Contemporary Political Leadership: Power, Style And The Media POLITIC4037

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the nature of political leadership in contemporary democracies. It focuses in particular on examining how recent socio-political transformations, especially changing patterns of political communication, have affected the role, characteristics and style of political leadership, both during elections and in day-to-day politics. The first half of the course is designed to introduce students to the key concepts and theoretical approaches related to the study of political leadership, including contributions from political science, political psychology, political theory, and political communication. The second half focuses on the in-depth exploration of some of the key features of contemporary styles of political leadership. This is based on the discussion of selected case studies, mostly from advanced industrial democracies, ranging from Reagan to Blair to Berlusconi.

Timetable

This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Honours entry, as set out in the Undergraduate Course Catalogue

Excluded Courses

None

Assessment

Two essays of between 2,000 and 2,500 words each. Each essay counts for 45% of the final mark. Given the interconnectedness of the concepts raised in the course the production of two essays that (at the least) minimally fulfil the intended learning outcomes will require full participation in the course. The remaining 10% will be awarded based on students' oral contributions.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course examines the nature of political leadership in contemporary democracies. It focuses in particular on examining how recent socio-political transformations, especially changing patterns of political communication, have affected the role, characteristics and style of political leadership, both during elections and in day-to-day politics. The first half of the course is designed to introduce students to the key concepts and theoretical approaches related to the study of political leadership, including contributions from political science, political psychology, political theory, and political communication. The second half focuses on the in-depth exploration of some of the key features of contemporary styles of political leadership. This is based on the discussion of selected case studies, mostly from advanced industrial democracies, ranging from Reagan to Blair to Berlusconi.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this programme students will be able:

■ To evaluate the main theoretical approaches regarding the nature, construction and influence of political leadership in the democratic process.

■ To identify the main similarities and differences in leadership styles over time and across countries, and to assess their impact on the democratic process.

■ To explain the causes for, and analyse the changes in, the nature of contemporary political leadership.

■ To apply theories and concepts related to the study of political leadership to the analysis of case studies.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

None