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Parties, Elections and Representation

Code 15736
Year 1
Semester S1
ECTS Credits 6
Workload OT(15H)/TP(30H)
Scientific area Ciência Política
Entry requirements None
Learning outcomes The curricular unit proposes an analysis of political parties in so-called advanced democracies. Its internal structures, the modalities of recruiting militants, the dominant ideological traits, the means of financing or communication strategies are central aspects of the reflection.
Given that the parliamentary life of political parties, in established democracies, is the most relevant dimension of their activity, electoral systems will also be analyzed. At issue are the properties of different electoral systems and the impact they have on the party system, on the strategy of political parties or on the nature of competitiveness that characterizes them. Finally, considering that political parties play relevant roles as agents of representation of society's opinion, it will also be a matter of inquiring about this role and about the possible pathologies that can derive from the unavoidable role that political parties play in democracies.
Syllabus Political parties
1. Political parties in advanced democracies
a) Socio-economic context
b) Social base
c) ideology
d) State-society axis
e) Organizational aspects
f) Financing
electoral system
2. Electoral systems: general map
a) Proportionality and disproportionality
b) Party system
c) Parliament-government axis
d) Representativeness
political representation
3. Theories of political representation
a) Representation of interests
b) Representation of groups
c) Representation of territories
d) Political representation and legitimacy
Main Bibliography Cotta, M, and Russo F. (2020) Research Handbook on Political Representation. Chelten: Edward Elgar publishing; Dalton, R., Farrel, D. and MacAllister, I. (2011) Political Parties and Democratic Linkage. How Parties Organize Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press; Felsenthal, D. and Machover, M. (2012) Electoral Sysems. Paradoxes, Assumptions and Procedures. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; Heidar, K. And Wauters, B. (2019) Do Parties Still Represent? An Analysis of the Representativeness of Political Parties in Western Democracies. Oxon: Routledge; Herron, E., Pekkanen, R. and Shugart, M. (2021) The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Lisi, M., Freire, A. and Tsatsanis, E. (2020) Political Representation and Citizenship in Portugal: From Crisis to Renewal. London: Lexington Books; Rohrschneider, R. and Thomassen, J, eds, (2020) Oxford Handbook of Political Representation in Liberal Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Teaching Methodologies and Assessment Criteria The teaching methodology adopted in the curricular unit Parties, Elections and Representation has three aspects: theoretical lectures; seminars devoted to the analysis and discussion of texts; tutorial guidelines aimed at clarifying doubts and providing bibliographic advice.
Evaluation criteria: participation in seminars: 50%; two written attendance tests: 50%.
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2024-01-15

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