1. Introduction to Politics Dissertations
This guide is designed to provide ideas about possible topics related to the study of contemporary politics and government. In general, dissertation for politics can combine a variety of research methods, and the format may vary according to the research aims of your paper. A combination of primary and secondary sources is possible as well.
2. Categories and suggested topics
Note: Some of the dissertation titles are accompanied by notes in italics
2.1 Electoral systems
2.1.1 Electoral systems and representative democracy – a comparative study between majoritarian/pluralist and proportional representation systems (the student can choose United Kingdom, which has FPTP system and Romania, which has PR).
2.1.2 Extremist and proportional representation systems. Analytical study of three countries from Eastern Europe (or any other European country with far right parties, for example France)
2.1.3 First Past the Post and electoral participation in the United Kingdom. Analytical Study (How does the type of electoral system affect the levels of electoral participation in developed societies? You can choose a particular country, for example the UK and examine changing patters of electoral participation in the last three decades for example)
2.1.4 Social capital and political participation in the United States. Analytical Study
2.1.5 Electoral systems and ethnic/religious/social diversity: the case of Romania (or Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia).
2.2. The legislature and the executive
2.2.1. Compare and contrast the powers of the legislative and executive in presidential and parliamentary system of government. (You can choose to assess the impact of these differences in terms of foreign policy/domestic policy. You can also choose two particular countries to use as examples)
2.2.2. Democracy in parliamentary and presidential republics. Comparative study (Are parliamentary republics more democratic compared to presidential ones? Why? Why not? Comparative study, choose any two countries)
2.2.3 The executive, the legislative and US foreign policy (How does the distribution of political power between the legislative/executive affect the efficiency of the United States in foreign affairs? Could be any country of your choice)
2.2.4 Bicameralism and unicameralism- a comparative study of democracy in the United Kingdom and Hungary. (Is bicameralism more representative as a model, compared to unicameralism? Why? Why not? Comparative study of two countries)
2.2.5 Presidential systems in former communist countries – the case of Russia and Georgia (Do you find any connection between the choice of presidential systems in former communist systems such as Russia or Georgia and their communist past, can be a comparative study, as well as analytical one)
2.3.1 Party system and cleavages: the case of Italy (Does the party system reflect existing cleavages within a society or artificially create them? You can choose countries from Eastern Europe as well).
2.3.2 Use and Abuse of religion in American politics (Why does religion seem to be more divisive issue in America than in Europe? Discuss how religion is abused for religious purposes; discuss the transformation of religious discourses into political ones. You can compare and contrast two countries – for example Italy and the United States, or you can just stick to the US).
2.3.3 Parties and political marketing in the United Kingdom (Modern parties do not represent the people: Rather they market their ideas to a sceptical public. Do you agree? Have parties lost their ideological base)
2.3.4 Electoral systems and political extremism in developed societies – the case of France (To what extent should extremist views be represented in a stable party system? To extent is this related to the electoral system of a given country?)
2.3.5. Ideology versus competence – the decline of party legitimacy in developed societies. Analytical study (In terms of political parties, assess the importance of ideology versus competence in developed societies)
2.3.6 Transition from polarized to moderate pluralism: the case of Italy (The change of electoral system in Italy in the early 1990s enhanced its transition from polarized to moderate pluralism. Discuss)
2.4. Interest groups in contemporary politics
2.4.1 The future of interest groups: Corporatism versus Pluralism
2.4.2 Interest groups and democracy in Romania (To what extent are interest groups a measure for democracy in developed countries? Use a specific country as an example)
2.4.3 Interest groups and modern governments – collaboration or coercion? (Do interest groups help or hinder the work of modern governments? Choose a specific country)
2.4.4 Unionism and the welfare state in the United Kingdom. (You can observe how this relation has been changing during the mandates of two Prime Ministers – Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair for example)
2.5 Political communication and the role of mass media in politics
2.5.1 ‘War on terror’ in US Media. (Assess the role of the media and its impact on public opinion, the formation of discourses and policies)
2.6 Political ideology
2.6.1 Neo-fascism and extreme right parties in Europe: A comparative study of Bulgaria and France (Are extreme right parties neo-fascist? You can choose Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia as your examples from Eastern Europe, and the United Kingdom and France for your Western European one).
2.6.2 The future of liberalism and the crisis of parliamentary democracy: The case of Greece
2.6.3 Conservatism and social reform: a comparative study between the United Kingdom and the United States
2.6.4 Modern dictatorships and political ideology: Comparative study between Chavez’s Venezuela and Quadaffi’s Libya
2.6.5 Islam and government reform in Saudi Arabia
3. How to Structure a Politics Dissertation, Tips
For details on how to structure a politics dissertation, kindly check out the following post:
- How to Structure a dissertation (chapters)
- How to structure a dissertation (chapters and subchapters)
- How to structure a dissertation research proposal