Checking date: 26/04/2024

Course: 2024/2025

European Politics
Dual Bachelor in Political Science and Sociology (Plan: 406 - Estudio: 247)


Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Skills related to the development of analytical and critical thinking. Communication and writing skills in presentations, papers and case studies. Communication skills and speaking in public. Interpersonal skills such as the ability to work in teams or role-play. Knowledge management related to the environment and circumstances of European political reality. The student will be able to identify policy convergence in Europe with the analytical tools provided. Improved capacity to analyze a political system, its position in Europe and the main features and its evolution.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
The national politics of European countries are increasingly intertwined with the supranational developments on the continent. The main goal of the course will be to apply the theoretical tools of political science to the analysis of the emerging European multilevel political systems. The course's specific focus will be on different elements of the political regime of the European Union (EU), the key public policies it produces, and the underlying political community. The course emphasises the logic of European integration reflected in its historical development, theoretical approaches to the dynamics of supranational integration, the political and institutional functioning of the European political system, the design and outcomes of EU public policies, and its political and democratic legitimacy. Students┬┐ understanding of the different topics will be deepened through practical exercises and debates on current issues in European politics. By the end of the course, students will have a clear understanding of the European integration process, comprehend the extent to which a political system exists in today's European continent, be familiar with the functioning of EU institutions, and be able to analyse the evolution of European politics with theoretical and analytical rigour and from a critical perspective. 1. The European Union as a political system 2. European integration: Historical perspective 3. European integration: Theoretical approaches 4. Executive policy in the EU 5. Legislative policy in the EU 6. Judicial policy in the EU 7. Economic policies: Single Market and Economic and Monetary Union 8. Expenditure policies 9. Democracy, parties, elections 10. Public opinion and European identity The course is part of the following Jean Monnet initiatives of the Erasmus+ Programme: The "PromethEUs" Chair of Interdisciplinary European Governance and the Madrid Centre of Excellence for Interdisciplinary EU Studies.
Learning activities and methodology
Theoretical explanations by the teacher followed by classroom activities in which students will apply their acquired knowledge and develop different skills. The goal is to involve students in the learning process. To do this, the teacher will provide the basic knowledge and tools necessary to develop analytical and critical thinking. For this purpose, students will be required to read selected materials or write essays. Likewise, discussions on current topics, presentations and role-play will be encouraged for the students to expand their communication and interpersonal skills. These activities can be complemented by screenings of documentaries/films related to matters relevant to the subject. The latter instrument is educational entertainment and useful for abstracting some find some translation of general issues to specific topics. Credits: ECTS 6, approx. 150 hours Theoretical explanations of the teacher and various activities in class: 54 hours Weekly tutorials: 24 hours Review of a book by the student: 10 hours Making a group or individual work: 35 hours Study of the subject and preparing presentations by students: 25 hours Taking the exam: 2 hours
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40

Calendar of Continuous assessment

Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • Hix, Simon & Bjorn Hoyland. The Political System of the European Union. Bloomsbury. 2022, 4 ed
Additional Bibliography
  • Bartolini, S., A. Chiaramonte and R. D'Alimonte. "The Italian party system between parties and coalitions". West European Politics, 27(1): 1-19. . 2004.
  • Berger, S. (ed.) . Organizing Interests in Western Europe: Pluralism, Corporatism,and the Transformation of Politics. Cambridge University Press. 1981.
  • Bornschier, S. and R. Lachat (2009). "The Evolution of the French Political Space and Party System". West European Politics, 32(2): 360-383.. 2009.
  • Christensen, T. and P. Laegreid . "New Public Management - Undermining Political Control?", in T. Christensen and P. Laegreid (eds.), New Public Management: The Transformation of Ideas and Practice. Ashgate. 2001.
  • Cowley, P. and M. Stuart. ¿Parliament: More Bleak House than Great Expectations¿. Parliamentary Affairs, 57(2):301-314. . 2004.
  • De Lange, S. . "A New Winning Formula? The Programmatic Appeal of the Radical Right". Party Politics, 13(4): 411-435.. 2007.
  • Decker, F. and J. Sonnicksen . "Coalitions and Camps in the German Party System after the 2009 Bundestag Election". German Politics & Society, 28(3): 103-118. 2010.
  • Delcamp, A. and J. Loughlin . La décentralisation dans les États de l'Union européenne. La documentation française. 2002.
  • Dewan, S. y M. Ettlinger . Comparing public spending and priorities across OECD countries. Center for American Progress. 2009.
  • Dunleavy, P. . Democracy, bureaucracy and public choice: economic approaches in political science. Routledge. 2016.
  • Döring, H. . "Parliamentary Agenda Control and Legislative Outcomes in West Europe", . Legislative Studies Quarterly, 26(1):145-165. 2001.
  • Dür, A.. "Interest Groups in the European Union: How powerful are they?" . West European Politics 31 (6): 1212-1230.. 2008.
  • Gunlicks, A. B.. The Länder and German Federalism. Manchester University Press. 2003.
  • Helms, L. . "Executive leadership in parliamentary democracies: the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor compared". German Politics, 5(1): 101-120.. 1996.
  • Hood, C. and M. Lodge. The Politics of Public Service Bargains. Oxford University Press. 2006.
  • Kam, C. J. . Party Discipline and Parliamentary Politics. Cambridge University Press. 2009.
  • Kitschelt, H. . "Left-Libertarian Parties: Explaining Innovation in Competitive Party Systems". World Politics, 40(2): 194-234.. 1988.
  • Kitschelt, H. . "European party systems: continuity and change", in M. Rhodes, P. Heywood y V. Wright (eds.), Developments in West European Politics. Macmillan. 1988.
  • Kuhlmann, S. and H. Wollmann . Introduction to comparative public administration. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2014.
  • Lazardeux, S. G.. "The French National Assembly's Oversight of the Executive: Changing Role, Partisanship and Intra-Majority Conflict". West European Politics, 32(2): 287-309. . 2009.
  • Leconte, C. . Understanding Euroscepticism. Palgrave Macmillan. 2010.
  • Lees, C. . "Coalition Dynamics and the Changing German Party System". German Politics & Society 28(3): 119-132.. 2010.
  • Loughlin, J. . "Regional Autonomy and State Paradigm Shifts in Western Europe". Regional and Federal Studies, 10 (2): 10-34. 2000.
  • Mair, P. and I. van Beizen . "Party Membership in Twenty European Democracies, 1980-2000". Party Politics, 7(1): 5-21.. 2001.
  • Marsh, D., M. J. Smith and D. Richards. ¿Bureaucrats, Politicians and Reform in Whitehall: Analysing the Bureau-Shaping Model¿. British Journal of Political Science, 30(3): 461-668. . 2000.
  • Massetti, E. . "The sunrise of the Third Republic? The evolution of the Italian party-system after the 2008 general election and the prospects for constitutional reform". Modern Italy, 14(4): 485-498.. 2009.
  • O'Neill, M. . "Belgium: language, ethnicity, and nationality". Parliamentary Affairs, 53 (1): 114-134. . 2000.
  • Princen, S. and B. Kerremans. "Opportunity Structures in the EU Multi-Level System" . West European Politics, 31 (6):1129-1146.. 2008.
  • Renwick, A., C. Hanretty and D. Hine. "Partisan self-interest and electoral reform: The new Italian electoral law of 2005". Electoral Studies, 28 (3): 437-447. 2009.
  • Roper, S. D.. "Are all Semipresidential Regimes the Same? A Comparison of Premier-Presidential Regimes" . Comparative Politics, 34(3): 253-272. 2002.
  • Rose, R.. Learning from comparative public policy. Routledge. 2005.
  • Rydgren, J. . "The Sociology of the Radical Right" . Annual Review of Sociology, 33: 241-262.. 2007.
  • Scharpf, F. W. . "The Joint Decision Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European Integration". Public Administration, 66: 239-278..
  • Smith, G. . "The Decline of Party?", in J. Hayward y A. Menon (eds.), Governing Europe. Oxford University Press. 2003.
  • Velasco, F. (dir.). Gobiernos locales en estados federales y descentralizados. Alemania, Italia y Reino Unido . Instituto de Estudios Autonómicos. 2010.

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.