This is a survey course on Western European politics. As such, attention given to any particular country in Europe must be limited and there are countries that we will not cover at all. The goal of this course is provide you with an understanding of European politics in general and with more detailed knowledge of the issue area you choose for your comparative research paper.
Particular emphasis will be placed on the often confusing competencies shared by the European Union and its member states. Understanding when Berlin, London, and Paris, or at other times, Brussels have a say, is key to making sense of politics within Europe and beyond.
European integration is a fascinating experiment in supranational governance and brings with it a host of questions relating to its legitimacy, the identity of European citizens, the roles of the EU  and its member states, and the place of Europe in the world. We will explore these challenges by focusing three major EU member states (France, Germany, United Kingdom) and how they and the EU respond to contemporary challenges.
This course is about public policy, but it is also a political science class, that seeks to analyze and provide theoretically-founded explanations for the policy phenomena discussed that go beyond newspaper commentary.

We will start the course with M. Donald Hancock’s Politics in Europe. Please get the 4th edition (2007). This text informs us about the EU and its major member states by focusing on the allocation and exercise of power in each polity. The other required texts include a primer on political science research and an interesting analysis of public opinion and political participation in Europe and the United States.
Required books:
-    M. Donald Hancock (2007). Politics in Europe. Washington, DC: CQ Press. ISBN 1-933116-45-5
-    Van Evera, Stephen (1997). Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
-    Dalton, Russell J. (2008). Citizen politics: public opinion and political parties in advanced industrial democracies. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. JF2011 .D34 2008 (the library has 5 copies)
Additionally, we will rely on articles and excerpts from a number of books as reading materials for this course. Most of the readings will be posted online as PDF documents and readings will be added throughout the semester. You need the free Acrobat Reader to read these files. If you do not have this software yet, you can download it from: All readings are mandatory – none of the readings on this syllabus are optional.
You are also expected to follow current developments in European Politics. Given the lack of reporting on Europe in U.S. broadcast media you should regularly read an international newspaper. I recommend the International Herald Tribune as a good source of information.

•    Informed class participation (attendance is necessary but not sufficient!) – 30%
•    Research proposal including annotated bibliography – 10%
•    Theoretical framework and case selection – 10%
•    Draft research paper, including literature review, theory, and analysis – 10%
•    Roundtable presentation – 10%
•    Final research paper – 30%

Class Participation
The Reed community is a community of scholars. We are all here, because we value the stimulating exchange of perspectives and ideas. This engagement is bi-directional: as much as we appreciate others’ perspectives, we also owe them our contributions – students and faculty alike. Meaningful exchange then requires not only mental and physical presence, but also thorough preparation, reflection, and engagement in conference discussions. This does not just mean “talking a great deal” – which in fact can distract from meaningful discussion – but rather the contribution of relevant insights, perspectives, and questions that can further our understanding of the concepts being discussed. It goes without saying, that such contributions are not possible without active participation in class discussions.
In order to stimulate reflection on assigned readings prior to class I will at times suggest focus questions to which you are then expected to post reactions on Moodle at least one day prior to conference.

Research Paper
The aim of this comparative research paper is to explore one policy area or one polity in detail. It is to be comparative in nature – i.e. comparing the same policy area in multiple states or responses to different challenges within the same polity.
In a first step you need to select a research question and compile an annotated bibliography related to your paper topic. Then you will select the cases for your study and develop a theoretical framework before conducting an empirical analysis of your question. You will present your complete draft paper in our research roundtable. At this point, the paper needs to be completed and polished so that it can be shared with the community.  Most likely you will receive much helpful input from our roundtable discussions. Incorporate these comments into your final paper before your submit it for grading. Start this process immediately after the conference, since this may require additional research.
Assessment will be determined primarily by the content of your paper assignments; nevertheless you are expected to submit well-written work that has been thoroughly proof-read for grammar, punctuation, and style. Sloppy or poorly written work may result in a penalty. If you need assistance with the writing assignments, please contact the Writing Center ( If English is not your native language, find a native speaker to look over your assignments. Please follow the APSA style guide for political science (see for example: and or the more general Chicago “B” (author-date) style (see:


Office hours and location are as listed at the top of this syllabus. The best way to contact me is by email sent to schaper [AT]
Please make yourself familiar with Reed’s academic conduct policy ( There will be zero tolerance for plagiarism and cheating. Please note that the policy stipulates that you cannot submit work prepared for another course without prior approval from both instructors  – if you want to re-use research done in previous courses, discuss details with me before you start on the paper. If you are not sure about how to represent another person’s work in an assignment, contact me for advice before submitting.
Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss specific needs by the second week of the semester. Please contact Student Services to establish eligibility and to coordinate reasonable accommodations. For additional information please refer to:
If you are having any problems at anytime during the semester regarding this class or your ability to participate, please contact me as soon as possible.
This syllabus is subject to change. The most recent version can be found on Moodle.

