POLT07004 2017 Orchestrating the European Union

General Details

Full Title
Orchestrating the European Union
Transcript Title
Politics of EU
N/A %
Subject Area
POLT - Politics
SOCS - Social Sciences
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
John Pender
Programme Membership
SG_HJOIN_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics SG_HJOIN_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics SG_HJOIN_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics

Tracing the historical and political moulding forces behind the very idea Europa, this module sets out to critically evaluate the trajectory that European states have followed since the end of the 2nd World War. A number of theoretical frameworks purporting to explain European integration are critiqued.

Moving from the theoretical, an overview of the organisational structures of the institutions of the EU is undertaken. Institutions explored include the European Parliament, Court of Justice of the European Union, Council of Ministers, European Commission, Committee of the Regions, European Central Bank and the Court of Auditors. The relationships between these institutions and overall decision‑making of the EU vis-a-vis member states is analysed. This analysis is undertaken by interrogating the manner in which policy is formulated in the following spheres: Economic and Monetary Union; Common Agriculture Policy; Common Foreign and Security Policy; Justice and Home Affairs and Social Policy.

Moreover, reflecting growing concerns about the actual accountability and transparency of the EU, an investigative approach is adopted when considering the input multi‑national corporations such as the European Round Table of Industrialists, UNICE, Am‑Cham and Bilderberg make to the emergence of EU social and economic policies. Critiques of anti‑EU and EU skeptical political parties and movements are explored along with the implications of Britain's declared departure from the European Union. The impact of EU membership on Ireland is a central feature of module content.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Critically understand and contextualise the origins and evolution of the EU post World War 2.


Comprehend and evaluate various theoretical offerings oscillating between intergovernmental and supranational explanations of the EU and member states policy-making interdependencies.


Demonstrate a thorough and critical knowledge of EU policies and policy-making.


Review and anticipate the possible ramifications of emerging EU disintegration theories, movements and proponents.


Communicate and role play the policy-making preferences and policy bargaining positions of an EU policy-making actor/stakeholder.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Weekly lectures, tutorials and simulation exercise preparation.

Module Assessment Strategies

There are three inter related components to the assessment strategy:
1. Identification of appropriate policy actor/stakeholder by way of individual/group learner(s) feasibility pitch PowerPoint enhanced presentation (20%);

2. Attendance at and active participation in an EU policy simulation event (50%);

3. Individual/group learner actor/stakeholder simulation event position paper write up (not exceeding 2000 words) (30%).

Repeat Assessments

Actor/stakeholder position paper not exceeding 3000 words (100%).

Indicative Syllabus

[1] Introduction

The background to European Integration:

Theoretical/Historical perspectives; Functionalism, Neo‑functionalism, Federalism, Intergovernmentalism, Supranationalism etc.

[2] The precursors to and establishment of the EU and ever increasing expansion

[3] The institutions of the EU ‑ Commission, Council, Parliament, European Court of Justice, Committee of the Regions, European Central Bank, EU Ombudsman

[4] Ireland and the EU 1950‑2017

[5] The question of national sovereignty and European Union Law

[6] EU Policy Spheres (1); European Political Co‑operation (EPC)/Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

[7] EU Policy Spheres (2); The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP

[8] EU Policy Spheres (3); The Single Market and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the Euro; (4) European Social Policy

[9] Lobbying the European Union ‑ Access to decision making

[10] Anti‑European Union Movements and EU disintegration

[11] Towards a 'super state': a future for the EU

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Feasibility Pitch Presentation Continuous Assessment Oral Exam 20 % Week 4 3,5
2 Policy-Making Simulation Event Continuous Assessment Performance Evaluation 50 % Week 10 2,3
3 Position Paper Write-Up Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 13 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Problem Based Learning Flat Classroom Simulation activity preparation 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2013-05-10 European Politics: A Comparative Introduction (Comparative Government and Politics) Palgrave
ISBN 023036294X ISBN-13 9780230362949

This popular and highly praised text provides a lively and accessible introduction to the governance and politics of Europe.

Thematically structured to address the key institutions and issues, it is genuinely pan-European in scope. Although no country is ignored, a range of representative countries (the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK) as well as the European Union itself, are used as key examples throughout the book and each of them is the subject of an in-depth double-page country profiles. The text is supported by a range of features, including:

- Double-page country profiles with coverage of key issues
- Debate boxes which give the pros and cons of contested issues
- Key Point boxes to reinforce learning and aid revision
- Further Reading, Web Links and Discussion Questions for each chapter

The third edition has been fully revised and updated to take account of the latest developments and now includes coverage of the Eurozone crisis, governments' austerity measures and recent legislation affecting privacy and human rights.

Recommended Reading
2012-04-15 Contemporary Europe (Palgrave Foundations Series) Palgrave
ISBN 023028289X ISBN-13 9780230282896

This fully revised third edition provides a wide-ranging introduction to political, economic and social life across the whole continent. Ideal for students new to the subject, this popular text stimulates fresh thinking on issues and debates.

