This course focuses on the key concept of power. Power is critical to an understanding of politics and has relevance for understanding many other aspects of life, in particular, the way that societies are organized and how economies grow. In politics, it is through the use of power that governments seek to attain their objectives. Power is also useful in analysing the context in which politics takes place: how competing political parties seek to acquire it, how political leaders use and abuse it, how it affects relations between states and how the executive, in using power, may be constrained by political opposition and institutions such as legislatures and civil society. Power is also closely related to other key concepts, such as authority and sovereignty, and to classifications of political systems which will be considered during the course.
This course will enable students to use the concept of power analytically and to examine political,social and economic issues critically. On completion of the course, students will have developed an appreciation of the utility of the concept and its relevance to many different political, social and economic phenomena.