English   Danish

2015/2016  BA-BHAAI1046U  Politics in the European Union

English Title
Politics in the European Union

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 120
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Kurt Huebner, Full professor, kurt.huebner@ubc.ca
    Sven Bislev - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
In case of any academic questions related to the course, please contact the course instructor or the academic director, Sven Bislev at sb.ikl@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • International political economy
  • Political leadership and public management
  • Political Science
Last updated on 12-05-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate an understanding the historical foundations of the EU
  • Apply basic economic and political concept
  • Analzye and comprehend data and general empirical information in regards to European integration
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main drivers of European integration
  • Explain relevant models, analytical concepts and theoretical frameworks in regards to European integration
  • Understand policy implications of particular strategies chosen by the Commission
  • Understand policy implications of particular economic strategies
Course prerequisites
Familiarity with basic international macroeconomic concepts is welcomed.
Politics in the European Union:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 1-5 August 2016.
Retake exam: Within two months from the ordinary exam.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Home project assignment with a new exam question
Course content and structure

The European Union is often described as a political entity that thrives by crises. Rather than moving backwards, or even staying still, the EU seems to respond to internal and external crises by moving along a path of ever greater and deeper integration. This ‘bycycle approach’ has driven theoretical attempts like neo-functionalism and to some degree also more recent attempts like intergovernmentalism that set out to explain the directions of the project of  European integration.  Ongoing economic and political developments are raising questions about those interpretations. Sovereign debt crises of member economies of the Eurozone and the type of crisis management, the sudden emergence of a ‘refugee crisis’ as well as widespread concerns about the overly large political reach of the EU, have contributed to a conundrum - a situation in which there is no clear right answer - that preoccupies a variety of economic and political actors on the supranational level as well as on the national level. This course focuses on the analytical and historical drivers of European integration and the economic- political responses to emerging crises since the start of the ‘project’ in 1957. Although we will look back in historical terms at the development of the European Union, the course will mainly deal with the current dilemmas associated with European integration. We will make use of a range of theoretical approaches in the area of European studies (for example, neo-functionalism, historical institutional analysis, intergovernmentalism) in order to analyze actions by established and new political-economic players as well as the changes in governance of the European Union. 


Class 1: Discussion of Preliminary Assignment: Students' Assessment of Challenges

Class 2: Looking back: Drivers of European Integration

Class 3: Theoretical Perspectives: How to explain integration?

Class 4: From Common Market to Common Currency

Class 5: Costs and Benefits of a Currency Union: Path to Euro

Class 6: Political Learning Failure?

feedback activity: Organized class debate

Class 7: Eurozone crises narratives

Class 8: Fiscal Policy with and without a common currency

Class 9: ECB; Transformation of an Institution

Class 10: Free Mobility: Ciao Schengen?

Class 11: Comprehensive review

Teaching methods
This course will be organized in a seminar style in which students come to class having reviewed the obligatory readings. At the start of each class the instructor will give a structured mini-lecture that frames the topic and puts the readings for the class into a larger perspective. For each class, the course director will provide three lead questions that will structure class discussions. Organized and pre-structured class discussions will make up half of the meetings. Those questions are also defining the ‘take-home’ aspect for each class. We may also use technology in form of brief video clips (mainly from the archive of Financial Times) and enjoy presentations of guest speakers.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 10 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 144 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 12 hours
Further Information


Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Feedback Activity: A feedback activitity defined by the course instructor will take place app. half-way through the course. 


The timetable is available on  http://www.cbs.dk/files/cbs.dk/isup_timetable_2016_updated.pdf

Expected literature


H.Badinger, V. Nitsch: Routledge Handbook of the Economics of European Integration.

ISBN: 97804158747707 (paperback edition)



Paul de Grauwe: Economics of Monetary Union

ISBN 9780198739876

Oxford University Press, 2016



Last updated on 12-05-2016