Left Parties and Protest Movements

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

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr David Bailey

This module focuses on the political ideas, actions and outcomes of parties and movements operating on the left of the political spectrum. This includes social democratic parties, communist parties, trade union movements, new social movements, and protest groups, including the 'anti-globalization movement'. It covers both the theoretical developments of such parties and movements, and their political activities in practice.

It aims to provide a broad historical overview of the development of potential agents of social and political change. In doing so, moreover, it places contemporary left-wing political parties and protest movements within their historical context, thereby enabling a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of such forms of political activity.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the historical development of left parties and protest movements. 
  • Critically evaluate the theoretical and strategic positions of various left parties and protest movements. 
  • Demonstrate an ability to draw upon empirical events and theoretical debates in order to analyse developments, opportunities, and constraints, within a given political context. 
  • Demonstrate the capacity to analyse and evaluate relevant explanations and arguments so as to reach a clear and scholarly assessment. 


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

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.