Study Guides

The Academic Division aims to guide and inspire undergraduates to explore the field of political science and its interdisciplinary nature. We produce articles and study guides on the major subfields of political science such as political economy, political theory, and comparative politics as well as their applications to current affairs. Our materials take inspiration from existing GV courses along with the most talked about issues in the international community.

This division unites individuals passionate about political science to share with you the major questions and recent findings of the topics that fascinate them. We hope that this information benefits students in the Government Department, other researchers in LSEUPR, and of course, our readers.

If you are as fascinated by political science and its various applications to current events as us, please feel free to reach out. We would love to hear what you think!

Gioia Serena Wang
Academic Director 22/23

A Guide to Downs’s “Issue-attention Cycle”: Are Social Issues Just Trends?

Gabrielle Simonpoli, BSc. Politics ’24 (Reading time: 5 minutes) 

Who sets the public agenda? Who decides which issues are picked up and which ones remain untouched? Why do some issues appear so important at a certain point in time but soon fade into oblivion? In our modern democracies, individuals and interest groups have the capacity to pressure office-seeking politicians into […]

January 25th, 2023|Study Guides|0 Comments|

LSEUPR Conference Presentation Guide

LSEUPR Academic Conference Presentation Guide

You have just received an email notifying you that your abstract/paper has been accepted to be presented at a conference. For passionate researchers this is a big moment and a fantastic achievement – one which you should celebrate! Now the work starts to craft your presentation. This guide will layout all the basic requirements of […]

GV100: Aristotle, the State, and the Good Citizen

Florence Liu, BSc. Politics and International Relations ’21

In continuation of the exploration of the need for and origins of the state, this article will introduce Aristotle’s theory of human nature and the state. Aristotle is often regarded as one of Plato’s greatest rivals in the history of political thought, and takes a markedly different approach to theorising the state, […]

GV249: Data and Measurement

Mashal Ijaz, BSc. Politics and International Relations ’21

Examples of data and measurement

         There are two types of data: quantitative and qualitative. An example of quantitative data would be statistics (a summary of a variable for a set of units), usually shown in a table. Qualitative data can include documentary analysis, such as archival research or text analysis. Surveys can […]

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    PH203: Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Science; Guala and Mitchell

PH203: Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Science; Guala and Mitchell

Jack Bissett, BSc. Politics and Philosophy ’21

Since there have been substantial changes between the 2019/20 (when I studied PH203) and 2020/21 course structure and readings, I will be focussing my articles on the weeks which have stayed the same between the years. So, that said, I will be beginning with Week 2. This week presents us with the state […]

GV100: Plato and the Just State

Florence Liu, BSc. Politics and International Relations ’21

As part of political theory’s central occupation with understanding how we do – and how we should – think about political life, political theorists throughout history have continually questioned and redefined both the concept of ‘government’ in itself, as well as what it means to govern in the ‘right’ way. A core […]

GV249: How to Identify a Research Question

Mashal Ijaz, BSc. Politics and International Relations ’21

Why conduct political science research?

It is important to start by asking the fundamental: why conduct political science research? If your passion is quantitative political science research, that may not be a very important question. However, it is always worthwhile to put in perspective the rationale behind wanting to conduct ‘good’ political science […]

GV225: The Basics of Preference Aggregation

Kimberley Chia, BSc. Politics and Economics ’21

Preference aggregation is a key tenet in the study of political economy. It determines how individual views and preferences are taken into account to derive the group choice, which is thereafter reflected in policy. This, in turn, is dependent on the structures of political institutions in a given country or community – for […]

GV262: Two Models of Political Theory; Marx and Mill

Jack Bissett, BSc. Politics and Philosophy ’21

One of the main debates running throughout the entire course is between the two main approaches to political theory; normative and critical. Normative political theory, taken broadly, is the central mode of analytic political thought, and refers to “an argument-based and issue-oriented, rather than thinker-based and exegetical, approach that emphasizes logical rigor, terminological […]

Political Theory: An Introduction to GV100 and GV262

GV100: Introduction to Political Theory
This series of articles, developed with close reference to the LSE’s GV100: Introduction to Political Theory course, aims to offer precursory insights into the discipline of political theory through topical exploration of some of the most influential thinkers within the western political canon, as well as some critical perspectives.
What is political theory?
Political theory, also known […]