POL41650 The Global Political Economy of Europe

Academic Year 2022/2023

The 2008 financial crash, the euro crisis, Brexit, climate change, and the Covid-19 pandemic have challenged the politics of European integration. These crises have exposed the fragility of joining diverse national economies into the EU, whilst illustrating distributive conflicts within nation-states and and between member-states. Against these contemporary challenges, the purpose of this course is to analyse the political economy of European integration, while paying particular attention to the euro area.

The course is taught in three parts. The first part examines the political and economic history of the European Union (EU), and the co-evolution of national varieties of capitalism within Europe post-WW2. It will be suggested that the EU was a regional response by sovereign nation-states to the international processes and constraints of globalisation. The second part examines the political and economic rationale for the establishment of the single market and the single currency; the brave new world of European central banking; and the difficulties of governing a single currency between sovereign nation-states. The final part of the course examines the political conflicts that underpin European integration, the politics of Brexit, euro scepticism, and changing dynamics of electoral conflict within the EU, and how the EU has responded to the global pandemic, and the climate emergency.

A core question that we will consider throughout the course is whether all of these events are bringing European nation-states closer together, or further apart. Is the EU moving toward ever closer union? Or more differentiated integration?

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Each seminar is constructed around a set of core readings. You must read these before class.

The course will improve your capacity for:

Critical thinking
Self management
Problem solving
Dataset awareness
Conceptual rigor
Analytic argumentation
Comparative political economy
International political economy
European integration

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
In 2021/2022, this module will be delivered as 12 in-person interactive seminars.

If Covid-19 guidelines change, we will shift to an online-virtual classroom via Brightspace. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Mid term essay / assignment

Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Final term paper Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual feedback will be provided via brightspace.