Politics in Europe

Module titlePolitics in Europe
Module codePOL1020
Academic year2020/1
Credits15
Module staff

Professor Alison Harcourt (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

300

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In this module you will address how changing patterns of governance (specifically, the rise of the regulatory state, globalisation, and Europeanisation) are affecting traditional models of governance, focusing on the political systems of the UK, France, Germany, Scandinavian countries and Eastern Europe.

The theoretical foundations of the module lie in the combination of comparative politics and comparative political economy and Europeanization theory. You will examine the role of political parties, interest groups, legislatures, executives, judiciaries, the media and political participation.

This is fundamental for students wishing to specialise in comparative or European politics. There are no prior modules required to take this module. It is suitable for any student in social science or humanities from the first year and is recommended for interdisciplinary pathways, particularly students studying European languages.

 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module assesses how changing patterns of governance (specifically, the rise of the regulatory state, globalisation, and Europeanisation) are affecting traditional models of governance. These themes are explored through lectures and seminars. The course focuses on the political systems of the UK, France, Germany, Scandinavian countries and Eastern Europe. The module explains how the process of European integration has transformed political systems, political institutions and public policy, as well as the limitations of Europeanization.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. understand the nature and evolution of core concepts regarding comparative politics, classification and typology of democratic systems (parliamentary, presidential, direct democracies);
  • 2. identify how changing patterns of governance (specifically, the rise of the regulatory state, globalisation, and Europeanisation) are affecting traditional models of governance;
  • 3. analyse the role of political parties, interest groups, legislatures, executives, judiciaries, and the media;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. critically analyse primary and secondary political source material;
  • 5. construct and present rigorous oral and written argument;
  • 6. understand key political theories and models;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. communicate effectively in oral and written work;
  • 8. use IT for the retrieval and presentation of information;
  • 9. engage with on-line interactive material and discussion.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:

  • Comparative government and governance in Europe: theoretical and methodological foundations.
  • Varieties of political systems in Europe: governments and parliaments
  • Representative democracies: political parties and elections
  • The role of the media
  • Participation and interest groups
  • The UK
  • Germany
  • France
  • Southern Europe
  • The Scandinavian model meets Europe
  • The challenge of enlargement
  • How European integration affects governance in the member states (main hypotheses and mechanisms of Europeanization).

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
26.5123.50

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 16.511 x 1.5 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 1010 x 1 hour tutorials
Guided Independent study66Coursework and independent study includes reading, note taking, and sketching answers to essay and seminar questions and essay writing. This study is continuous throughout the course and should take at least six hours a week
Guided Independent study57.5Further independent study.

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussions in Seminars During Seminars1 -7Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
50500

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay502,000 words1-8Written comments
Examination501 hour1-7Written comments

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (2,000 words)1-8August/September reassessment period
ExaminationExamination (1 hour)1-7August/September reassessment period

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bale, Tim (2017) European Politics: a Comparative Introduction 4th edition. Basingstoke: Palgave Macmillan.

Simon Bulmer, Christian Lequesne (2020) The Member States of the European Union Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bulmer, S. and C. Lequesne (2018) The Member States of the European Union Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hancock, Donald (2018) Politics in Europe. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

LeDuc, Richard G. Niemi, and Pippa Norris. (2010) Comparing democracies 3 : elections and voting in the 21st century. London: Sage.

McCormick, John (2017) Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Strøm, Kaare, Müller, Wolfgang C. and Bergman, Torbjörn (2003) Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies. Oxford University Press.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Politics Europe

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

4

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/10/2011

Last revision date

14/07/2020