Social Change & Political Order - SOCI8230

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Balihar 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

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200


Normally runs in the Spring term (term 2).

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework – essay (5000 words) – 100%.

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Almond, G & Verba, S (1989) The Civic Culture, London: Sage
Almond, G & Verba, S (1989) (ed.) The Civic Culture Revisited, London: Sage
Lukes, S (2004) Power: a radical view, London: Palgrave Macmillan
Habermas, J (1975) Legitimation Crisis, Boston: Beacon Press
Moore, B (1993) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Boston: Beacon Press
Poggi, G (1975) The Development of the Modern State, Stanford: Stanford University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the conditions of stability and legitimacy in liberal democratic states, and the various challenges and challengers thereto
2.Be able to make connections between theories of political stability and change developed in one period and place to events and processes in other places at other times
3.Be able to reflect critically upon arguments concerning the threats to democracy from various sources, and upon the relationship between social structure and processes and political institutions, processes and outcomes
4.Have gained a critical understanding of the legacies of historical processes and institutions upon contemporary political situations

The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Be able to demonstrate highly developed skills in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in utilization of research and statistical data
2.Have acquire advanced research skills through library investigation, critical debate and essay writing
3.Be able to synthesise and evaluate items of knowledge from different schools and disciplines of enquiry


  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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