Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

HDDR1220A - History of the institutions and law II

Credits : 5

Lecturer :

Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
This course aims to shed light on the different components of the history of institutions and law in the 19th and 20th centuries. If politics and political history are defined by texts (Constitution, laws, regulations…), other instances should also be taken into account. Besides the institutional frame, we will insist on the role played by governors, political parties, lobbies, public opinion and ideologies. The course will also show how political history is closely linked to the evolution of international relations, economic fluctuations and social upheavals.

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Law (Evening Programme) :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The history of France from the end of the 18th century to the 20th century will be the central theme of the course. We will study the fundamental issues of contemporary political life through a detailed analysis of some sixteen different political regimes that France has experienced over a period of more than two centuries. Indeed, the case of France enables us to study the organisation of the different powers, the notion of sovereignty, the emergence of parliamentarianism, the difficult recognition of the political responsibility of ministers, the different ideological facets of Right and Left wing politics as well as the different expressions of nationalism. The debate on the organisation and the extent of civil liberties also enables us to replace these issues in a European or even universal framework.

Starting from the political and social divide that constitutes the French Revolution, we will also study the different attempts of national reconciliation. The search for a new political agreement of the French majority has contributed to the institutional instability of France, thereby making the study of the French case very interesting.

The history of contemporary France enables us to study the different components of political life. The analysis of these elements will be conducted around three axes: the rule of the game (institutional framework), the powers in action and the stakes of the game (discussed issues). We will strive to replace the discussed issues in the spirit of the times in order to avoid the pitfalls of anachronism. For each period of French history of the 19th and 20th centuries, we will consider the difficult equilibrium between the norm and the action of underlying forces.

The case of France will constantly be compared to the political, economic and social situation of different European countries in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this perspective, Belgium will occupy a prominent place.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
This course is a lecture, which is based on the analysis of texts and iconographic documents. A syllabus will be available for the students at the beginning of the year. They should also acquire the work of J. GODECHOT, Les Constitutions de la France depuis 1789, Flammarion, GF 228. This text file will be commented in class.

Assessment methods and criteria :
An oral examination composed of two questions will take place in June. The students will have at their disposal a preparation time of twenty minutes. They will also be entitled to refer to the text of the French Constitutions.

Recommended or required reading :
No recommended reading

Other information :