Policy-Making in the European Union
How are EU policies made, by whom, and with what consequences? Few EU policies directly redistribute money. Yet, even if they sometimes seem to focus on rather arcane technical details, they often have profound consequences for the legal rights and welfare of individual citizens, the competitiveness of particular companies or entire industries, and the social, economic, and democratic development of Europe as a whole. If we want to evaluate the functioning of the EU as a democratic political system, we need to know who is involved in the formulation and implementation of policies, how these actors and the structural characteristics of the policy-making process combine to influence the shape and content of policies, and why different actors vary in their capacity to influence policy outcomes. This module addresses these types of questions, primarily by discussing how general theories of policy-making and decision-making apply to the case of the EU, and by providing hands-on experience in conducting small research projects in the form of policy-making case studies.
Institutions and Policies of the European Union (MA module)
This module develops students’ understanding of how the legislative system of the European Union works. Special attention is given to the roles and organizational structures of the different institutions involved in the EU policy-making process. The first part of the module discusses theories of integration and policy-making, presents the internal organisation, functions, and powers of the main institutions, and describes the most important inter-institutional decision-making procedures. The second part takes a closer look at EU policy-making in different policy areas. This part highlights the differences in content, rules, and procedures of decision-making processes across policy fields.
Methods and Research in Political Science (BA module)
This module introduces students to quantitative methods and research in political science. It covers the definition, operationalisation, and measurement of variables, the development of theory and the formulation of hypotheses, the role of research design and statistical control in making claims about causality, as well as the use of bivariate and multivariate statistical methods to empirically assess theories. Through computer labs, the module also provides a thorough introduction to the practical application of quantitative methods using the statistical software package SPSS.
International Cooperation and Conflict
This module develops students’ understanding of theories and methods used to empirically study research questions in international relations. Substantively, the module focuses on topics related to cooperation and conflict. After reviewing major theories and methodological approaches, the module covers a selection of current research topics, including the role of trust for international cooperation, the significance of multilevel interactions for international negotiations, the democratic peace thesis, the effectiveness of peacekeeping, as well as the causes and consequences of international terrorism.