Semester Outline
Introduction to the course
Reading (30 pages): Nørgaard, Asbjørn S. 2008. Political Science: Witchcraft or Craftsmanship? Standards for Good Research. World Political Science Review 4 (1).

Comparing public policies
Reading (98 pages): Adolino, Jessica R., and Charles H. Blake. 2001. Comparing Public Policies: Issues and Choices in Six Industrialized Countries. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. Chapters 1-4.

Polity, Politics, Policy – an overview of key analytical concepts used in this class.
Reading (50 pages): Gabriel A. Almond et al. (2006). European Politics Today. Third Edition. New York: Pearson Longman. Chapter 4: Government and Public Policy, p. 62-83 (on Moodle).
Hancock, Introduction: The Why, What, and How of Comparative Politics (27 pages)

Social and political context

Reading (70 pages): Crouch, Colin. 2008. Change in European Societies since the 1970s. West European Politics 31 (1):14 - 39.
Inglehart, Ronald F. 2008. Changing Values among Western Publics from 1970 to 2006. West European Politics 31 (1):130 - 46.
Ferrera, Maurizio. 2008. The European Welfare State: Golden Achievements, Silver Prospects. West European Politics 31 (1):82 - 107.
Keating, Michael. 2008. Thirty Years of Territorial Politics. West European Politics 31 (1):60 - 81.

Library session
Reading: Paul Steinberg. Lecture on research and literature (on Moodle).
Marcus Schaper. Powerpoint on research strategies (on Moodle).
Janet Buttolph Johnson and H. T. Reynolds (2004): Political Science Research Methods, 5th Edition, CQ Press. Chapter 5. Conducting a Literature Review (on Moodle).
Lisa A. Baglione (2006). Writing a Research Paper in Political Science: A Practical Guide to Inquiry, Structure, and Methods. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education, ch. 3: Adressing the Scholarly Debate: The Literature Review, p.31-58 (on Moodle).
John W. Cresswell (2003): Research Design - Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Second Edition. Chapter 2: Review of the Literature, p. 27-48 (on Moodle).

Task: Decide on a topic for your research paper. Start researching it. Formulate a causal (why?) research question. Produce an annotated bibliography of at least ten relevant items (due 2/23).

United Kingdom

Reading (113 pages): Hancock, Chapter 1
Piper, J. Richard (2005). The Major Nation-States in the European Union. New York: Pearson. Chapter 12: The United Kingdom and the European Union, pp. 255-80 (on Moodle).

Comparative politics: a field defined by its method or a residual category?
Reading (66 pages): Kalleberg, Arthur L. 1966. The Logic of Comparison: A Methodological Note on the Comparative Study of Political Systems. World Politics 19(1), October 1966, 69-82.
Lijphart, Arend. 1971. Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method. The American Political Science Review 65(3), September 1971, 682-93.
Van Evera, Stephen. 1997. Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Chapter 2: What Are Case Studies? How Should They be Performed?

Task: Pick two cases for your research paper. Explain and justify your choices with regard to method and theory. Outline a theoretical frame in which to address your research question. Note: read Van Evera's first chapter for theoretical guidance (due 3/9).

Reading (113 pages): Hancock, Chapter 2.1 - 2.5
Meunier, Sophie. 2004. Globalization and Europeanization: A Challenge to French Politics. French Politics 2 (2):125-50.

Movie: Young, Muslim, and French
Summary: France's recent decision to ban the wearing of traditional Muslim headscarves (hijab) in public schools--a law widely perceived by Muslims to be an undemocratic expression. Wide Angle explores this conflict in the town of Dammarie-les-Lys. Also featured is the local high school principal, Ghislaine Hudson, a member of the commission charged with reviewing the use of religious symbols. Professor Fawaz Gerges also discusses secularism in France. Unemployment and the economic plight of the French Muslim minority and lack of social integration is also discussed.

Reading (130 pages): Hancock, Chapter 3.1 - 3.5
Streeck, Wolfgang and Christine Trampusch (2005). Economic Reform and the Political Economy of the German Welfare State. German Politics, 14 (2), June 2005, pp. 174-95 (on Moodle).
Richard Deeg (2005). The Comeback of Modell Deutschland? The New German Political Economy in the EU. German Politics 14(3), September 2005, pp. 332-53 (on Moodle).

