EU420 Half Unit
European Law and Government
This information is for the 2017/18 session.
Dr Auke Willems COW.2.10
This course is available on the MPA in European Policy-Making, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy), Master of Laws and Master of Public Administration. This course is not available as an outside option.
This is a capped course (30 students). Students are required to obtain permission from the teaching department to take this course. Students on the Master of Laws programme cannot take this course if they are also taking LL4BG or LL4BH.
Law seems to function as a programming language: only specialists know how to “speak” it. This is true especially for the EU, which is often accused of using law to obscure the policy choices made from the citizens that are affected by such choices. At the same time, law is so systemically engrained in the EU’s set-up that it is increasingly difficult to understand what the EU is and does, let alone criticise it or suggest alternatives, without a grasp of the role of law in the integration process. This course’s objective is to connect the legal and political science perspective on governance in the EU, and provide those with none, or a very limited, background in law with the tools to better understand the state of the Union.
The course provides an overview of how the EU is governed and – at the same time – of how it governs its citizens. You will come out of it with a detailed understanding of how the EU institutions work, how EU law is adopted at the European level, and how the EU interacts with governments on the national level. It challenges you to critically think about the interaction between law and politics; and the interaction between the EU and its Member States. The course both covers the institutional perspective, highlighting the role of the different institutions in the Union, and also focuses on those substantive issues that are currently topical in the EU – such as fundamental rights or the euro-crisis.
At no other time in the development of the EU has the interaction between law and government so fundamentally affected the direction of the integration process. The coming years will very probably see fundamental changes to the Union’s structure; which are informed as much by political dynamics as by legal mechanisms. This course prepares you to fully understand those changes – and allows you to analyse critically both their normative content and institutional structure.
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.
Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.
One unassessed essay (2,000 words).
C Bickerton, European Integration: From Nation-States to Member States (Oxford University Press 2012); G de Burca and J Weiler (eds), The Worlds of European Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press 2012); S Hix and B Høyland, The Political System of the European Union 3rd ed (Palgrave 2011); P Lindseth, Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State (Oxford University Press 2010).
Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.
Department: European Institute
Total students 2016/17: 26
Average class size 2016/17: 12
Controlled access 2016/17: Yes
Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT)
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving