EU489      Half Unit
Analytical Politics and Policymaking in Europe

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Christopher Anderson CBG 6.05


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 Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Fudan) and MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po). 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) and demand is typically very high. Priority is given to students from the European Institute, so students from outside this programme may not get a place.

Course content

This course introduces students to governance in Europe at the national and European Union levels. This course has two objectives, one substantive and one methodological. First, students learn about politics and policymaking in European democracies and the European Union. Topics include the demand for and supply of policy options: e.g., public policy preferences, government formation and duration, representation and accountability, and supranational policy formulation. Second, this course is intended to introduce students to a set of analytical and empirical tools and concepts for understanding how political institutions and political agents jointly generate public policy, and to apply these tools in examining political and policy outcomes in European states. Lessons about political decision making, institutions, and the policy making process will be understood from the perspective of decision makers – that is, an individual or organisation that develops strategy in order to achieve political ends or advance policy change. 


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

Students will be expected to produce 1 presentation in the AT.

Indicative reading

  • Budge, Ian. 2019. Politics: A Unified Introduction to How Democracy Works. Routledge.
  • Powell, G. Bingham. 2019. Ideological Representation: Achieved and Astray: Elections, Institutions, and the Breakdown of Ideological Congruence in Parliamentary Democracies. Cambridge University Press.
  • Putnam, R. (1988). Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games. In International Organizations, 42(3), pp. 427-460.
  • Tsebelis, G. (2002). Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work. Princeton University Press.
  • Pollack, M. (2015). Theorizing EU Policy-Making. In Wallace et al. (Eds). (2015). Policy-making in the European Union. Oxford: OUP.
  • Moravcsik, A. (1998). The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht. Cornell University Press.
  • Hagemann, S., Bailer, S. and Herzog, A. (2019) ‘Signals to their parliaments?: Governments’ use of votes and policy statements in the EU Council, JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 57 (3), 634-650
  • Boerzel, T., Hofmann, T. Panke, D. and Sprungk, K. (2010). Obstinate and Inefficient: Why Member States Do Not Comply With European Law. In Comparative Political Studies, 43(11), pp. 1363-1390.
  • Schneider, C. and Slantchev, B. (2018). The Domestic Politics of International Cooperation: Germany and the European Debt Crisis. In International Organization, 72(1), pp. 1-31.
  • Hobolt, S. (2016). The Brexit Vote: A Divided Nation, A Divided Continent. In Journal of European Public Policy, 23(9), pp. 1259-1277.
  • De Vries, C. (2018). Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration. Oxford: OUP.


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: 67

Average class size 2022/23: 17

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
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills