Regions, Federalism and EU Integration
Level of Study
Spring - irregular
Objectives and Content
Much of comparative politics and EU integration research focuses on governmental institutions (such as executives and legislatures), non-majoritarian bodies (e.g. courts and agencies) or societal stakeholders (firms, citizens, trade unions, etc.). This course focuses on a different category of actors: regions. Sometimes directly elected and endowed with primary legislative powers, sometimes purely nominated with limited policy authority, regional governments and administrations are often neglected in comparative politics and EU analyses. Having defined and mapped the evolution of the regional level of governance in Europe, this seminar then seeks to explore the relationship between regionalisation and Europeanization, as well as the interaction between these different sets of actors. To this end, we will examine the most recent scholarly contributions as well as the classics in the field.
A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of the territorial make-up of the EU 28 (from fully federal countries to centralised unitary ones)
- Display an understanding of the concept of "regional authority", how it is conceptualized, operationalized, and empirically measured, what its two main dimensions are (self-rule and shared rule) and what its 8 sub-dimensions are.
- Understand the relationship between (1) European integration and (2) regional power and regionalist/territorial parties
- Demonstrate an understanding of regional interest representation in the EU from mobilization to patterns of bypassing and cooperation with state institutions
- Relate empirical evidence on the triangular relationship between regions, their parent state, and the EU in terms of theories of European integration (Multi-Level Governance, theories of institutional change, theories of system support, and ring-fencing demands).
- More generally, display a capacity to provide insights into the key debates related to multi-level governance and European integration in their territorial dimensions.
- Mobilize knowledge from different sessions to answer transversal questions relating to different dimensions of the course (i.e. evidence of horizontal learning and mobilization skills)
- Present strong skills in the critical reading of a variety of texts and the academic scholarship based upon those texts
- Demonstrate capacity to construct a coherent essay. Students must show awareness of the benefits and pitfalls linked to conceptualisation, hypothesis generation, variable operationalisation, choice of measurement indicators, as well as the choice of method(s) to test for associations
- Develop a capacity to understand and criticize different types of literatures using a variety of theoretical approaches and analytical tools.
- Display ability to think critically and independently but constructively
- A 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)
- A 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 (6 hour desk exam).
Required Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
Teaching and learning methods
Hours per veke: 2
Number of weeks: 10
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment
6-hour desk exam
Assessment in teaching semester. Only students who have a valid document of absence will be entitled to take a new exam the following semester.
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
Department of Comparative Politics