European Politics and Policy

Periodo di svolgimento
Info sul corso
Ore del corso
Ore dei docenti responsabili
Ore di didattica integrativa

Modalità esame

Prova scritta


Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"


The course introduces students to the main issues in EU politics and public policy. It discusses some of the key theoretical perspectives and approaches to understand how the EU political system works, the role played by member states and transnational actors, and the policy-making process and output. The course consists of two parts:

PART I analyses the main EU institutions – the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and the European Council – discussing their current role in the EU political system and how politics plays out within and across them, with specific attention to the most recent developments;

PART II discusses European policies, that is the competence of EU institutions in approaching some policy problems (often in the context of a complex interplay with national and regional institutions). The main reference is to the case of cohesion and social policy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding the EU Political System 2 hours (Thu, April 7, 14-16)

This introductory class will describe the structure of the module, its content, and the assessment. It will also introduce the concept and the key elements of the EU political system.

Hix & Hoyland (2011), The Political System of the EU, Palgrave Macmillan, Chapters 1, 5, 13

The European Commission: Political or Technocratic? 3 hours (Fri, April 8, 10-13)

Hix & Hoyland (2011), Chapter 2

Reh, C., Bressanelli, E. and C. Koop (2020) Responsive withdrawal? The politics of EU agenda-setting, Journal of European Public Policy, 27:3, 419-438.

Wonka, A. (2007). Technocratic and Independent? The appointment of European Commissioners and its policy implications. Journal of European Public Policy, 14:2, 169-189.

Legislative Politics: National or Supranational Politics? 3 hours (Tue, April 19, 14-17)

Hix & Hoyland (2011), Chapter 3

Novak. S. (2013). The Silence of Ministers: Consensus and Blame Avoidance in the Council of the EU. Journal of Common Market Studies, 51(6), 1091-1107

Koop, C. Reh, C. & E. Bressanelli (2018). When politics prevails. Parties, elections and loyalty in the European Parliament. European Journal of Political Research, 57(2)

The European Council: the engine of the EU? 3 hours (Thu, April 21, 14-17)

Fabbrini S. & U. Puetter (2016) Integration without supranationalisation: studying the lead roles of the European Council and the Council in postLisbon EU politics, Journal of European Integration, 38(5), 481-495

De La Porte, C. & M. D. Jensen (2021) The next generation EU : An Analysis of the Dimension of Conflict behind the Deal. Social Policy & Administration, 55(2), 388-402

European Union Policy: theories compared 3 hours (Fri, April 22, 14.30-17.30)

Ferrera, M. (2018). Disproved or vindicated? Stein Rokkan’s ‘impossibility theorem’ on welfare democracy and European integration in Journal of European Social Policy, 29(1), pp. 3–12.

Ferrera, M. (2018). Mass democracy, the welfare state and European integration: A neo-Weberian analysis in European Journal of Social Theory, pp. 1-19.

Piattoni, S. (2009), "Multilevel Governance: a Historical and Conceptual Analysis. Journal of European Integration, 31:2, 163-180.

European Social Policy(-making) 3 hours (Thu, April 28, 14.30-17.30)

Verdun, A. and D’Erman, V.(2019), Two decades of change in Europe: post-crisis social policymaking in the EU, in Vanhercke, Bart, Ghailani, Dalila, and Spasova Slavina (eds.) Social Policy in the European Union: State of Play 2019.

Vesan, P., Corti, F. & Sabato, S. (2021), The European Commission’s entrepreneurship and the social dimension of the European Semester: from the European Pillar of Social Rights to the Covid-19 pandemic. Comp Eur Polit 19, 277–295.

European cohesion policy(-making) 3 hours (Fri, April 29, 10-13)

Graziano, P. and Polverari, L. (2019) The Social Impact of EU Cohesion Policy/L'impact social de la politique de cohésion de l'UE, in Vanhercke, Bart, Ghailani, Dalila, and Spasova Slavina (eds.) Social Policy in the European Union: State of Play 2019.

Ferrera, M.; Miró, J. & Ronchi, S. (2021) Walking the road together? EU polity maintenance during the COVID-19 crisis, West European Politics, 44:5-6, 1329-1352

Obiettivi formativi

By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to critically discuss how the EU political system works. Focusing on current developments and tensions, they should get acquainted with the most recent scholarly debate. They are expected to become knowledgeable of the jargon and concepts of both comparative politics and policy analysis.