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Module Code: POU33071

Module Name: European Union Politics A 2020-21

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Prof Raj S. Chari
  • Office Hours: TBC

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Discriminate between the differing role of EU institutions when policy is made in Europe. 
  • Highlight the importance of interest groups, examining how they are regulated in Brussels as they seek to influence different EU institutions. 
  • Evaluate the importance of different theoretical concepts when understanding EU integration.  
  • Summarize the range of research tools that you would use if you were to engage in further research on EU government and integration at a future date. 

Module Learning Aims

The main aims of this course are to provide students with a critical understanding and comprehensive knowledge of the institutions of the EU and the different theories of European integration in Europe. As such, the course has two main parts: one focussing on institutions, the other on theories. Particular attention will first be paid to the main institutions at Europe’s domestic level of governance. Then, an overview of the main institutions at the supranational level will be made, looking at the European Commission, the Council, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice, and the European Central Bank. Lectures will also consider the importance of extra-institutional actors who seek to influence the EU’s institutions, focussing on interest groups. Given the EU’s desire to add transparency to lobbying, lectures will also examine the concept of lobbying regulation. From a theoretical perspective, the course will then examine two main theories of integration, particularly the intergovernmentalist and the supranational governance approaches. We will also consider other theoretical perspectives that highlight the importance of interest groups and the different ‘varieties of capitalism’ found in Europe. 


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 also examines different theoretical perspectives which help explain EU integration. 

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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
  • Michelle Cini and Nieves Perez-Solorzano Borragan, N. (eds.) European Union Politics, 5th edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Several journal articles will also be noted in the reading list 

Assessment Details (TBC)

1 mid-term essay (40%)
1 end of year essay 60%)

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