The course addresses the intricate relationship between culture and politics in the United Kingdom (UK). Thus, the course will concentrate on both politics and culture, facts and fiction, history and memory in order to understand present day politics and policy-making in the UK from the post-war years until Brexit. A special emphasis is put on the cultural approach to politics, that is, on the concept of political culture. The classes will therefore concentrate on the role historical legacies (such as the legacy of the British Empire or the legacy of World War II) or war and political violence (such as the Cold War or the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland) have shaped British politics since 1945.
Other factors, which have shaped in convoluted ways bottom-up perceptions of British or European politics and society will be also addressed. These include, but are not confined to: rule of law and law enforcement, gendered experiences, identity markers (including more ordinary but no less significant ones such as football or single malt), fascination with the sunny south of Europe (such as Peter Mayle’s Provence) or with exotic travels and experiences (see the Best Marigold Hotel movie based on Deborah Moggach’s novel), rise of populism and Brexit. Cinematic narratives will be employed alongside academic texts on political culture in order to enable students understand better the complex and multifaceted issues discussed.
Course instructor: Prof Dragoş Petrescu
REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION
- A minimum of 50% attendance
- One in-class PowerPoint presentation (no less than 10 slides) and participation in class discussions, counting for 40% of the final grade
- An end-of-term written essay (no less than 2,500 words including footnotes and bibliography), counting for 60% of the final grade