Dr Miriam Sorace

I specialise in European and comparative politics and have expertise in representation, political behaviour, quantitative research methods and the quantitative analysis of political texts. I am currently investigating the responsiveness of legislative activities of the European Parliament (EP) to European citizens. My current research has implications for EU institutional reform and for the role of voter education in representative democracies. My prospective research will continue to focus on the study of political representation and voting behaviour.

Teaching

  • PO-119 Politics and the People

    This module introduces students to key topics of comparative politics and addresses some of the central issues of how the people are involved in politics. This module assists students in addressing central questions in comparative politics by comparing political institutions and the role of people in politics across the world. It looks at the ways in which types of political participation, electoral systems and political parties shape the ability of people to influence politics. It addresses these issues primarily in the context of key examples of states that may be defined as old and new democracies.

  • PO-125 What is Politics and International Relations?

    This module has two aims. Firstly, the module will introduce students to a set of key study skills needed in order to undertake the study of Politics and International Relations, including ways of presenting arguments in essays or seminar presentations, learning where and how to find information needed to construct arguments about politics and IR, and provide a brief introduction to some of the methods that political scientists use to study the world of politics and IR. Secondly, it seeks to introduce students to different frameworks through which politics and IR can be studied by focusing on the deceptively simple question of what is politics and IR?

  • PO-209 The State and Political Institutions

    This module allows participants to explore and scrutinize some of the key contemporary debates on the state and political institution within the framework of comparative political science ┬┐ or comparative politics. Comparative politics involves describing, comparing, and explaining political phenomena around the world. It asks questions such as how do different countries┬┐ political systems compare to one another and why are they similar or different? Why are some countries democratic while others are authoritarian? How do states become democratic? What effect does having a presidential form of government rather than a parliamentary one have on public policy outputs? How do rules for elections differ across countries and what effects do they have on politics? Why do some countries have a multiparty political system while others have a two-party system? This course will help you answer these questions and will provide you with the tools to tackle more complex questions in comparative politics. Rather than studying a handful of countries in detail, we will concentrate on taking a scientific approach to studying comparative politics. We will emphasize important concepts, theories, and empirical questions and research findings. You will have the opportunity to focus on politics in one specific country (see country assignments below). However, the goal is not to make you experts on specific countries, but rather to give you the tools to study countries comparatively and help you to understand why politics looks the way it does around the world.

  • PO-396 Researching Politics 1

    This module offers students a valuable experience of both individual and collective research as well as the opportunity to study in depth an important aspect of Politics and International Relations. After an introductory session students will work in small groups pursuing research into a specific topic using a wide variety of source materials under the guidance of a member of staff with appropriate specialist knowledge and expertise.

  • PO-M66 European Union Governance and Policy-Making

    The module provides with an introduction to the main institutions in the European Union and its legislative process. Key conceptual and theoretical debates will be discussed each week. After successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 1. Explain the key institutions of the EU political system 2. Explain how decisions are taken in the EU 3. Critically appraise current research in the field of EU government and politics 4. Engage in current controversies surrounding the EU, in particular on the democratic deficit thesis and on the thesis of unequal member state power.