Introduction to Politics (IP) gives a broad overview of the academic analysis of politics. Rather than merely listing political institutions, their powers and limits, it focuses on understanding core concepts of comparative political science and political theory, and then applies those to political processes, institutions, ideologies, and the nature of political change. It covers the core conceptual material needed for more advanced study in Politics, but also introduces students to ideas and approaches that can be applied in other social sciences.
The module blends theoretical and empirical material. The assigned readings come mostly from political science and political theory, but also draws on allied and overlapping disciplines such as sociology, economics, geography and history. This is not a module about British Politics. While the UK will provide many examples for discussion throughout the module, it is by no means our exclusive focus. Indeed, one of the key questions for students of politics is how we compare political systems and, thus, how (and whether) political concepts are applicable across boundaries.