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Бакалаврская программа «Политология и мировая политика»

Politics and Societies in the European Countries

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
3-й курс, 1, 2 модуль


Course Syllabus


The course offers an introduction to the politics in European countries, combining topical and regional approaches. The objectives of the course are twofold: to familiarize students with the political life of European countries, and to closely scrutinize concepts from comparative politics that are overrepresented in the European continent. The course structure therefore aims to combine these approaches, so most ideas (e.g. polarized parliamentary systems, consensus democracies) will be analyzed in the framework of a broader discussion on various regions (e.g. Mediterranean or Benelux countries).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To familiarize students with the political life of European countries
  • To closely scrutinize concepts from comparative politics that are overrepresented in the European continent
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is capable of retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field
  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks
  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design
  • Able to conduct professional activities internationally
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • A brief political history of Europe, 1945-
  • Majoritarian democracies: Great Britain and France
  • Fragmented parliamentarism: is there a ‘Mediterranean model’?
  • Consensus and cooperation I: consociationalism and its variants (Alpine and Benelux countries)
  • Consensus and cooperation II: moderate parliamentarism and minority cabinets
  • Democracy by design: Germany
  • Patterns of democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Democratic backsliding and illiberalism: Hungary and Poland (+Bulgaria? Slovenia?)
  • The politics of conflict and reconciliation in post-war Europe
  • The state of democracy in Europe
  • Position paper
  • Group presentation
  • Preparation for short test 1
  • Preparation for short test 2
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class participation
    - Meaningful engagement with the mandatory readings demonstrated - Own critical approach to the reading and lecture materials elucidated - By bringing in concepts and empirical examples from other fields of study, the student demonstrates a complex understanding of the introduced concepts - Contribution to the class dynamics: by reflecting on earlier points and comments, students can again demonstrate a practical understanding of the discussed concepts, as well as their abilities to understand the dynamics of ongoing discussions. Conversely, redundant and self-serving comments will lower the participation grade. - In case someone finds participation in discussions challenging, there is also an opportunity to send questions and comments related to the mandatory readings before the respective class sessions.
  • non-blocking Group presentation
    Content-wise the same requirement apply as in the case of individual position papers. In the oral presentation, you are similarly encouraged to present an argument for the class, but in addition: - You can explicate your idea more thoroughly if your time allows so - You can provide more background information/empirics - You should prepare questions and discussion points In your presentation, please be attentive towards the following elements: - Your power point or handout should complement your presentation, but should not include its content 100% - Should not be overloaded with information - Visual tools should be preferred over text; when you use text, keywords should be preferred over sentences - Do not read out your presentation; it is boring for the audience and problematic for the instructor (as it implies worrisome questions about the even participation of everyone). Anyway, you should also communicate more simply in verbal communication which doesn’t really work if you stick to your pre-written text.
  • non-blocking Position paper
    The position paper shall be a problem-based, argumentative text demonstrating the student’s capacity to identify academically relevant problems, finding avenues to tackle it, and communicating her/his arguments in a persuasive, transparent, and succinct manner. The position paper should also demonstrate the student’s firm understanding on the differences between epistemic and methodological traditions. The position paper’s extent shall not exceed 1,000 words, including foot/endnotes, excluding the bibliography. The review part of the essay shall not exceed 40% of the position paper. The deadline for sending a position paper linked to each specific topic is the beginning of the following seminar session. Essay structure: 1. Short and general formulation of answer, outline of structure 2. Review of relevant claims in the literature 3. Critical review of relevant positions. 4. Core of argument, supported by analytical and/or empirical claims. 5. Conclusion, summarizing the core points of the argument.
  • non-blocking Short test 1
    30 minutes, on week 6. It will reflect on the students’ familiarity with the core readings and factual knowledge on the discussed countries
  • non-blocking Short test 2
    30 minutes, on week 10. It will reflect on the students’ familiarity with the core readings and factual knowledge on the discussed countries
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 1st module
  • 2021/2022 2nd module
    0.2 * Group presentation + 0.1 * In-class participation + 0.3 * Position paper + 0.2 * Short test 1 + 0.2 * Short test 2


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Comparative politics ed. by Daniele Caramani. (2011).
  • The Oxford handbook of comparative politics / ed. by Carles Boix . (2007). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.253058961

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Adam Fagan, & Petr Kopecký. (2018). The Routledge Handbook of East European Politics. Routledge.
  • José M. Magone. (2015). Routledge Handbook of European Politics. Routledge.