The European Union as a Political System

Course Code :2200PSWEPS
Study domain:Political Sciences
Academic year:2020-2021
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Peter Bursens

3. Course contents *

This course is an advanced course on European Union politics. Within the UAntwerp curriculum it builds on the BA course ‘European Integration’. Students who have not had this or a similar introductory course on European integration can take the course, but are advised to acquire some elementary knowledge about European Union politics by means of reading basic material on the EU (See for instance the textbooks by Nugent 2017 or McCormick 2017). 

The course starts by briefly refreshing the basics concerning the functioning of the European Union. Subsequently, more complex dimensions of EU politics are tackled, all using theories, concepts and insights from mainstream political science. The first part focuses on the internal functioning of the main institutions: we look at the European Commission, the Council of Ministers, the European Council, the European Parliament and the Court of Justice through the lenses of legislative, executive and judicial politics. The second part focuses on the political actors and institutions on the input-side of the EU’s political system: public opinion, political parties, elections, interest groups and mass media. The third part looks at the output-side of the European political system through the framework of Europeanization. Finally, the EU’s political system is critically analysed from a normative point of view by assessing its alleged democratic deficit and by comparing it to other multilevel political systems. Some additional guest lectures will be organized throughout the semester.