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School of Social Sciences

Student in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons
BSocSc Politics and International Relations
Gain the skills to critical examine international and comparative politics.

BSocSc Politics and International Relations / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
The Politics of the European Union

Unit code POLI30031
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Politics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

 The European Union has developed from a narrow organisation that sought the peaceful management of the ‘industries of war’ following World War II into a supranational political system with executive, legislative and judicial institutions. European integration has made rapid progress in the last two decades, moving from the creation of a common market to a currency union, enlargement to twenty eight member states and further plans to strengthen economic and political union. On the other hand, recent setbacks (such as the collapse of the ‘European constitution’ and the current Eurozone crisis) have rekindled debates concerning the legitimacy, speed and direction of the European project. While member states retain sovereignty in many areas, they share it in others. Meanwhile, certain types of competence have been ceded almost entirely to the EU. The module explores the historical context behind integration, the development of EU institutions, the decision-making process and popular attitudes to closer union, as well as selected policy areas. These themes will help us better understand the policies and processes underpinning current debates on the EU’s future. 

Keywords

European Union

European integration

Institutions

Theories

Member states

Policy

Pre/co-requisites

This course is available to all students. There are no pre-requisites.

Aims

 

The European Union has developed from a narrow organisation that sought the peaceful management of the ‘industries of war’ following World War II into a supranational political system with executive, legislative and judicial institutions. European integration has made rapid progress in the last two decades, moving from the creation of a common market to a currency union, enlargement to twenty eight member states and further plans to strengthen economic and political union. On the other hand, recent setbacks (such as the collapse of the ‘European constitution’ and the current Eurozone crisis) have rekindled debates concerning the legitimacy, speed and direction of the European project. While member states retain sovereignty in many areas, they share it in others. Meanwhile, certain types of competence have been ceded almost entirely to the EU. The module explores the historical context behind integration, the development of EU institutions, the decision-making process and popular attitudes to closer union, as well as selected policy areas. These themes will help us better understand the policies and processes underpinning current debates on the EU’s future. 

Learning outcomes

 

Lecture topics include:

 

  • The evolution of European integration
  • The European Union’s institutions
  • Theoretical approaches to the study of the European Union
  • The European Union and its member states
  • Economic and social policy
  • Security and justice policy
  • Foreign and defence policy
  • Enlargement

Teaching and learning methods

 There are ten lecture sessions and ten tutorials during the semester. For each topic, the lectures precede the tutorial by one week. The second part of the tenth lecture session will serve as a revision session. Tutorials will be forums of discussion on the topics raised in the previous week’s lecture. There will be no formal presentations. Instead, every student will have done enough reading to be able to discuss it in front of his or her peers for up to ten minutes.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 60%
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission via Blackboard (if submitted through Turnitin).

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results. This applies to Semester 2 modules only. Semester one modules with no final examination will have their feedback available within the 15 working days.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor. Tutors and Course Convenors also have a dedicated office hour when you can meet with her/him to discuss course unit specific problems and questions.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

 Preliminary reading

 Introductory

Cini, M. and Perez-Solorzano Borragan, N. European Union Politics (4th Edn), 2013

 Institutions and Policy Making

Bache, I., George, S. and Bulmer, S. Politics in the European Union, (3ndEdn), 2011

Hix, S. and Høyland, B. The Political System of the European Union (3rdEdn), 2011

Nugent, N. The Government and Politics of the EU (7thEdn), 2010

Wallace, H. Pollack, M. and Young, A. Policy-Making in the European Union (6thEdn), 2010 

Theory             

Leuffen, D., Rittberger, B. and Schimmelfennig, F. Differentiated Integration: Explaining Variation in the European Union, 2013

Wiener, A. and Diez, T. European Integration Theory (2ndEdn), 2009

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paul Tobin Unit coordinator
Dimitris Papadimitriou Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Information
This course is available to all students. 



Length of course: 12 weeks

 

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