EU425      Half Unit
Interest Representation and Economic Policy- Making in Europe

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Stephen Coulter COW 1.07


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 EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities, MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Political Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The focus of this course is on the representation of interests in Europe, and their role in Economic policy-making. Students will analyse the main theoretical issues and selected empirical questions on how interests are differently organised across countries and at the EU level, on the interplay between interest representation and electoral politics, and on the policy outcome after interest intermediation. The objective is to understand the dynamics of economic policy-making in comparative perspective, with an emphasis on the globalisation period.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy. 

Formative coursework

One presentation per student and one 1,500 word essay.

Indicative reading

Olson, M. (1982) The Rise and Decline of Nations: economic growth, stagflation, and social rigidities. New Haven, London, Yale University Press; Dahl, R. A. (1989) Democracy and Its Critics. New Haven and London Yale University Press. Chapter 20, pp.280-298; Bouwen, P. (2004) "Exchanging access goods for access. A comparative study of business lobbying in the European Union institutions." European Journal of Political Research, 43: 337-369; Streeck, W. and Schmitter, P. (1991) "From National Corporatism to Transnational Pluralism", Politics and Society, 19, 133-164; Patterson, Lee Ann (1997) "Agricultural Policy Reform in the European Community: A Three-Level Game Analysis." International Organization 51 (1): 135-65; Streeck, W. and Kenworthy, L (2005) "Theories and Practices of Neocorporatism". In Janoski, T., Alford, R. R., Hicks, A. M. and Schwartz, M. A. (eds) The Handbook of Political Sociology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 441-460; Cusack, T. R. (1997) "Partisan politics and public finance: Changes in public spending in the industrialized democracies, 1955-1989." Public Choice 91: 374-395; Iversen, T. and D. Soskice (2006) "Electoral Institutions and the Politics of Coalitions: Why Some Democracies Redistribute More Than Others." American Political Science Review 100(2): 165-181; Avdagic, S. and Colin Crouch (2006) "Organized Economic Interests: Diversity and Change in an Enlarged Europe." In Developments in European Politics, Paul Heywood, Erik Jones, Martin Rhodes, and Ulrich Sedelmeier (Eds.) Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2006, p. 196-215.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 9.4
Merit 66
Pass 22.6
Fail 1.9

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2014/15: 26

Average class size 2014/15: 13

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication