Social Change & Political Order - SO823

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
(version 2)
Spring 7 20 (10) DR B Sanghera checkmark-circle


This module examines how postcommunist, transition and developing countries respond to the liberal democratic political order, critically exploring the economic, social and moral aspects of neoliberalisation in the southern hemisphere. Notions of power, the state, class, agency and morality are central to considerations of social and political change. Several key topics, including gendered politics, state corruption, international aid, global finance and fraud, slums and migration, will be discussed. The module is interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to engage with key ideas and studies from sociology and political science to development studies and ethics. Each week students will explore a broad range of literature, spanning from political sociology to moral economy, so that students gain a deeper appreciation of people' politics and values in emerging and newly liberal societies.


Contact hours

Mondays 11 am - 1pm


Spring term. Weeks 13-16 and 18-24

Method of assessment

100% coursework consisting of one essay (5,000 words)

Indicative reading

Recommended Readings

Outhwaite, William and Larry Ray (2005), Social Theory and Postcommunism, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
Morvaridi, Behrroz (2008), Social Justice and Development, Basingstoke: Palgrave

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, successful students will demonstrate a Master's level ability to:

• Critically understand the conditions of stability and legitimacy in emerging and newly liberal democratic societies, and the various challenges to them
• Reflect critically upon the relationship between social structure and processes and political institutions, processes and outcomes
• Analyse arguments concerning the threats to democracy from various sources
• Critically assess the connections between theories of political stability and change developed in one period and place to events and processes in other places at other times
• Critically understand the legacies of historical processes and institutions upon contemporary political situations


  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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