Not available in 2022/23
GV4J4      Half Unit
Citizen Representation and Democracy in the European Union

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sara Hobolt


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, 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 Global Politics, MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) 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.

This course is capped at 1 group.

Course content

This course offers the theoretically and empirically informed study of citizen representation in the European Union. The principal aim of the course is to develop a better understanding of the functioning of democracy in the European Union and provide the analytical tools to evaluate proposals for reform to alleviate the Union’s so-called ‘democratic deficit’. This course will examine both how citizens are represented in the European Union and how the EU shapes democratic politics in the member states. The first part of the course assesses pathways of representation and accountability in the European Union, focusing on representation of citizens’ interests in the Council, Commission and the European Parliament as well other avenues for citizen influence, such as referendums and the Citizens’ Initiative. The second part of the course examines political conflict over European integration at the domestic level, focusing on the role of European integration in national politics and public opinion, including the study of Euroscepticism and Brexit. The final part of the course evaluates different proposals for reform with the aim of strengthening democracy and representation in the EU, and students will have the opportunity to develop their own reform proposal.


This course is delivered through seminars (20 hours in Michaelmas and 2 hours in Summer Terms). This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of MT. This year, some or all of this teaching may be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus seminars.

Formative coursework

One formative essay (1,750 words)

Indicative reading

C De Vries (2018) Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration (Oxford University Press); C De Vries, D Hobolt, S-O Proksch and J Slapin (2021) Foundations of European Politics (Oxford University Press); S Hix, A Noury and G Roland (2007) Democratic Politics in the European Parliament (Cambridge University Press); S Hobolt and J Tilley (2014) Blaming Europe: Responsibility Without Accountability in the European Union (Oxford University Press); L McLaren (2006) Identity, interests and attitudes to European integration (Palgrave Macmillan); G Marks and M Steenbergen, (2004) European Integration and Political Conflict (Cambridge University Press); F Scharpf (1999) Governing in Europe: Effective and Democratic? (Oxford University Press).


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2021/22: 11

Average class size 2021/22: 11

Controlled access 2021/22: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills