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MSc Democracy and Comparative Politics


About this programme

The focus of this programme is on the design, creation, and operation of democratic institutions in new and old democracies. When are a given set of institutions appropriate for a particular society, and what will make them function properly?

Programme summary
Structure
Further Information

Programme introduction

The focus of this programme is on the design, creation, and operation of democratic institutions in new and old democracies. When are a given set of institutions appropriate for a particular society, and what will make them function properly?

By the end of the programme, students will be equipped with both theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for an entry into the world of government policy, non-governmental organisations, or the private sector. The relationship of public participation to governance institutions allows for a broad understanding of how governance institutions might be adapted to different contexts.

In the programme, students gain an understanding of how scholars have thought about these matters, applying the theories to examples of institution-building and design in practice.

Examples of some themes of focus include:

  • state structure, constitutional design, bureaucratic functions and a civil service, and strategies to counter corruption
  • electoral systems and government structure, including the implications of reform in these areas
  • federalism, devolution, and local government powers in relation to the centre
  • political parties, public participation, and new forms of participation
  • functions of parliaments, including issues of representation, representativeness, and their links to political parties
  • judicial oversight and its relation to other institutions
  • means by which different governance institutions might manage the task of governance in divided societies

Students on the programme get to know each other and their lecturers well, in a setting of small class sizes. London features a wealth of seminars, conferences, and other events on democratic topics. These provide a means for students to expand their knowledge and to extend their professional networks in advance of entering the job market. Attention is consistently given to opportunities for employment following the programme. Regular gatherings of students and programme alumni facilitate an active exchange of information regarding careers and opportunities, and a Facebook networking group sustains these relationships.

Further information on the programme is available by contacting Dr. Sherrill Stroschein.