nl en

Political Parties and Democracy: Conflict and Cooperation



Objectives: 1. To enhance familiarity with the concepts, debates and available studies on political parties, democratization and representative democracy. 2. To increase empirical knowledge and develop analytical skills in academic writing and reporting.

Content: This course concentrates on the role and function of political parties in modern (European) democracies, in particular on their role during democratic transitions and their contribution to democratic legitimacy. We will also pay attention to the changes in the societal structures underpinning contemporary party systems, patterns of alliances and oppositions, the development of alternative forms of political mobilization, and the consequences of EU integration.

Methods of Instruction

Seminars, close reading, group discussions, group work, individual student presentations.


A collection of academic book chapters and journal articles – to be announced


Students will write a final paper, of approximately 3,000 – 4,000 words, which counts towards 45% of the final grade. During the course, they will also write several short essays, of around 1500 words each, which together count towards 45% of the final grade. In addition, participation in class counts towards 10%.


Thursday 5 September until 19 December, 15.00-17.00 hrs in SA21 (no class on 3 October and 5 December)

  • This seminar is full, registration is no longer possible.