Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3196: Democracy in the European Union

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Aims

This module familiarizes you with core theories, debates and actors of political representation in the EU. It aims at providing you with the skills to engage in current debates on parliaments, parties, interest groups and civil society, and to apply core theories to a range of political phenomena central to this subfield of political science, as well as to critically evaluate the usefulness of these theories. Furthermore, the module familiarizes you with the debate around the democratic deficit of the EU and challenges you to develop your own position on the topic. In doing so, it aims to equip you with the analytical skills required to describe and explain the hybrid system of political representation in the EU. Case studies and a simulation are used to illustrate key issues and challenges. The first part of the module deals with core theoretical debates. The second part focuses on the empirical workings of different actors of political representation in the EU.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate understanding of core concepts and approaches regarding democracy, political legitimacy and political representation and their application to the EU context;
2. give an account of the main institutions, actors and processes of governance in the EU;
3. show theoretical and practical knowledge of the debate on the ‘democratic deficit’ of the EU;
4. critically engage with on-going debates on the ‘democratic deficit’ and the political legitimacy of the EU;
Discipline-Specific Skills5. critically evaluate core concepts;
6. construct rigorous arguments which show an understanding of key theories;
7. deploy theoretical arguments and apply them to empirical case studies in European public policy;
8. justify own choices of theory, research design and method with regard to individual research interests and research questions in the field of EU studies;
Personal and Key Skills9. critically evaluate ideas and debates;
10. write clearly and coherently;
11. deploy the ability to communicate clearly and deliver presentations to peers;
12. work independently and in collaboration with peers; and
13. use IT for the retrieval and presentation of information.