Dyson’s The State as Idea and Institution, A Prezi

Please see below a Prezi software visual presentation outlining the Dyson reading on Theories of the State. His reading was the one where he argues for a political philosophical/law/history grounding on the concept of the State from a continental European perspective. He name drops many political thinkers from various countries, so be careful when using examples.


You can click any part of the canvas so you can pick and choose the topics to go more in depth! Or you can just press the arrow buttons to use the presentation more like a powerpoint.

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Hay’s Analysis of the Competition State

Please see an interactive pdf document on the Hay reading for the globalization and the nation-state workshops. To refresh your memory, Hay is a critique piece that analyses two authors of political economy, Philip G. Cerny and Bob Jessop. Both of the authors tell of the transformation of liberal democratic states from being Keynesian Welfare National States to Schumpterian Competition States as a consequence of competitive capital flows in the globalized world economy.

*Note: This PDF is interactive. Hyper-links (seen as underlines) will propel you to different parts of the presentation. The key pages to go back to are Pg. 2 and Pg. 14, as “table of contents” or master pages. 

Hay’s “Restating Politics, Re-politicizing the state…” Powerpoint


Reading the Hay article could give you  tips on how to formulate critical arguments. By looking further at Cerny and Jessop’s works gives another perspective on how the purposes of nation-states have changed in the modern era.

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Useful Links for understanding Poli Sci Concepts

Hello. Please see the following links to help decipher the many concepts you will encounter when studying Politics. This link list will regularly be updated. If there are any broken links, please bring them to my attention.


Agent-Structure Debate (From SAGE Publication’s International Encyclopaedia of Organization Studies)

Principal-Agent Problem (From AMOSWeb “Economics with a touch of whimsy!”, see: Government Inefficiency)

What is functionalism? Link 1 ( From the History Learning Site)
What is functionalism? Link 2 (From Stanford’s Encyclopaedia of Philosophy)

The Comparative Method in Political Science* (From an online course by Prof. David Levi-Faur, strongly reccommended! See: Ch 2,5)

List of Comparative Politics Concepts with summaries (From WikiSum, also includes International Relations concepts. A listing of online summaries of works by pivotal authors in the field. Note: DO NOT USE AS A REPLACEMENT FOR READING)

List of (some) Logical Fallacies (From “Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies!”, fun and interactive. Good for understanding more complex critique pieces)

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Practice Essay Questions

Hello all! Please see the following practice essay questions on Political Science I.

*Important Note* If you choose a “Political Science I” practice essay, you CANNOT choose Political Science I as an assessed essay. BUT you CAN use it as practice for an exam question on the final exam!

1.1 ‘The purpose of the State is always the same: to limit the individual, to tame him, to subordinate him.’
Discuss this statement using different theories of the State.
1.2 What are the implications of globalisation for the main theories of the State?

Remember, the deadline is one week from now! That is, Monday, 12th of September, 12:00pm.

To reiterate the Moodle guidelines.
For each essay you complete:
– Submit ONE paper copy to the ESPS Office (2.2, 2nd floor, 33-35 Torrington Place). Essays must be
word-processed. Write the module code, essay title, question number and word count at the top of the
essay, but do not write your name anywhere on the essay.
– Submit ONE signed cover-sheet to the ESPS Office alongside your paper copy. Include your name,
essay title, etc., on the cover-sheet, as the instructions require. Cover-sheets can be downloaded from this
module’s Moodle course.
– Submit ONE electronic copy to UCL’s plagiarism detection system, Turnitin®. See instructions and
login on this module’s Moodle course. In the electronic copy, please do not include a cover-sheet and make
sure your name does not appear anywhere in the essay file or filename. Your bibliography should be
included in the same document.

Additional blog posts are on the way. You can continue using the blog as a study aide for core course exams or any other exam module relevant to the study of Political Science/Comparative Politics.


