Politics, Power and the State

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Contact Hours: 25

Self Study Hours: 75

Assessment Hours: 25


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module explores the theories on Politics and how these effect power and the state. Themes tackled will include: Political theory, political institutions, political theorists, political ideologies, the way political institutions function in practice, Comparative Politics; international relations, politics and governments, the rule of law and the different branches of government.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


  • Observe and critically analyse trends in politics and political systems;
  • Systematically understand different aspects political scientific theory and the dynamics of power;
  • Comprehend and analyze the power systems and their interaction with the State;
  • Sustain arguments with regard to aspects regarding politics and the political spectrum.
  • Apply sociological theories and knowledge acquired to the Maltese context.  


  • Systematically comprehend and define key terms: politics, power, authority, government and the State;
  • Critically evaluate the concept of Citizenship, with reference to concepts such as equality, freedom, the rule of law. Civic rights and obligations;
  • Centralisation and de-centralisation of government;
  • Systematically identify and comprehend different Political ideologies and systems of government and identify their characteristics;
  • Appreciate and assess the role of political parties in a democracy, using Malta as a case study;
  • Systematically identify different supranational entities such as the United Nations and European Union.  


  • Identify the appropriate theories in relation to Political science and the political spectrum; 
  • Determine the best form of research approach to understand a particular aspect of politics, culture and the state;
  • Apply the theories explored and studied current political situations both locally and worldwide;
  • Interpret and apply data gathered through qualitative and quantitative methods in the political science field;
  • Comment upon current research and primary sources;
  • Reference correctly the appropriate literature used;
  • Develop the ability to plan and develop a research project/assignment.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
Bhattacharjee, Y. (2004). POLITICS. Science, 305(5681), 175.

Dobrat; B.A. (2011); Power, Politics, and Society: An Introduction to Political Sociology; Routledge

Heywood, A. (2002). Politics. (2nd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.

Roskin, M. (1994). Political science : An introduction (5th ed.). Prentice Hall.

Runciman, D. (2014). Politics (Ideas in profile). London.

Perkins, A. (2008). Politics (Little book of big ideas). London: A & C Black.

Tarrow, S.G. (2011); Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics; Third Edition; Cambridge University Press;

Wiseman, H. (1964). Government, politics and political science. University of Exeter.


Supplementary Reading List
D’Anieri, P. (2016 ); International Politics: Power and Purpose in Global Affairs (4th Edition); Cengage Learning

Gregusová, G. (2005). How to teach political science ?: The experience of first-time university teachers. University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Holler, F. (1986). Information sources of political science (4th ed.). ABC-Clio.

Ishiyama, J., & Breuning, M. (n.d.). 21st century political science : A reference handbook / Vol. 1.

Ishiyama, J., & Breuning, M. (n.d.). 21st century political science : A reference handbook / Vol. 2. 


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