Political Science: State, Power, Conflict (PPE)


Course Objective

At the end of the course, students should be able to:
• outline key issues from the main sub-disciplines of political science:
comparative politics and international relations;
• define key concepts of political science and use them in a consistent
and rigorous way;
• recognize and use a selection of key theories in political science and
the way they offer competing explanations for political events;
• analyse political issues in a well-informed and structured way;
• have a more developed understanding of modern-day democratic politics.

Course Content

Political science examines the ways in which conflicts between interests
and values are settled in society. This course offers an introduction to
political science, linking national and international politics. The
course follows a thematic structure. It starts with an analysis of key
concepts in political science, like politics, democracy, the state and
power. The program then moves to key institutions of (national)
political systems, including constitutions, governments, elections, and
interest groups. The last part addresses issues in international
relations, like war, international institutions, globalization and
civilizational diversity.

Throughout, the course introduces both analytical tools to study these
phenomena as well as normative perspectives by which they can be
evaluated. In parallel, students are introduced to a range of skills
that are relevant for political science research, including questions of
definition, explanatory analysis and normative assessment.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and active learning groups

Method of Assessment

Written exam (67%), written assignments (33%) and seminar assignments


- Craig Parsons (2017) Introduction to Political Science: How to Think
For Yourself About Politics. Pearson.
- Complemented by a selection of book chapters + journal articles

Target Audience

First year PPE students

Additional Information

Please note that participation in the seminars is mandatory.

Custom Course Registration

There is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the form of tuition (lecture and/or preferred seminar group), and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module, (ii) lecture and (iii) the exam, but not for the seminar groups.

General Information

Course Code W_JSM_104
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. B.J.J. Crum
Examiner prof. dr. B.J.J. Crum
Teaching Staff prof. dr. B.J.J. Crum

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Private study, Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: