This course introduces the student to the main conceptual and empirical tools available to analyse current decision-making processes and policies in the European Union. It adopts a comparative perspective, namely it understands the EU as another political system, whose working can be studied using standard theoretical tools from mainstream political science. Special attention will be given to the most important internal and external challenges currently faced by the EU.
-Lelieveldt H and Princen S (2015) The Politics of the European Union. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press.
-Zimmermann H and Dür A (eds) (2021) Key Controversies in European Integration. Macmillan International Higher Education (3rd Edition).
-Other required readings will be uploaded on Moodle along with the complete course syllabus at the start of the first module
The general aim of the course is to provide students with a critical understanding of current EU politics and policy making.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- master the main theoretical concepts used to analyze EU politics
- find relevant information about EU politics and policies using a plurality of trustworthy sources
- explain what is at stake in the most important internal and external EU policies and what are the main factors influencing the relevant decision-making process
- present and evaluate academic research both in writing and orally
Basic knowledge of a) the history of European integration; b) main EU institutions with particular reference to their role and functions.
Classes will incorporate both lectures and seminar-like discussions, so it is crucial that attending students keep up with the readings and be prepared to discuss them in class. Participation in class discussions is strongly encouraged and will be awarded extra points (up to 3).
Additional seminars with visiting professors are included in the teaching program.
Students with special needs are kindly required to contact the professor.
Modalità di verifica apprendimento
Attending students will be assessed on the basis of a presentation/debate (25%), a short essay (25%) and a final written examination (50%). Required readings for the final examination will be reduced for students participating in the EU Simulation with James Madison University (to be confirmed). Students participating in class discussion may be awarded up to 3 extra points.
Non-attending students (attending less than 75% of the classes) will be assessed on the basis of: an essay (50%) and a final written examination (50%). Submission of the essay is due before the end of the last lecture of the semester and it is a prerequisite to be able to take the written exam.
Programma del corso
The student will learn about:
- the theories of EU integration and the controversies surrounding the explanation of the course of EU integration in light of recent crises
- the institutions and governance of the EU, focusing both on the institutional structures, how policies are made and how representative politics works in the EU
- problems of political identity and democratic legitimacy at both the European and national levels.
- various EU policies, ranging from the single market to the development of a EU foreign policy
- how to carry out research on EU politics and policies