JSIS 302 A: Politics and Cultures of Europe / POL S 332 A: Comparative Politics - Special Topics
Winter 2017, MW 930-1120 SAV 132, Instructor: Frank Wendler (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Transformations of Democracy in Europe
Since the turn of the millennium, European democracies have gone through fundamental changes as a consequence of two major and related challenges. On the one hand, political systems have been transformed through a transition from politics at the national level to the emergence of a multi-level governance system in which domestic decision-making is increasingly affected by decision-making at the European level, particularly through the European Union. On the other, as a response to this trend of de-nationalization, new forms of political representation and decision-making have emerged in many European countries, resulting in the emergence of new political parties, mobilization and protest in civil society, an increased role of direct democracy and calls for a stronger role of local and regional government. Combining both observations, democracy in Europe is quickly changing and transforming to a new stage that marks a radical departure from the previous stage of democracy in European nation states.
Addressing this topic, the class will introduce you into the study of political systems in Europe, with an emphasis on the topic of democratic transformation. Topics studied in class will include the theoretical explanation, comparative empirical analysis and normative assessment of political change in European countries. A special focus is put on the study of politics in Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Poland and Spain.
Assignments will include one in-class presentation, active participation, a written exam and a term paper (8pages max). More information about class topics and assignments will be distributed at the start of the term in the class syllabus. A course pack and website will be made available.