Political Strategy - POLI9030

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Bojan Savic checkmark-circle


The module engages in conceptual discussions of "the political", power, strategy, political tactics, policy process, and different (state and non-state) actors in it, agenda setting, etc., It surveys diverse methodologies applicable to analyses of political strategy (Game Theory, Decision Theory, Case Study, Foucauldian and Critical approaches to political strategy, and simulation exercises). Furthermore, it includes in-depth examinations of strategic interactions drawing on relevant and contemporary empirical case studies. Finally, the module includes a simulation exercise enacting negotiation, bargaining and crisis management dynamics in an international institutional setting.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 176
Total hours: 200

Method of assessment

Strategy paper, 1,000 words (20%)
Strategy evaluation paper, 1,000 words (10%)
Research essay, 5,000 words (70%)

Reassessment Methods: Like-for-like.

Indicative reading

Reading List (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

DeNardo, James. Power in Numbers: The Political Strategy of Protest and Rebellion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.1985

Dixit, Avinash K., Reiley, David H. and Skeath, Susan, Games of Strategy. 4th ed., New York: W.W. Norton. 2015

Gouliamos, Kostas, Theocharous, Antonis and Newman, Bruce I.(eds.) Political Marketing: Strategic 'Campaign Culture'. New York: Routledge, 2013

Freedman, Lawrence. Strategy: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013

Paroutis, Sotirios, Heracleous, Loizos and Angwin, Duncan. Practicing Strategy: Text and Cases. 2nd Edition London: Sage, 2016

Schelling, Thomas C. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963.

Simons, Jonathan. Foucault and the Political. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge, 2002

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Understand policy process (at national, international, and transnational levels) as embedded in relations of power and relevant social norms, while also being able to assess the role played by different actors (state and non-state) in the policy process;

2. Analyse and evaluate strategies and techniques for bargaining, advocacy, civil action, and lobbying based on their instrumental rationales, while also assessing the ethical aspects of such activities.

3. Critically asses the analytical utility of concepts, theories, and methods relevant to political strategy, particularly in their applications to contemporary issues and problems;

4. Evaluate the interrelationships between the literatures and methodologies of public policy, politics, and international relations and related disciplines, such as law, political theory, economics, sociology and history as they relate to political strategy and advocacy;

5. Describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting social and technical information.

6. Apply theories to case studies and carry out a small, independent research project;

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. work with theoretical knowledge and apply theory to empirical issues and will have a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, policies, and social practices;

2: be aware of the ethical dimensions of the scholarly work done in their discipline as well as in their own work;

3: be able to undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge and make carefully constructed arguments;

4: be reflective and self-critical in their work and will have independent learning ability required for further academic or professional development;

5: be able to communicate the conclusions and outcomes of their research and decision-making to specialist and non-specialist audiences in academic and professional contexts.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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