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Political Parties and Democracy: Conflict and Cooperation (recommended for the Research Master)



Objective: 1. To enhance familiarity with the concepts, debates and available studies on political parties, democratization and representative democracy.
Objective: 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%.

Admission requirements



Wednesday 3 and 10 September, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A22
Wednesday 17 September, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 5A37
Wednesday 24 September until 15 October, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A22
Wednesday 22 October until 17 December, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A24


Registration is possible from Tuesday 19 August 10.00 a.m. until Sunday 24 August. Please send an e-mail with your full name, student number and your preference for 2 seminars in the first semester to You will receive an auto-reply with a confirmation that we have received your e-mail. You will be informed about the seminars for which you have been registered before September 1.

Please note that Research Master students have priority for this seminar.