GV4C6      Half Unit
Legislative Politics: European Parliament

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Alexander Herzog CON4.21


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union, MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University) and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has limited availability (is capped), and requires that all students (regardless of Department or MSc programme) obtain permission from the teacher responsible.  It is capped at 2 groups.   The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, 11 October 2013.

Course content

The course provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of legislative politics in the European Union, focussing on political behaviour and organization in the European Parliament, and the role of the European Parliament in the EU's legislative procedures.

At a theoretical level, the course will introduce the student to general theories of legislative behaviour and organization - such as the role of interests and ideology in legislative politics, how legislative parties and committees work, the use of NOMINATE to 'map' legislative voting behaviour, and how agenda-setting and veto-power rules shape policy outcomes. At an empirical level, the course will focus on the operation of the EU legislative process, behaviour and political organisation inside the European Parliament, and how the interaction between the EP, the Council and the Commission shapes EU policy outcomes.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to write one non-assessed short essay plus a 4,000 word assessed long-essay. The long essay should be an 'analytic narrative' of a piece of EU legislation. One of the seminars will be dedicated to explaining the essay project.

Indicative reading

S Hix, A Noury & G Roland, Democratic Politics in the European Parliament, Cambridge, 2007; S Hix & R Scully (Eds), The European Parliament at Fifty, special issue of Journal of Common Market Studies 41(2), 2003; R Corbett, F Jacobs & M Shackleton, The European Parliament, 8th edn, Harper, 2011; G Tsebelis, Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work, Princeton University Press, 2002.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13
Merit 53.6
Pass 31.9
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2012/13: 22

Average class size 2012/13: 11

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 98.2%



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