Political Science

Political Parties(SP321)

Course Code Course Name Semester Theory Practice Lab Credit ECTS
SP321 Political Parties 5 3 3 0 3 5
Admission Requirements
Language of Instruction French
Course Type Elective
Course Level Bachelor Degree
Course Instructor(s) Esra ATUK eatuk@gsu.edu.tr (Email)
Objective This course takes as its object of study political parties that, enjoying one of the longest traditions of study, constitute a structuring subject for political science. Political parties will be apprehended in connection with theories and methods of political science, as proactive part of the political system, but also as "mediators" between the latter and citizens. Through their analysis, is targeted a better understanding of the functioning of representative regimes.
Content By tracing the outlines of a political sociology of parties, we will first try to make some definitions from which we will place the parties in the political system and present the problematization efforts on emergence, history, functions and future of partisan phenomenon indissociable from liberal democracy.

In a second step, we will propose a reading of the parties according to the logic of their project and their position relative to social and political conflicts to reach a classification of political families.

We will then analyze legal and internal structures of parties and present the different typologies elaborated on party organizations to reach an explanation of the logic of mobilization carried out by political parties and their links with electoral mechanisms .
Course Learning Outcomes Students who have followed and successfully completed the course are able to :

1) explain the basic concepts related to political parties,
2) define the political parties in their multiple facets,
3) understand the political party as an object of study and compare different approaches to the study of political parties,
4) understand the relationships that political parties maintain with the political system as well as with their local, national and international environment,
5) analyze the formal and informal discourse of political parties,
6) discern the political family to which belongs a political party from its project and its positioning within the existing political cleavages,
7) understand the logic of partisan organization and mobilization,
8) classify political parties according to their organizational specificities,
9) understand the legal limits provided by law to the actions of political parties,
10) understand the logic of the system formed by the political parties in a given country and its relationship with the political system in general,
11) analyze trends and recent developments of the party phenomenon and the party system in Turkey and around the world,
12) establish the relationship between political parties and liberal democracy.
Teaching and Learning Methods The courses will include a large proportion of lectures and discussions on weekly readings. These two elements require regular attendance of students and a reading of the texts of the collection. The indications on the texts to be read will be given each week in class.

Students will be asked to make their contribution to the course with a research project introducing the main elements of the party life of a country or region of their choice (analysis of political families or parties from the point of view of thier history, discourse and ideology, organization, their place in political competition, election results, etc..).
References AVRIL, Pierre, Essai sur les partis politiques, Paris, Payot, 1990.

BRECHON, Pierre, Les partis politiques, Paris, Montchrestien, 1999.

CHARLOT, Jean, Les partis politiques, Paris, Armand Colin, 1971.

CHARLOT, Jean et Monica, « Les groupes politiques dans leur environnement » et « L’interaction des groupes politiques », in LECA, Jean et GRAWITZ, Madeleine (dir.), Traité de science polique, Tome 3, p. 429-536.

MENY, Yves (dir.), Idéologies, partis politiques et groupes sociaux, Etudes réunies pour Georges Lavau, Paris, Presses de la FNSP, 1991.

DONEGANI, Jean-Marie, SADOUN, Marc, La democratie imparfaite. Essai sur le parti politique, Paris, Gallimard, 1994.

DUVERGER, Maurice, Les partis politiques, (4ème édition), Paris, Armand Colin, 1961.

KATZ, Richard S., MAIR, Peter (eds.), How Parties Organize. Change and Adaptation in Party Organizations in Western Democracies, London, SAGE Publications, 1994.

LAWSON, Kay (Ed.), How Political Parties Work. Perspectives from Within, Westport, Praeger Publishers, 1994.

OFFERLE, Michel, Les partis politiques, Paris, PUF, coll. « Que Sais-Je ? », 1997.

OLIVIER, Laurent , GREFFET, Fabienne, ANDOLFATTO, Dominique (dir.), Les partis politiques : quelles perspectives ? , Paris, L’Harmattan, 2001.

SEILER, Daniel-Louis, De la comparaison des partis politiques, Paris, Economica, 1986.

SEILER, Daniel-Louis, Les partis politiques en Occident. Sociologie historique du phénomène partisan, Paris, Ellipses, 2003.

SEILER, Daniel-Louis, Les partis politiques, Paris, Armand Colin, 2000.

WARE, Alan, Political Parties and Party Systems, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1996.

WARE, Alan, Citizens, Parties and the State. A Reappraisal, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1987.
Print the course contents
Theory Topics
Week Weekly Contents
1 Introduction: statement of the problem [recent knowledge for an old phenomenon]; presentation of the course and its organization
2 Definition and functions of political parties. Party and political system.
3 Party as an object of study in political science: Historical overview of the study of parties from the founding fathers to contemporary theories. Problematization and working hypotheses.
4 Project, doctrine, ideology: The logic of the project. Different levels of partisan discourse. Ideologies and political parties.
5 Classification of political families (1): unidimensional approaches
6 Classification of political families (2): pluridimensional approaches
7 Classification of political families (3): Profile of European parties and an application of the model to the case of Turkey
8 Mid-term exam
9 Parties as organizational phenomena
10 Partisan mobilization: Levels of engagement (leaders, deputies, activists, members, supporters, voters). Parties and elections.
11 Party system and political system
12 Party systems int the West and the world. The evolution of the party system in Turkey.
13 Students' presentations
14 Students' presentations and conclusion
Practice Topics
Week Weekly Contents
Contribution to Overall Grade
  Number Contribution
Toplam 0 0
In-Term Studies
  Number Contribution
Assignments 0 0
Presentation 1 30
Midterm Examinations (including preparation) 1 30
Project 0 0
Laboratory 0 0
Other Applications 0 0
Quiz 0 0
Term Paper/ Project 0 0
Portfolio Study 0 0
Reports 0 0
Learning Diary 0 0
Thesis/ Project 0 0
Seminar 0 0
Other 0 0
Toplam 2 60
No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5
1 Understanding the major theories, concepts, foundations, and methodologies used in the study of politics. X
2 Identifying the structure and operation of the political system in Turkey and other political systems in the world. X
3 Identifying and gathering information from credible primary and secondary sources; analyzing and synthesizing the acquired knowledge. X
4 Generating and testing empirically hypotheses about political processes, institutions, mechanisms and relationships. X
5 Designing, conducting and interpreting the results of original research in accordance with the scientific and ethical principles by using basic research methods. X
6 Showing awareness and sensivity towards issues related to democracy, human rights and social peace. X
7 Appraising the sources of societal conflict and how they can be resolved by political means. X
8 Examining critically the nature of change in the global political community, and the complex character of processes such as globalization. X
9 Taking a role in a teamwork in political science and general fields of other related disciplines. X
10 Following publications in foreign languages and communicating with the colleagues in the international environment by using French which is the language of education in Galatasaray University and English, the compulsory foreign language. X
11 Using required level of information and communication technologies. X
Activities Number Period Total Workload
Class Hours 13 3 39
Working Hours out of Class 10 4 40
Assignments 1 5 5
Presentation 1 10 10
Midterm Examinations (including preparation) 1 8 8
Project 0 0 0
Laboratory 0 0 0
Other Applications 0 0 0
Final Examinations (including preparation) 1 8 8
Quiz 0 0 0
Term Paper/ Project 0 0 0
Portfolio Study 0 0 0
Reports 0 0 0
Learning Diary 0 0 0
Thesis/ Project 0 0 0
Seminar 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
Total Workload 110
Total Workload / 25 4,40
Credits ECTS 4
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