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Master 2021/2022

Political Power: Theoretical Discourse and Research Models

Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Elective course (Complex Social Analysis)
Area of studies: Sociology
Delivered by: School of Sociology
When: 1 year, 3 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Master’s programme: Complex Social Analysis
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3
Contact hours: 32

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course aims to give students basic knowledge of political power and the way it is studied in contemporary political science and sociology. The course is intended to build up a critical awareness of the different approaches to the study of power, and the difficulties in explaining political events through an examination of various forms and manifestations of political power. The course will help students to form their analytical skills, abilities to define and operationalise social concepts, prepare research programs and instruments for the empirical study of power and political influence. The course consists of three main parts: 1) conceptual analysis of power and its forms (meth-odology and principles for conceptualizing political concepts; basic problems in defining power; logic of the conceptual analysis of power; basic views on power; forms, bases and uses of power; indicators of political power); 2) main theories of political power (Marxist and neo-Marxist explanations of the distribution of power in modern societies; classical and modern pluralism; corporatism; classical and modern elitism; the basis of the convergence and remaining differences); 3) research models and main outcomes of empirical studies of political power in regions and local communities (early community power studies in US in 1930-1940; classical community power studies (F. Hunter, R. Dahl); positional, reputational, decisional and network approaches in the study of power; contemporary models of com-munity power (“growth machines” and “political regimes”); power structure and regimes in Russian cities and regions).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course seeks to develop the students’ abilities in the four main areas: (1) a conceptual anal-ysis of “power” and other terms of political discourse; (2) different theoretical perspectives in the study of political power; (3) research methods used in empirical studies of political power; (4) a comparison of power structures in different societies and communities. By the end of the course the students will have learned about the nature of political power, its basic forms, bases and uses; strengths and weaknesses of major theoretical approaches and research methods used in the study of power.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of basic theories of political power: Marxism, pluralism, elitism.
  • Knowledge of basic views on power.
  • Knowledge of empirical studies of power in local communities in USA, Europe and Russia.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Basic views on power.
  • Modern theories of political power
  • Community power studies
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking classes
    Evaluation of the participation at the seminars (30%) consists of: frequency of attending classes; level of preparation for seminars; degree of activity at the seminars.
  • non-blocking presentation
  • non-blocking Oral exam.
    100-point scale 10-point scale 0-19,99 1 20-27,99 2 30-37,99 3 38-42,99 4 43-53,99 5 54-60,99 6 61-67,99 7 68-77,99 8 78-85,99 9 86-100 10 Grades 0, 1, 2, 3 correspond to a ‘fail’; 4, 5 - ‘satisfactory’; 6, 7 – ‘good’; 8, 9, 10 – ‘excellent’ performance on the 10-point scale.
  • non-blocking classes
    Evaluation of the participation at the seminars (30%) consists of: frequency of attending classes; level of preparation for seminars; degree of activity at the seminars.
  • non-blocking presentation
  • non-blocking Oral exam.
    100-point scale 10-point scale 0-19,99 1 20-27,99 2 30-37,99 3 38-42,99 4 43-53,99 5 54-60,99 6 61-67,99 7 68-77,99 8 78-85,99 9 86-100 10 Grades 0, 1, 2, 3 correspond to a ‘fail’; 4, 5 - ‘satisfactory’; 6, 7 – ‘good’; 8, 9, 10 – ‘excellent’ performance on the 10-point scale.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 3rd module
    0.5 * Oral exam. + 0.2 * presentation + 0.3 * classes
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hearn, J. (2012). Theorizing Power. [N.p.]: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1525971

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Domhoff, G. W. (2006). Chapter 12: Who Rules America? In Inequality Reader: Contemporary & Foundational Readings in Race, Class, & Gender (pp. 99–104). Taylor & Francis Ltd. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=sih&AN=50322653
  • Dowding, K. M. (2011). Encyclopedia of Power. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=474293
  • Власть: концептуальный анализ, Ледяев, В. Г., 2001