Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2079: Contemporary Public Debate in an Age of 'Anti-Politics'

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


1. Theorising the ‘Age of Anti-politics’ :

  • Defining the public sphere
  • The politics of representation and the media
  • The political economy of the media
  • The ‘mediatisation’ or ‘stylization’ of democratic politics
  • The rise of populism


2.Theorising Knowledge and the Public Sphere

  • Exploring Marxist, liberal and feminist perspectives on the sources and types of knowledge and its role in politics
  • Examining the role of experts and expertise in political debate


3- Case Studies

Students can choose to research and present one of the following possible topics: 

  • The politics of climate change
  • Austerity vs. anti-austerity
  • Public vs private debate regarding the NHS
  • Gender Pay Gap
  • The benefits and dangers of immigration
  • Same-sex marriage
  • Renewal of the Trident Missile System
  • Membership of the EU and the EU referendum
  •  Islam and terrorism


Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity27.511 x 1.5 hour lectures and 11 x 1 seminars
Guided independent study122.5 Independent study guided by module leader to include: Reading and seminar preparation (60 hours); Research, analysis and compilation of presentation (10 hours); Preparation and completion of essay (25 hours); Preparation and completion of examination (25 hours); Following module-related political news events (3 hours).

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).