Recommended Reading
2011-03-15 The Political System of the European Union (The European Union Series) Palgrave
ISBN 0230249825 ISBN-13 9780230249820

Systematically revised and rewritten throughout, and updated to cover the impact ofthe Lisbon Treaty, this highly-successful and ground-breaking text remains unique in analyzing the EU as a political system using the methods of comparative political science.

Recommended Reading
2015-02-11 Policy-Making in the European Union (The New European Union Series) Oxford University Press
ISBN 0199689679 ISBN-13 9780199689675

Constantly evolving, and with far-reaching implications, European Union policy-making is of vital importance to the politics of the European Union. Featuring work by expert contributors, Policy-Making in the European Union, Seventh Edition, explores the link between the modes and mechanisms of EU policy-making and its implementation at the national level, helping students to engage with key policy-related issues.

First defining the processes, institutions, and modes of policy-making, the text then analyzes a wide range of policy areas in greater detail than any competing text--from economics to the environment, and from security to the single market--in both a practical and theoretical context, navigating policy in all its complexity. It concludes with a clear assessment of the challenges that have shaped and will continue to shape policy-making, including enlargement, the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, and the impacts of the global financial crisis.

Recommended Reading
2015-04-24 European Union Politics (Palgrave Foundations Series) Palgrave
ISBN 1137453389 ISBN-13 9781137453389

The new edition of this lively and student-friendly text provides an engaging introduction to all aspects of politics and policy in the European Union, giving readers a sense of the colour of EU politics and its impact on people's lives.
The text examines the history, institutions, processes and policies of the European Union as well as the theories developed to explain its character and evolution. The second edition has been thoroughly updated to cover the 2014 European Parliament elections and new appointments to all the major EU institutions, along with the ongoing fallout from the euro zone crisis. A new boxed feature on 'understanding integration' shows how theories and concepts developed in political science illuminate different aspects of European Union politics.

Noted for its clarity and vivid style, each chapter of European Union Politics is enhanced by:

Photos and descriptions of events, thinkers and political actors
Breakdowns of key debates
Chapter summaries and guides to further reading
On-page definitions

The companion website is available at www.palgrave.com/politics/mccormick and provides:

Self-test questions and answers
Update materials
Searchable glossary and chronology
Web-links and further reading
Additional lecturer resources

Recommended Reading
2015-01-20 Politics in the European Union Oxford University Press
ISBN 0199689660 ISBN-13 9780199689668

Enhanced by an accessible writing style and a variety of pedagogical resources, Politics in the European Union, Fourth Edition, offers an up-to-date, balanced, and comprehensive introduction to the field by four expert authors. Divided into four sections--theory, history, institutions, and policies--it opens with detailed coverage of key theoretical concepts, which are also integrated and referred back to throughout the book in order to help students draw links between the EU in theory and in practice.

Ideal for students who are approaching the subject for the first time, Politics in the European Union, Fourth Edition, incorporates a range of pedagogical features including insight boxes and a chronology. It is accompanied by an extensive Companion Website that contains resources for students--an interactive map of Europe, an interactive timeline of European integration, multiple-choice questions, a flashcard glossary, and related links--and instructors--PowerPoint-based slides, essay and seminar questions, and boxes and figures from the text.

Recommended Reading
2013-10-01 European Union: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Oxford University Press
ISBN 0199681694 ISBN-13 9780199681693

Since the second edition of this popular Very Short Introduction published in 2007, the world has faced huge economic and political change. Showing how and why the EU has developed from 1950 to the present day, John Pinder and Simon Usherwood cover a range of topics, including the Union's early history, the workings of its institutions and what they do, the interplay between 'eurosceptics' and federalists, and the role of the Union beyond Europe in international affairs and as a peace-keeper.

In this fully updated third edition, Pinder and Usherwood incorporate new material on the Lisbon treaty, the EU fiscal crisis, the state of the single Euro currency in its wake, and conclude by considering the future of the Union and the choices and challenges that may lie ahead.

About the Series:
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Recommended Reading
2008-10-15 Ireland and the European Union (The European Union Series) Palgrave
ISBN 140394928X ISBN-13 9781403949288

Recent times have witnessed a dramatic turn around in Ireland's fortunes. From being a poor and peripheral state, it has emerged as a prosperous, dynamic and self-assured player among the nations of Europe. For many, the Irish experience provides a model of the potential rewards of European integration. But, just how far are changes in Irish society the result of EU membership? What difference has the EU made to Ireland and, for that matter, Ireland to the EU?

This major new study of Irish-European relations provides a rich account of Ireland's membership of the EU and the impact of the EU on the institutions, policy and economy of Ireland It will be read with benefit by all who want to further understand what Europe means for Ireland and those wanting to learn from Ireland's experience in a comparative context.

Recommended Reading
2013-05-30 European Union Law Routledge
ISBN 0415695988 ISBN-13 9780415695985

Fully revised and updated, the third edition of EU Law provides an exhaustive, yet easily readable, account of the complex and ever changing subject of EU law. The author gives thorough, authoritative, and up-to-the-minute treatment to the institutional, constitutional and substantive elements of EU Law.

