Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

SPOL1316 - The European Political System

Credits : 5

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

Timetable :
Second term
Wednesday from 15:45 to 17:45

Language of instruction :
French. Reading materials and conferences may be in English.

Learning outcomes :
On completion of the course, students will have a global understanding of the whole set of actors that contribute to the "European political game", as well as of the main type of interactions among them. They will be familiar with the actors' contribution to the dynamic and the development of the EU. They will also have been introduced to the question of legitimacy in the European Union.

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Law :

For the Bachelor in History :

For the Bachelor in Information and Communication :

For the Bachelor in Philosophy :

For the Bachelor in Political Sciences: General :

For the Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The course combines two perspectives. On one hand, the course will identify all types of actors participating in the European political system (European and national ones). The course will present their composition, resources and main instruments for action, their identity and political orientations. The weight of each of these actors in the European political decision-making process will be underlined. On the other hand, the course will engage a more dynamic perspective, centred on the interactions among the actors. It will acknowledge the fundamental diversity of actors and levels of governance of the European public affairs. Selected case studies will be used to illustrate this second perspective of the course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Course description:

The course will present theoretical and empirical works (legal, political and socio-political) on each of the themes. PowerPoint presentations, including the structure of each lecture, tables, charts, images and links to videos or websites presented during the course, will be made available in Moodle.

Learning activities description:

First, each lecture is associated with a list of readings. Of these, one reading is compulsory. Further readings are optional and allow students to go deeper into the subject of the course. The compulsory readings are collected in a syllabus and posted on the course website (Moodle). Students may be asked to respond to multiple choice questionnaires available in Moodle. These questionnaires cover the content of mandatory readings. The answers to these questionnaires are not evaluated. They are part of self-study activities.

Secondly, students will be invited to attend two events (conferences, seminars, debates) in connection with the course. These events will be selected either in the activities organized at Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles or in the many activities organized in Brussels in the field of European affairs.

Assessment methods and criteria :
The assessment may take two distinct forms depending on the health situation related to COVID-19. The assessment will either take the form of a written examination in an auditorium or a distance written examination with online questionnaires (e.g. via the "test" function of Moodle). In the first case, the examination will be a closed book examination. In the second case it will be an open-book examination. The questionnaires will be adapted according to the formula that will be used.

In either case, the examination aims to verify the student's mastery of the notions and concepts studied during the course. The questions presuppose a very good knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. The student could, for example, be asked to comment on a current topic by adequately mobilizing the concepts, theories or typologies presented during the course. One or more questions relate to learning activities (+/- 25% of the final grade).

Recommended or required reading :
List of readings available on Moodle.