?
The course aims to provide conceptual clarity by drawing on a vast array of interdisciplinary works on nationalism, populism, and authoritarianism in contemporary democracies and examining different temporal and geographic patterns.

This is a team-taught course combining lectures by the course organisers and guest lectures and will be delivered via weekly seminar sessions. Whereas the first hour is dedicated to lectures, in the second hour students will engage in small group discussions and active learning exercises.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  35
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Mid-term literature review 1000 words (30%)
End of semester research essay 3000 words (70%)
Feedback Feedback on all assessed work shall normally be returned within three weeks of submission. Where this is not possible, students shall be given clear expectations regarding the timing and methods of feedback.

Students are invited to submit an essay abstract and outline to receive feedback in advance of submitting their essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an advanced critical understanding of the key concepts and dominant theories related to nationalism and populism
  2. Analyse historical and contemporary cases of nationalism and populism through appropriate theoretical lenses
  3. Engage critically with the work of scholars in nationalism, populism and democracy and evaluate their arguments
  4. Communicate through empirically grounded and theoretically informed written work and discussions, their understanding of nationalism and populism
Reading List
Bustikova, Lenka. (2019). Extreme Reactions: Radical Right Mobilization in Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Canovan, Margaret. (2005). The people. Cambridge: Polity Press
Eatwell, Roger and Goodwin, Matthew. (2018). National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, London: Pelican.
Jaffrelot, Christophe. (2021). Modi¿s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira; Taggart, Paul; Ochoa Espejo, Paulina; Ostiguy, Pierre (eds) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Populism. Oxford: Oxford Academic.
Mair, Peter. (2013). Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy. London: Verso, 2013.
Mouffe, Chantal. (2000). The Democratic Paradox. London: Verso
Mudde, Cas and Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira. (2017). Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Müller, Jan-Werner. (2016). What is Populism?. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Pappas, Takis S. (2019). Populism and Liberal Democracy: A Comparative and Theoretical Analysis. Oxford: Oxford Academic.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical thinking through the analysis of populism and nationalism
Integrate reflexivity into their thinking and writing processes
Link abstract theories and concepts to everyday realities and cases
Research skills through the execution of a research essay
Effective communication skills through discussion, debate, and small-group work
Working with others in small-group activities
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gezim Krasniqi
Tel: (0131 6)51 5094
Course secretaryMr Adam Petras
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