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2014 Workshop 1: Theories of The State — Dunleavy

Here we have the first reading on Theories of The State. As mentioned in the seminar, Dunleavy’s reading is more general as opposed to the Dyson and Gill readings. His Introduction focuses on different ways of defining “The State” in political science terms. He also goes into a conversation about Democracy and Liberal Democracies before showing his 5 main theories and 3 state types. A visual representation of the main themes of his Introduction can be found on the PowToon below. Powtoon is an animation-based presentation software, similar to powerpoint but doe through a continious-streaming video format.

Powtoon on Dunleavy:

The Powtoon is best viewed on *Full Screen*, also stopping/rewinding, etc should be used

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Welcome to ESPS’s Intro to Political Science 2014/2015!

Hello all,

Welcome to Intro to Political Science (Sigh-ence) the blog, version 2014/2015! Part of UCL’s European Social and Political Studies. This module runs for two weeks with workshops running on Fridays the 3rd and 10th of October. Blog posts will be devoted to the following readings:

 Theories of the State

  • Dunleavy, Patrick, O’Leary, Brendan, Theories of the State. The Politics of Liberal Democracy, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1987, pages 1-12.
  • Dyson, Kenneth H.F., The State Tradition in Western Europe. A Study of an Idea and Institution, Oxford, OUP, 1980, pages 1-21.
  • Gill, Graeme J., ‘The Twentieth Century: The State Embedded?’ in Gill, Graeme J. (ed), The Nature and Development of the Modern State, in Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pages 194-225.

The State and Globalisation

  • Sorensen, Georg, ‘The transformation of the state’ in Hay, Colin, Lister, Michael, Marsh, David (eds), The State: Theories and Issues, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, pages 190-208.
  • Hay, Colin, ‘Re-Stating Politics, Re-Politicising the State: Neo-liberalism, Economic Imperatives and the Rise of the Competition State’, The Political Quaterly, Vol. 75, Issue Supplement 1, 2004, pages 38-50.
  • Van der Veen, Romke, ‘The Transformation of the Welfare State. What is Left of Public Responsibility?’, in W. Schinkel (ed), Globalization and the State, Basingstoke, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009, pages 173-195.

Some of the blog posts on these readings are from previous years and can be found on the sections tab at the top of the page.

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2013 Workshop 3 – Parties and Party Systems in Europe; TA Suggested Readings


As per request in one of the workshops, here is a sample list of texts that I was familiar with and found useful about Parties and Party Systems, during my time as an ESPSer at UCL.Readings from Previous year’s module:

  • Mair, Peter, “Party systems and structures of competition” in Party system change : approaches and interpretations by Mair, Peter, Oxford University Press, 2003, pages 199-223.
  • Ware, Alan, “Supporters, members and activists” in Political parties and party systems by Ware, Alan, Oxford University Press, 1996, pages 63-92

Other readings (not included in the reading list) :

  • **M. Duverger, Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State, London, Methuen, 1954.
  • **S.M. Lipset and S. Rokkan. 1967. Party systems and voter alignments: Cross-national perspectives. Toronto: The Free Press.
  • A. Lijphart. Democracies: Patterns of Majoritarian & Consensus Government in Twenty-one Countries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.
  • **A. Lijphart, ‘Unequal Participation: Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemma’, The American Political Science Review, vol. 91 (1997), no. 1, pp. 1-14.
  • **I. van Biezen, ‘The Place of Parties in Contemporary Democracies’ West European Politics, Jul 2003, Vol.26, No.3, pp.171-184
  • **Powell, G. Bingham. “The chain of responsiveness.” Journal of Democracy 15.4 (2004): 91-105.
  • Farrell, David M., and Paul Webb. “Political parties as campaign organizations.” (2006).

Generally, you can cross-reference anything found in a “literature review section”; usually the first 2 sections, on any sort of Chapter/Article. If you notice the repetition of names such as :Kirchheuner, Duverger, Daalder…..those are big hints of authors that you must at least have a general understanding of!

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