The book is unique in that it successfully combines depth of coverage with an excellent selection of supporting case law, making this challenging subject accessible and easy to follow.  Case summaries and judgments are highlighted in colour-tinted boxes for ease of reference, and are accompanied by key facts and analysis, often in the light of subsequent developments.

The student-friendly approach is enhanced by market-driven pedagogical features, including:
 Concise  outlines, at the beginning of each chapter describing its content;
 An aide-mmoire, often presented in diagrammatic form,  at the end of each chapter to highlight and reinforce key points;
 End of chapter recommended reading lists to facilitate further research;
 End of chapter problem and essay questions testing the  students ability to apply what they have learnt; and,
 A map identifying EU Member States, and their accession dates; acceding States; candidate States; and, potential candidate States.

The books companion website offers a range of teaching and learning resources including an interactive timeline of the EU, useful web links, self-test questions and much more.

This book is essential reading for those studying EU law on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses and will be of interest to students of political science, social science and business studies.  It also provides comprehensive coverage of substantive and procedural EU competition law and thus has its place as a textbook for introductory courses on EU competition law.

Recommended Reading
2012 Euro, The
ISBN 0241258154 ISBN-13 9780241258156
Recommended Reading
2015-09-29 Europe's Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt Princeton University Press
ISBN 069116830X ISBN-13 9780691168302

Originally conceived as part of a unifying vision for Europe, the euro is now viewed as a millstone around the neck of a continent crippled by vast debts, sluggish economies, and growing populist dissent. In Europe's Orphan, leading economic commentator Martin Sandbu presents a compelling defense of the euro. He argues that rather than blaming the euro for the political and economic failures in Europe since the global financial crisis, the responsibility lies firmly on the authorities of the eurozone and its member countries. The eurozone's self-inflicted financial calamities and economic decline resulted from a toxic cocktail of unforced policy errors by bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats; the unhealthy coziness between finance and governments; and, above all, an extreme unwillingness to restructure debt.

Sandbu traces the origins of monetary union back to the desire for greater European unity after the Second World War. But the euro's creation coincided with a credit bubble that governments chose not to rein in. Once the crisis hit, a battle of both ideas and interests led to the failure to aggressively restructure sovereign and bank debt. Ideologically informed choices set in motion dynamics that encouraged more economic mistakes and heightened political tensions within the eurozone. Sandbu concludes that the prevailing view that monetary union can only work with fiscal and political union is wrong and dangerous--and risks sending the continent into further political paralysis and economic stagnation.

Contending that the euro has been wrongfully scapegoated for the eurozone's troubles, Europe's Orphan charts what actually must be done for the continent to achieve an economic and political recovery.

Recommended Reading
2013-05-19 The EU Common Security and Defense Policy (Oxford European Union Law Library) Oxford University Press
ISBN 0199692726 ISBN-13 9780199692729

A long-term topic of interest for political scientists and international relations experts, the European Union's security and defense policy has also more recently sparked the interest of the legal community.

The Treaty of Lisbon (effective December 2009) introduced a detailed set of rules and procedures that govern the European Union's Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). This book provides the first full-length overview and analysis of the legal framework of the CSDP, examining the nexus of its substantive, institutional, and economic dimensions. Beginning with the historical development of security and defense in the context of European integration, it covers the military operations and civilian missions undertaken by the EU and looks at the policy context within which they were carried out. It also analyzes the international agreements in the field and explores the links between the CSDP and other external EU policies.

Recommended Reading
2012-06-01 The Common Agricultural Policy: Policy Dynamics in a Changing Context Routledge
ISBN 0415641195 ISBN-13 9780415641197

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a unique agricultural policy worldwide. For many years, its status as the only common European Community (EC) policy governed by EC institutions put it at the heart of European integration. Today the CAP is not the only common European Union (EU) policy. Even while it remains the sole instance of a regionally integrated agricultural policy, the CAP no longer embodies the same degree of cross-national harmonization of agricultural policy among EC/EU member states that it once did.

The CAP has undergone policy reforms in the past two decades and these reforms have spawned a host of questions. What has caused the CAP to reform? How path-breaking are CAP reforms? Are they consistent with founding CAP goals or do they encompass new ideas about agricultures place in the economy and society? And what are the consequences of agricultural policy reforms: for European farmers, consumers and taxpayers; for European public goods such as environmental sustainability and preservation of rural communities and landscapes; and for third parties outside the EU, including the WTO?

This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of European Integration.

Recommended Reading
2016-05-05 The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't Working, How it Can be Reformed, What Could Take its Place Nicholas Brealey
ISBN 1857886550 ISBN-13 9781857886559

One of the worlds leading and most high-profile economists illuminates the arguments for reform of the EU and what it would mean for member states to leave it. Fully REVISED, UPDATED and EXPANDED edition published in the runup to the 2016 EU Referendum.

Module Resources

Additional Information