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The Political Economy Of Europe: Political Science Perspectives (Module)

Module description

Please note that module information is indicative and may change year to year.

The module is meant to provide for a theoretical overview of the process of European Integration, particularly European economic policy making. This module addresses topical events in the process of European Economic integration as the making of the EMU, the crisis of the Euro-zone, the monetary policy making of the European Central, Bank, the Stability Pact and fiscal co-ordination in Europe or the European Employment strategy.

The module is both theoretically sophisticated and accessible to students will therefore represent an invaluable instrument to understand the contemporary European Political Economy.

From the theoretical point of view, the module is firmly set within the tradition of International Relations, International Political Economy.

Module aims

The module assesses European economic policies in the light of the different interpretative and heuristic tools provided by the theories analysed in the core IPE module with a special attention towards the explanation of change in the adoption of policy from the competing theoretical perspectives focusing on institutions, economic interests and ideological paradigms. The policies considered range from fiscal policy, to the role and functions of the ECB, from the crisis of the Euro-zone, to the making of EMU and to unemployment to social and migratory policies. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate intellectual and practical skills appropriate to a level 7 module. In particular they will be able to demonstrate the following:

A capacity to appraise European economic policy making from different theoretical perspectives;

An in depth knowledge of the main policies implemented at the EU level;

A specialisation in one of the areas of EU economic integration;

A deep and systematic understanding of the political and economic features of Europe in the global political economy;

The capacity to assess critically the different interpretation of European economc policy making;

The ability to design and undertake substantial investigation to address the European economic policy-making;

The capacity to formulate their own arguments and question about the European economy.

Students will acquire the capacity to analyse European economic policy making from different theoretical standpoints. They will be able to evaluate the outcomes of these policies in the light of the insights acquired through policy analysis. Writing and presentation skills will also be enhanced. 

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Two hours per week, one lecture and one seminar 

Indicative teaching schedule

PART 1: The theoretical context

Week 1: What is European political economy
Week 2: Mainstream approaches to EPE: neo-functionalism and intergovernmentalism
Week 3: Neo-constructivist, compromise and eclectic approaches to EPE
Week 4: Neo-Gramscian and neo-Marxist approaches

PART 2: Application of theories to selected European economic policies

Week 5: The making of the single market
Week 6: The making of EMU
Week 7: The monetary policy of the ECB from the establishment to the sovereign debt crisis
Week 8: The political Economy of fiscal co-ordination in the EU
Week 9: The political economy of European unemployment
Week 10: The crisis of the Euro-zone and populism

Note that this teaching schedule is indicative and subject to change.

Module assessment - more information

One 4000 word essay (100%)

Key information

Module code 7AAOM018

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 20

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module Yes