European politics for beginners
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HPC83
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course discusses and analyses the history, institutions and issues that are essential for understanding recent political developments within Europe. The main questions this class will look at are the following: What is Europe? And what is Europe’s role as a political actor in a rapidly changing world? You will learn to understand the challenges individual European countries face and how these enable or constrain the common political space at the European Union (EU) level. While the main focus of this course will lie on countries that are part of the EU, it will also look at those that currently remain outside such as the United Kingdom.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The history of modern-day Europe, starting after the end of World War II
- The different political systems within Europe, with a particular focus on France, Germany and the United Kingdom
- the different capitalist models, looking at the examples of Scandinavia, Germany and the United Kingdom
o What are the main differences and commonalities?
o How does each of these respond to the challenges of globalisation? Do we see a certain level of convergence?
o How can we explain the universal rise in inequality?
- A brief overview of the institutions and responsibilities of the European Union
o What is the relationship between member states and the European Union?
o Who drives European Integration? Member governments or Brussels?
- Recent political challenges such as Brexit, the rise of right-wing populism, migration/ refugees and Covid-19
o How have individual European countries?
o What does that mean for the future of the European Union and Europe as a whole?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Critically assess and evaluate the institutions and issues that are essential for understanding contemporary political developments within Europe
- Describe the relationship between member states and the European Union
- Analyse what is Europe and evaluate its role as a political actor in a rapidly changing world.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge is required as this is an introductory course. That being said, an interest in current affairs may prove helpful as the area of European politics is a dynamic one. This is also reflected in the high volume of fairly recent policy initiatives and challenges. Therefore, you will gain more from the course both in terms of enjoyment and learning outcomes if you follow current affairs.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The class will be taught through tutor presentation, class discussion, and class activities. There will be optional reading provided.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Although you are not required to buy anything, you may wish to buy books, current affairs magazines or attend talks on the issue of European politics to deepen your understanding of the issues raised in the class. However, please note that this is not necessary to follow the class as such.