The module provides the core concepts and theoretical insights for analysing public opinion and political participation. It provides the theoretical frameworks for understanding the nature of mass beliefs, political participation, value change, elections and parties, social cleavages, partisanship, political attitudes, and political representation.
By the end of this module students should be able to
- Describe and compare the main meanings of public opinion and understand the circumstances that influence which meaning is best.
- Understand and analyse the primary scholarly and political debates about public opinion throughout history up to the present day.
- Distinguish and appraise the key theories of public opinion.
- Know the basic methods to measure and analyse public opinion and understand their merits and limits.
- Communicate, interpret, and evaluate scholarly and professional studies of public opinion.