Political Sociology

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Will Leggett

Credits: 20
Semester: 1 + 2


Political Sociology seeks to understand political ideas, action, identities and institutions in their social context: how do we understand the politics-society relation? Semester 1 explores core political-sociological concepts such as the nature of power, the state, ideology, ruling elites and violence. Semester 2 addresses how more recent developments in social and cultural theory are changing the shape of political sociology. It pursues this through contemporary topics such as identity politics; new forms of political participation/apathy; the politics of the internet; new forms of governance; the role of discourse and ideas for a radical democracy. What do these new developments tell us about the scope of politics and the nature of social change, power and resistance in contemporary societies?

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to:

  • Critically assess the major theoretical traditions and debates in political sociology.
  • Apply these to a range of substantive contemporary topics.


  • 1 x 4000 word essay (50%)
  • 1 x 3 hour unseen examination (50%)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.