Page 1 of 1

Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

The module examines the democratic process in European countries and the EU, focusing in particular on the linkages between the policy preferences of citizens and the public policies enacted by their representatives. Normative democratic theory tells us that such linkages are a requirement for representative democracy, but transforming citizens' preferences into public policy is far from straightforward. The module analyses and assesses this process in the European context. This module will also be offered on the Graduate Diploma in Politics and the Structured PhD in Politics (not available for selection in section 13).


The module will examine the various steps involved in the process of democratic representation. Each step will be examined at both the level of European countries and the European Union; the interactions between these two levels will also be considered. Topics include: theories of representative democracy; citizens' policy preferences; political parties; party policy platforms and party competition; policy congruence between voters and parties; the causes and consequences of unequal political participation; the determinants of voting choice; coalition formation; the enactment of election pledges; government responsiveness to public opinion. Throughout the module, the topics will be considered in terms of normative theory (what would we want to see from a democratic perspective), predictive theory (what should we expect to see given the incentives and institutional context), and empirical evidence (what actually occurs).

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On completion of this module students should be able to: 1.Discuss the central debates concerning the function and purpose of representative democracy. 2.Explain the theoretical arguments concerning political behaviour at the level of voters and political parties. 3.Critically assess competing theoretical arguments concerning political behaviour in light of empirical evidence. 4.Explain differences in political behaviour and political outcomes between countries. 5.Evaluate the quality of democratic representation in European countries and the EU. This learning outcome will contribute

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On completion of this module students should be able to: 1.Appreciate the difficulties and complexities associated with the process of political representation, linking citizens' policy preferences with government policy.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

1. Dalton, R. (2008) Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies (5th Edition). , Chatham House
2. Van der Eijk, C, and M. Franklin (2009) Elections and Voters , Palgrave
3. McDonald, M. (2005) Elections, parties, democracy: conferring the median mandate. , Oxford University Press

Other Relevant Texts:

1. Powell, G.B (2000) Elections and Instruments of democracy: majoritarian and proportional visions. , Yale University Press
2. LeDuc L, Niemi, R, and Norris, P. (2010) Comparing Democracies 3: Elections and Voting in the 21st Century. , Sage
3. Mair, P. and J. Thomassen (2010) Political Representation and European Governance. , Routledge
4. Arnold, C. and M. N. Franklin (eds) (2012) ). 'Assessing Political Representation in Europe'. Special Issue of West European Politics, 35: 6. ,

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

MAPDSTTFA - Peace and Development Studies
MAPOLITFA - Politics
MAEPGOTFA - European Politics and Governance
MAINSTTFA - International Studies
MADEVETFA - Development
GDDEVETFA - Development

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: