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European Union Politics

Module Code: PO3680

Module Name: European Union Politics 2017-18

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas + Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Prof Raj S. Chari

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Analyse, specify and appraise different policies and how they affect the daily lives of people living in Europe.
  • Evaluate the importance of different theoretical concepts of how comparative public policy is made.
  • Differentiate between theories and evaluate the explanatory power of these theories by reference to particular episodes in EU Politics.
  • Discriminate between the differing role of political actors and institutions when public policy is made in Europe.
  • Analyse, specify and appraise the role of domestic level and supranational level when economic, social, agriculture, foreign, competition and internal security policy is made.
  • Summarize the range of research tools that you would use if you were to engage in further research on the EU at a future date.

Module Learning Aims

The main aim of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding and comprehensive knowledge of the government and politics of the EU, as well as the policy making processes of the EU when policy is made.  In particular, in the first term, students will learn about the main institutions of the EU (The Commission, Council, European Parliament and the European Court of Justice), the role of interest groups in Brussels, and different theoretical approaches to understanding policy-making. In the second term, the main aim is for students to learn about specific EU policies including: single market, competition, economic and monetary union, agriculture, social, internal and external policies. At the end of this course it is expected that students will have learned a detailed understanding of: how the EU institutions work, how public policy is formed and theoretical characterisations of the policy making process.


Module Content

The underlying theme of this course is to examine the extent to which the EU’s institutional framework and policy environment provide evidence of deepening integration, where national borders are increasingly irrelevant. This course examines various theoretical approaches of relevance to understanding the evolution of the EU, and, examines the EU its institutions and policies in the light of these approaches.

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Recommended Reading List

Chari, R. & Kritzinger, S. (2006) Understanding E.U. Policy Making, Pluto Press
Hix, S. & Hoyland, B. (2011) The Political System of the European Union, Palgrave

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Assessment Details

2 essays counting for 12.5% each
1 x 3-hour examination (75%)

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Last updated 24 August 2017 polsci@tcd.ie.