Not available in 2015/16
EU474      Half Unit
Contested Ideas in EU Law and Government

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jan Komarek COW 1.04


This course is available on the 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 Political Economy of Europe and MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This is a capped course (15 students). Students are required to obtain permission from the teaching department to take this course.


A solid knowledge of the role and functions of EU institutions is required.

Course content

When politicians or public intellectuals discuss European integration, they often use terms that have a certain meaning in EU law. Very rarely, however, they would be conscious of this, which contributes to many misunderstandings. The course will examine selected foundational concepts of EU law and government and show how different perspectives (those of constitutional and political theory, but also political economy and political science) inform their meaning – in law and beyond it. The topics covered will include state, sovereignty, federalism, democracy, fundamental rights, the rule of law, citizenship, market, common currency, justice, solidarity and equality.

The primary entry point will be law and the foundational provisions of the EU treaties, which contain many contested ideas to be covered by the course. It can therefore attract students in the European Institute’s MSc programme interested in learning more about EU law in its political and social context. The range of materials we use includes scholarly literature, public interventions, EU legislation and the case law of European courts. Students will therefore get acquainted with the whole variety of sources used in work in different fields and professions related to Europe.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 projects and 2 other pieces of coursework in the LT.

Indicative reading

C Bickerton, European Integration: From Nation-States to Member States (OUP 2012),

G de Búrca and J Weiler (eds), The Worlds of European Constitutionalism (CUP 2012),

P Lindseth, Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State (OUP 2010),

O Parker, Cosmopolitan Government in Europe: Citizens and Entrepreneurs in Postnational Politics (Routledge2013),

A Moravcsik, The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht (UCL Press 1990),

J Neyer and A Weiner (eds), Political theory of the European Union  (OUP 2011),

F Scharpf, Governing in Europe: Effective and Democratic? (OUP 1999),

R Schütze, European Constitutional Law (CUP 2012),

JHH Weiler, The Constitution of Europe : “Do the New Clothes Have an Emperor?” And Other Essays on European Integration (CUP 1999),

A Wiener and T Diez (eds), European Integration Theory 2nd ed (OUP 2009)


Project (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2014/15: 5

Average class size 2014/15: 5

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving