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Undergraduate course

European Union Institutions, Politics, and Policies (Jean Monnet Academic Module)

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeEUR105
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Semester of Instruction

Spring

Objectives and Content

"European Union Institutions, Politics, and Policies" 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, the main policy developments over time, and the conflicts created by the constant enlargement of the EU. The theoretical perspective combines federalist, functionalist, transactionalist, neo-functionalist, liberal intergovernmentalist, delegation, governance, constructivist, and post-functionalist approaches to the understanding of European integration.

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 Commission officials and/or practitioners working in Brussels.

This course has been awarded a three-year "Jean Monnet Academic Module" status by the European Commission's "Erasmus+" programme.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge

  • Characterize to what extent the EU corresponds to a fully-fledged political system
  • Map out the institutional evolution of the EU over time
  • Map out the policy competences of the EU and their evolution over time
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the main theories and pre-theories of European integration
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the digital production and dissemination of knowledge.

Skills

  • Be able to 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.
  • Be able to discuss the institutional architecture and the workings of the EU on an everyday basis
  • Be able to discuss the EU policies, the institutional arrangements behind them, and their possible implications
  • Be able to produce a ¿digital deliverable¿ (for example: a digital poster, or an audio/radio cast, or a video cast).
  • Be able to share the digital deliverable on social media or a dedicated website

General competence

  • Display the ability to think critically and independently but constructively
  • Capacity to read, understand, and digest material using different methods (from qualitative case studies to quantitative large-n analyses, from diachronic to synchronic analyses, from x-centered research to y-centered research)
  • Capacity to build an argument based on a variety of sources, and to initiate a dialogue between those sources
  • Capacity to synthesize and present knowledge in a simple and efficient way under time constraints (4-day take home exam)
  • Capacity to use digital tools to produce ¿digital deliverables¿ on key EU issues.
  • Capacity to produce ¿digital deliverables¿ through collaborative group work.

Required Previous Knowledge

Fulfilment of general admission requirements.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

EUR101 Introduction to European History and Politics

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Full credit reduction with SAMPOL215

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

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Compulsory attendance to seminars. Minimum 75% attendance is required
  • Compulsory production of one 'digital deliverable' among the following: a digital poster, an audio/radio cast, a video cast.
  • Compulsory presentation of the 'digital deliverable' during one of the seminar sessions.
  • The 'digital deliverable' will be produced through self-organised group work.

A compulsory assignment that has been approved, has no time limit.

Forms of Assessment

A four-day take-home exam, maximum 4000 words

Grading Scale

Grading A-F

Subject Overlap

Full credit reduction with SAMPOL215

Assessment Semester

Spring

Course Evaluation

The course is evaluated regularly

Course Coordinator

Professor Michaël Tatham