Transnational Politics in Europe
Credits: 4 ECTS
The unparalleled degree of integration and interdependence achieved by European Union (EU) member states has transformed European politics profoundly. The political impacts of the 2008 financial crisis and the 2015 surge in irregular arrivals of migrants laid bare the depth of this interconnection, and the complexity of European politics. This course explores European politics – the sum, combination and interaction of local, national and EU-level politics – beyond EU institutional dynamics.
The goal is to equip students with the tools to understand the limits and possibilities of transnational politics in the European space, and to engage directly and critically with a wealth of material available in Europe, from opinion surveys and polls, to political speeches. Whereas most courses focus on EU policies and institutional processes, this course explores key ideas and movements and their connection to societies and voters
The course explores the contemporary problems of democracy in Europe, with particular focus on the issues of democracy at the European level and its interaction with national democracies. It also pays attention to ideas and ideologies at the transnational level, from Federalism to Euroscepticism and Nationalism, and the issues connected to technocratic governance or populism. Students will be asked to turn their attention to players like political parties or corporate lobbies, to particular thematic debates (in particular, that about migration), to influential speeches by political leaders, and to issues of popular support and public opinion.
Students will need to submit two pieces for this course: a brief commentary of one of the political speeches debated in the course, and a short essay analysing one particular political transnational debate, decision or campaign in an issue of their choice.
Students will prepare a class presentation of either the context of one of the speeches or their own case study, for the benefit of all other students.
Finally, there will be a written individual exam.
- Essay (3500 words, agree topic with instructor): 25%
- Class participation in debates: 20%
- Commentary of one speech (1000 words): 20%
- Oral presentation: 10%
- Exam paper: 25%
If students have issues with class participation, they can request the possibility of presenting an additional written commentary to a second speech, which will be valued at maximum 10% of the total assessment.