EU478      Half Unit
The Culture of European Politics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simon Glendinning CBG.7.01


This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in European Studies (Research), MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World) and MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan). 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, through processes of globalization that are, in some parts of the world, inseparable from colonialism, 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 European 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 can find themselves alienated from and in revolt against everything that belongs to what might be called the Christianizing of the world, whether the forces in play are colonial , commercial, or ideological. International migrations and projects 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 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

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 2018/19: 43

Average class size 2018/19: 14

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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