European Union Institutions and Politics
Semester of Instruction
Objectives and Content
European Union Institutions and Politics aims at giving a good understanding of the polity, politics, and policies of the European Union from its beginning to the present. Much emphasis is put on the institutional development towards an ever closer union and the conflicts created by the constant enlargement of the EU. The theoretical perspective combines federalist, functionalist, transactionalist, neo-functionalist, liberal intergovernmental, delegation, governance, constructivist, and post-functionalist approaches to the understanding of European integration.
After two introductory lectures where the EU is characterized as a political system and its evolution over time is mapped, the first part of the course deals with the government, politics, and policies of the European Union. The second part focuses on theoretical explanations of the development, stagnation, and contestation of the European project from pre-theories of European integration all the way to constructivist and post-functionalist approaches.
This course also brings in a strong applied perspective through guest lectures by EU policy-makers, including senior Commission officials.
A candidate who has completed his or her qualification should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- Characterize to what extent the EU corresponds to a fully-fledged political system
- Explain the institutional structure of the EU
- Map out the policy competences of the EU
- Demonstrate familiarity with the main theories and pre-theories of European integration
- Relate the knowledge acquired throughout the course to current events and developments within the EU
- Structure a dialogue between theories of European integration, and the extent to which they 1) complement and contradict each other, 2) share similar building blocks but diverge in their predictions.
- Discuss the institutional architecture and the workings of the EU on an everyday basis
- Display ability to think critically and independently but constructively
- Read, understand, and digest material using different methods
- Build an argument based on a variety of sources, and to initiate a dialogue between those sources
- Synthesize and present knowledge in a simple and efficient way under time constraints (4-day take home exam).
Required Previous Knowledge
Fulfilment of general admission requirements.
Access to the Course
Open to all students at the University of Bergen
Teaching and learning methods
Form: Lectures and seminars
Hours per week: approximately 4
Total number of hours: 24
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment
A four-day take-home exam, maximum 4000 words
Full credit reduction with SAMPOL215
The course is evaluated regularly