Theories and Approaches in Comparative European Politics


Course Objective

This course is meant to acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of
European politics and governance in a comparative perspective.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding - The student has acquired knowledge and
understanding of:
(1) how the process of European integration affects and interacts with
elections, populism, euroscepticism, the Eurozone crisis, environmental
performance and European Foreign and Security Policy;
(2) the various approaches and theories addressing the complexity and
diversity of political decision-making in these areas.

Application - The student has acquired the competences to:
(3) recognize how globalization affects political decision-making
(4) apply theories and debates to contemporary contested issues in
European politics and governance

Making judgements - The student demonstrates:
(5) critical reflection upon the working of institutions and the ability
to judge on the effectiveness and legitimacy of policy-making in the
European context.

Communication - The student has acquired the skills to:
(6) write a short paper which critically reflects on an academic debate,
an institutional reform, a policy advice or a research design which is
related to European politics or governance.

Course Content

This course provides students a thorough understanding of the key issues
and main theories and approaches in comparative politics. This includes
an in-depth knowledge of how the process of Europeanization affects
politics and governance. Each week focuses on a different topic like
elections, populism, Euroscepticism, the Eurozone crisis, environmental
performance and European Foreign and Security Policy. In each of these
domains we seek to clarify the choices that voters and governments make
under conditions of spatial interdependence. The course literature will
show examples that illustrate the complexity and diversity of political
decision-making under the pressure of increasing globalisation.

Teaching Methods

Seminar: Instruction - Discussion - Assignments

Method of Assessment

There are four papers to be written which relate to a relevant academic
debate, a European institutional reform, a policy advice or a research
design wgich seek to analyse the consequences of spatial interdependence
for European politics and governance.
The course requires active participation which includes attendance and
peer reviews.


A number of recent articles will be selected that cover the main
theoretical and comparative approaches to politics and governance in an
European context.
To be announced in the course manual (see CANVAS).

Target Audience

Students in the Master Political Science (mandatory course for all
Also open as an elective course for students in the Master Educatie in
de Mens- en Maatschappijwetenschappen and Exchange Students.

General Information

Course Code S_TACEP
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator dr. P.J.M. Pennings
Examiner dr. P.J.M. Pennings
Teaching Staff dr. P.J.M. Pennings
prof. dr. C.E. de Vries

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group