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Module

POL3106 : Democracy in Deeply Divided Societies

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ian O'Flynn
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The general aim of this module is to develop, in a structured and interactive manner, a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and prospects for democracy in societies deeply divided along ethnic lines. Its more particular aim is to gain key analytic skills necessary to:
1.       compare and evaluate alternative conceptions of ethnicity;
2.       compare and evaluate competing theories of ethnic conflict;
3.       compare and evaluate competing theories of institutional-design for deeply divided societies;
4.       critically evaluate efforts on the part of international community to build democracy in deeply divided societies;
5.       critically evaluate the prospects for democracy in particular countries.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module focuses on the challenges and prospects for democracy in societies deeply divided along ethnic lines. It examines competing theories of ethnicity, ethnic conflict, negotiation, power sharing, federalism and international mediation. While the module is theory driven, it uses a range of illustrative examples from around the globe, including Belgium, Bosnia, Burundi, Cyprus, Iraq, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials92:0018:00Online (non-synchronous). Recapped lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1146:00146:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities91:009:00Online, non-synchronous: students will spend one hour working through the seminar worksheet/question
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Present in person alternatively, face-to-face (synchronous, but not in person):
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities91:009:00Online, non-synchronous: students will spend one hour working through an annotated reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Online, synchronous office hour. Used primarily for Q&A.
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

•       The recapped lectures are designed to provide students with overviews of the key issues surrounding the challenges and prospects for democracy in deeply divided societies, drawing on empirical examples where appropriate. The lectures will enhance their ability to engage in clear conceptual analysis as well as their ability to marshal empirical evidence drawn from actual cases for the purposes of critical argument.

•       The online synchronous seminars are designed to provide an active learning environment in which students can explore those challenges in greater depth. The seminars will enhance students’ ability to listen to others thoughtfully and to challenge their views appropriately through critical argument.

•       In preparation for the seminars, students will spend an hour working through a list of questions on a (pre-distributed) seminar worksheet. This will enhance their ability to engage in conceptual analysis.

•       Students will also spend an hour working through an annotated reading. This will enhance their ability to conduct research independently.

•       The office hour will give students a further opportunity to raise questions, enhance their conceptual skills, and to learn more about how to structure independent study.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M15500 word report outline
Report2M853000 word policy report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The policy report is designed to test each student’s grasp of the key theories and concepts discussed during the course of the module. In asking the students to apply those concepts to an actually existing deeply divided society, the report will also test their ability to:
•       Choose an appropriate case study
•       Engage in independent research around that case study
•       Highlight a key contemporary problem
•       Propose institutional solutions.
The report is also designed to encourage students to engage with actual country reports (a list of relevant NGOs and IGOs is included in the module guide) and hence to enhance their transferrable skills.

Reading Lists

Timetable