Movie: What revolution?
Summary: The documentary focuses on the contemporary attitudes of German citizens towards reunification and also a rise of East German nostalgia.

Political Participation
Reading (282 pages):  Dalton, Russell J. 2008. Citizen politics: public opinion and political parties in advanced industrial democracies. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. JF2011 .D34 2008
Kriesi, Hanspeter. 2008. Political Mobilisation, Political Participation and the Power of the Vote. West European Politics 31 (1):147 - 68.

Reading (113 pages): Hancock, Chapters 8.1 - 8.5
Tallberg, Jonas. 2008. Bargaining Power in the European Council*. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 46 (3):685-708.
Curtin, Deirdre, and Morten Egeberg. 2008. Tradition and innovation: Europe's accumulated executive order. West European Politics 31 (4):639 - 61.

Task: Prepare a complete draft your research paper, including literature review, theory, and analysis for presentation at our research roundtable (due 4/13).

European integration, identity, and legitimacy
. Where is the EU is headed? What can and should it deliver, what not?
Reading (135 pages): Kesselman, Mark (2008). European politics in transition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. Chapter 35: Euro-Politics in Transition (on Moodle).
Gilbert, Mark. 2008. Narrating the Process: Questioning the Progressive Story of European Integration. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 46 (3):641-62 (on Moodle).
Hooghe, Liesbet, and Gary Marks. 2008. European Union? West European Politics 31 (1):108 - 29 (on Moodle).
Giandomenico Majone (2006). The Common Sense of European Integration. Journal of European Public Policy 13(5): 607-26 (on Moodle).
Ehin, Piret. 2008. Competing Models of EU Legitimacy: the Test of Popular Expectations. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 46 (3):619-40 (on Moodle).
Andreas Follesdal (2006): Subsidiarity, Democracy, and Human Rights in the Constitutional Treaty of Europe. Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 37 No. 1, Spring 2006, 61–80 (on Moodle).
Menon, Anand, and Stephen Weatherill. 2008. Transnational Legitimacy in a Globalising World: How the European Union Rescues its States. West European Politics 31 (3):397 - 416.

EU Policies. Arguably, the trade and economic policies of the EU are among the chief reasons for its very existence. At the same time, other policy areas (e.g. the common agricultural policy - CAP) are considered to be among its deficiencies.
Reading (49 pages): Kesselman, Mark. 2008. European politics in transition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. Chapter 34: The EU and Its Policies (on Moodle).
Erik Jones (2004): European Monetary Union and the Problem of Macroeconomic Governance. In: Ronald Tiersky (ed.). Europe Today. Second Edition. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, p. 59-87 (on Moodle).

Research Roundtable
. Presentation and discussion of your draft research papers.

First stop Brussels: Trade Policy in Europe. Facilitation of trade has been the reason for establishing the European Communities and trade policy remains a stronghold for the EU.
Reading (28 pages): Henning, C. Randall and Sophie Meunier (2005). United Against the United States? The EU's Role in Global Trade and Finance. In: Nicolas Jabko and Craig Parsons (eds.), With US or Against US? European Trends in American Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 75-102.

Cross cutting policy: environmental policy in Europe. In environmental policy, the EU and member states legislate concurrently. The EU has also embraced environmental policy as a cross-cutting issue area and seeks to integrate environmental concerns in all of its activities.
Reading (64 pages): Lenschow, Andrea (2005). Environmental Policy: Contending Dynamics of Policy Change, in: Helen Wallace, William Wallace and Mark A. Pollack: Policy-Making in the European Union, fifth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 305-27.
Hertin, Julia and Frans Berkhout (2003). Analysing Institutional Strategies for Environmental Policy Integration: The Case of EU Enterprise Policy. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 5(1), March 2003, pp. 39-56 .
Kurzer, Paulette (2006). European Environmental Leadership: The EU Approach to GM Foods. In: Thomas L. Ilgen (ed.), Hard Power, Soft Power and the Future of Transatlantic Relations. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 139-61.

Economic giant, but military dwarf? Foreign and security policy in Europe. The Common Foreign and Security (CFSP) is one of the pillars of the Maastricht treaty. Yet ten years later, the EU still appears weak compared to the foreign policies of some of its stronger member states.
Reading (64 pages): Bache, Ian, and Stephen George (2006). Politics in the European Union, second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, chapter 30: Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Bowker, Mike (2006). European Security. In Richard Sakwa and Anne Stevens (eds.) Contemporary Europe, second edition. Houndsmills: Palgrave, p. 233-53.
Howorth, Jolyon. 2005. A European Union with Teeth? In With US or against US? European trends in American perspective, edited by N. Jabko and C. Parsons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.