Political Sociology

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Will Leggett

This module provides students with comprehensive coverage of the theoretical and substantive aspects of the field of political sociology.

Semester 1 explores classical and contemporary approaches to understanding 'the political' and state-society relations - focusing in particular on what sociology can bring to the study of politics. It then examines the theoretical at the heart of political sociology, including the nature of power and resistance and the relationship between social context, ideas and political action.

Semester 2 pursues these theoretical issues through substantive contemporary topics. These include the political effects of globalisation; the political impact of new technologies; the emergence of new political actors, ideologies and strategies and the shift from governing to 'governance'. The focus will be on relating these contemporary issues to the debates examined in the first semester: 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 in the field


  • Term One: 1 x 4,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 3 hour examination (50%)