EU425E      Half Unit
Interest groups, markets and democracy (modular)

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Steve Coulter


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Political Economy of Europe. This course is not available as an outside option.

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.


The course will run between 11-15 April 2015. 

Formative coursework

One 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.


Essay (50%).
Take home exam (50%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information