EU478      Half Unit
The Culture of European Politics

This information is for the 2023/24 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 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 International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Fudan) , 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.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). In previous years we have been able to provide places for all students that apply but that may not continue to be the case.

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.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Autumn Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Autumn Term, and a review session will be held at the start of the Spring Term to prepare for the online assessment.             

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.


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

The online assessment for this course will be administered via Moodle.  Questions will be made available at a set date/time and students will be given a set period in the ST to complete the answers to questions and upload their responses back into Moodle.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 20

Average class size 2022/23: 10

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

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
  • Communication