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2013-2014

Additional Resources

Please note that these are my additional suggestions and/or materials mentioned in the seminars. For essential readings and authoritative information please do consult the module webpage.


Spring Term 2014


Essay Feedback & How to Prepare Presentations

This is the presentation from Term 2 Week 1(PDF Document) . Please refer to it when preparing for your seminar presentations.

Quota for Women

In the discussion on women quota (Group 25, 14 Jan 2014) I used this BBC video and this article from the Independent.

Electoral Participation

Here is some up-to-date data on electoral participation in Britain (including the last two elections that are not covered in Axford et al.) and in the United States.

With Group 25, I also used the following two videos on the problem of participation in the European Parliament and in the US Presidential elections.

You may also be interested in Slavoj Žižek's short essay A Cup of Decaf Reality. I referred to it in the seminar and suggested it may offer some critical insights into the political role of social networks, especially as a corrective to the optimistic thesis about the possibility of change driven by social media.

Bureaucracy

The 2010 BBC documentary series The Great Offices of State (also on YouTube) offers an excellent insight into the working of the three most important UK departments - the Home Office, the Foreign Office and the Treasury. For an example how a department is structured have a look at this organisational chart of Germany's Foreign Ministry.

Very well-written study into how bureucracies work - which is actually fun to read, at least for an academic text - is Iver Neumann's article "“A Speech That the Entire Ministry May Stand for,” or: Why Diplomats Never Produce Anything New" (you will have to log in via library to access it).

Ideology

Interesting as well as illustrative views on the problematique of ideology can be found in the work of Slavoj Žižek, a leading current philosopher and cultural theorist. While it is indeed always best to read the arguments in the books (I would highly recommend especially the 1989 The Sublime Object of Ideology), the good thing about Žižek is that you can get an overview by watching one of his movies. If that is still too much, you can do with the following two short videos from his The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012). The first one discusses why we cling onto ideologies, whereas the other one argues that vagueness - which we often touched upon in our discussions - is actually important for ideologies to succeed.

Feminism

For those interested in International Relations, I recommended Cynthia Enloe's seminal Bananas, Beaches and Bases. 

Nationalism

In the seminars, I recommended reading Benedict Anderson's wonderful Imagined Communities. I found also this nice video summarising the dense arguments in some twenty minutes (part one, part two).

Globalisation

Watch Niall Ferguson's discussion of globalisation now and a hundred years ago in this short video.



Autumn Term 2013


Essay Writing

A very good guide to essay writing by Martin Müller (University of Zürich) can be downloaded here (PDF Document) . I would highly recommend it as it is very concise and practical. The single major difference is that here at Warwick we DO want you to use references in your essays (consult the UG Handbook).

The Milgram Experiment

A replication of the Milgram Experiment can be seen in the 2009 BBC Horizon Documentary "How Violent Are You?" that is also available on YouTube.

Electoral Systems

An extremely clear explanation of the electoral systems used and considered in Britain (FPTP, AV, AV plus and STV) is provided by this animation from the Guardian.