Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2120: Democratic Innovations, Deliberation and Public Policy

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

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

  • Theoretical Foundations and Roots of Deliberative Democracy and Democratic innovations
  • Varieties of democratic innovation
  • Deliberation at different levels, local, national, global
  • Case Studies from around the world (eg India, Brazil, Ireland, UK, Canada)
  • Coupling Deliberation with Representative and Direct Democracy
  • What are the aims of deliberation? How to we judge deliberative ‘quality’?
  • Inclusivity issues: who speaks during deliberations? Who takes part?
  • The balance between consensus and disagreement
  • Online Deliberation – synchronous and asynchronous, chat rooms and live sessions
  • Critical perspectives: exploring the legitimacy of democratic innovations
  • The impact of democratic innovations: policy impact, impact on participants

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
Lectures/seminars2211 x 2 hours. A combination of lecture and seminar discussion; depending on public health regulations these will be delivered online or offline.
Weekly seminar readings & seminar preparation 53This includes reading and note taking, preparing short answers to seminar questions, viewing online deliberations and listening to podcasts, reading presentation slides in advance
Self-directed learning for essay (guide independent study)35Reading, research, database searching, writing, re-drafting and editing
Self-directed learning for case study (guide independent study)35Including independently researching the particular case from web sources and readings, writing up and editing case study
Participation in online forum discussions/ deliberations5ELE forum or similar – discussion topics generated by students for class to debate online (asynchronous discussion forum)

Online Resources

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

Other Learning Resources