Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

HDPO1315 - EU politics

Credits : 5

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

Timetable :
Second term
Tuesday from 17:15 to 19:15

Language of instruction :
BARTOLINI (Stefano), Restructuring Europe. Centre formation, system building, and political structuring between the nation state and the European Union, Oxford University Press, 2005.
HIX (Simon), What's Wrong with Europe and How to Fix it ?, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2008.
LIELEVELDT (Herman) and PRINCEN (Sebastiaan), The Politics of the European Union, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
MAGNETTE (Paul), What is the European Union? Nature and prospects, Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.
VAN MIDDELAAR (Luuk), The Passage to Europe, Yale University Press, 2014.

Learning outcomes :
At the end of the course, students will have:
- been presented with a general overview of the history of the European project
- acquired a basic knowledge of the peculiar political system that is the European Union
- had informed debates regarding the long-standing issue of the democratic deficit of the European Union

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Law :

For the Bachelor in Law (Evening Programme) :

For the Bachelor in History :

For the Bachelor in Information and Communication :
  or the courses :
  ESPO1162 - Political science

For the Bachelor in French and Romance Languages and Letters : General :

For the Bachelor in Modern Languages and Letters: German, Dutch and English :

For the Bachelor in Political Sciences: General :
  or the courses :
  ESPO1162 - Political science

For the Bachelor in Political Sciences: General (Evening Programme) :

For the Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology :
  or the courses :
  POLS1121 - Contemporary History

Co-requisites :
Course contents :
The lectures will proceed in three stages. To begin with, we will make the point that the political institutions constitutive of the European Union are integrated enough to be considered an actual political system. Accordingly, the European Union can be studied as such, which we will be doing for several lectures, putting the emphasis on the fact that the EU is a quite unique political system that deserves to be approached as a sui generis case. We will highlight the institutionalized relationships between its main actors and attempt to paint at great brushstrokes its inner institutional logic.

Second, we will be looking backwards in time, at the history of the European project to explain how we arrived at such an institutional outcome. We will show that the European Union was not built in a day and that many of its quirks result from hard-fought negotiation processes and compromises opposing conflicting views of the European integration project.

Eventually, we will ask ourselves how the issue of the democratic deficit of the EU, identified by European analysts since the 1970s, has been tackled since then and how its approach could decisively shape the future of EU politics.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Lectures, with some additional compulsory readings on the ‘democratic deficit' of the EU.

Assessment methods and criteria :
Three-hours long written exam consisting of two open-ended questions focused on topics covered during the lectures and one additional question on the compulsory readings.

Recommended or required reading :
VAN MIDDELAAR (Luuk), Alarums & Excursions: Improvising Politics on the European Stage, Newcastle, Agenda Publishing, 2019.