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European Union Politics B

Module Code: PO3181

Module Name: European Union Politics B 2018-19

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr. Caroline McEvoy
  • Module Prerequisites: PO3180 European Union Politics A
  • Office Hours: TBA or by appointment.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course it is expected that students will have a detailed understanding of public policy developments in EU governance; be able to critically analyse the EU’s democratic credentials, and be able to assess cutting edge research on the EU’s contemporary challenges. The course is designed for students who have previously taken an introductory course in EU politics and/or are familiar with the core theories and institutions of the EU.

Module Learning Aims

This course is aimed at those wanting a comprehensive knowledge of the contemporary EU landscape. We will explore the impact of the EU on a range of policy areas including, economic, competition, social and foreign policies. The course will also focus on the EU as a locus for political representation exploring how well the EU functions as a democratic institution and how citizens engage with it. In particular, the course will examine these issues in light of contemporary challenges including the economic crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit and the rise of populist politics.

Module Content

The European Union (EU) has evolved into a political community that deeply affects the daily lives of its citizens. It has altered the functioning of democracy in 21st century Europe and has created both positive effects for and posed serious challenges to modern politics. It influences a vast array of public policy in its 27 member states and has an international policy agenda that reaches far beyond its borders.

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Recommended Reading List

Essential Readings:
The course relies heavily on academic journal articles which are listed below. These readings are available electronically, through the TCD library ( However, some of the key readings will be made available on BLACKBOARD.

Textbooks are also a valuable resource for this module, copies of which can be found in the college library. However, over reliance on any single textbook – or too few sources in general – for general reading and especially the assignment, should be avoided. The following textbooks will be particularly useful throughout the course and are recommended for purchase:

R.S. Chari and S. Kritzinger, Understanding EU Policy Making (Pluto, 2006)

S. Hix and Byorn Hoyland, The Political System of the EU, 3rd ed (Palgrave: 2011)

Michelle Cini and Nieves Perez-Solorzano Borragan, N. (eds.) European Union
Politics, 5th edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Recommended Readings:
In addition to the essential readings required for each topic, a series of recommended readings are also included. These readings are useful for those who wish to explore a particular topic in more detail. They will also be very useful when approaching the essay assignment, for which you are required to demonstrate a more in-depth understanding of your chosen topic.

The following are good general texts on the EU and EU politics.

Neil Nugent, Government and Politics of the European Union, 7th edition (Duke
University Press, 2010).

John Peterson and Michael Shackleton, The Institutions of the European Union,
3rd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne, The Member States of the European Union,
2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Ian Bache and Stephen George, Politics in the European Union, 2nd edition (New
York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Elizabeth Bomberg and Andrew Stubb, The European Union: How Does it Work?
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Andrew Moravcsik, The Choice for Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998).

Desmond Dinan (2010) Ever Closer Union: An Introduction to European
Integration. 4th edition

Lelieveldt, H., & Princen, S. (2015). The Politics of the European Union, 2nd
Edition. Cambridge University Press.

In addition to these readings, students should keep up to date on current European
affairs by reading daily newspapers, or one of the many websites devoted to EU politics.
These websites include the following:

Assessment Details

Students are required to submit an essay which accounts for 25% of the overall grade for the course and an annual exam at the end of the second semester (Hilary Term) which accounts for 75% of the overall grade.

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