EU478      Half Unit
The Culture of European Politics

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simon Glendinning COW 2.12


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Europe: Culture and Conflict and MSc in Global Europe: Culture and Conflict (LSE & Sciences Po). This course is available on the MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in European Studies (Research), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Over the last three hundred years European societies have undergone a fundamental changeover from a traditional form, with a largely self-sufficient agrarian economy, into a modern, industrial and technological form based on international trade and tele-communication. This revolution developed in the seventeenth century first and only in Europe, but today it has spread worldwide and increasingly dominates the entire planet. This course explores one of the basic dimensions of this unprecedented globalization: the culture of politics.

We are used to speaking about globalization as a political-economic phenomenon, but its European origin makes it also an unavoidably cultural one. Europe’s predominant cultural form – its double form, both Christian and secular – is not a neutral set-up, and other world cultures, perhaps especially Judaism and Islam, can find themselves alienated from and in revolt against everything that belongs to what might be called the Christianizing of the world. International migration and processes of European integration sharpen these concerns and add new ones. This is the background to our study of the culture of European politics, its history and heritage from ancient European empires, to the European Union and beyond.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 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

2 essays of 2000 words

Indicative reading

  • Norman Davies, 'Introduction' to Europe: A History
  • Anthony Pagden (ed) The Idea of Europe
  • Roger Scruton, The West and the Rest.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2017/18: 34

Average class size 2017/18: 12

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication