GV4C6      Half Unit
Legislative Politics: European Parliament

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr  Lukas Obholzer.


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 EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, 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 is capped at two groups. The deadline for receipt of applications will likely be between Friday 25 September and Friday 9 October 2015, depending on the course. The exact deadline for applications will be confirmed at your programme induction. Please provide a rationale setting out your motivations for taking this course via the LSE for You system.

This course cannot be taken with GV4C4 Legislative Politics: US.


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 12 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the LT for assessment preparation and a two hour revision seminar in week 11.

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. The lecture and seminar during the reading week 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).

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.9
Merit 48.9
Pass 36.2
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

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
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills