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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

The module is being created as an addition to the elective choice for students in semesters 7 and 8 on BA Politics and International Relations and on AHSS programmes where Politics is offered as an option. It better reflects the subject expertise of current teaching staff in this area than existing modules.


This module takes a detailed look at the policy-making process of the EU. Few EU policies directly redistribute money, yet even if they sometimes seem to focus on rather arcane technical issues, they often have profound consequences for the legal rights and the 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 those policies, to what extent these actors and the structural characteristics of the process influence the shape and content of those policies, and why different actors and structural characteristics vary in their influence on policy outcomes. These are the types of questions discussed in this module. Module outline: - Introduction and historical background - The institutional framework - Policies and policy-making - Theories of European integration and policy-making - Agenda-setting - EP decision-making - Council decision-making - Bicameral bargaining - Transposition and implementation - Enforcement and judicial review - Evaluation

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: - describe the stages of a typical EU policy-making process, the actors involved, and the structural constraints and opportunites under which they operate - analyse and interpret specific policy-making cases in light of the relevant theories - assess the ability of different actors to shape EU policy at different stages of the policy-making process - to evaluate the consequences of different process and outcome characteristics of EU policy-making for the EU's democratic legitimacy - conduct independent research on EU policy-making using online news sources, archives, and databases

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: - acknowledge the complexity of EU policy-making processes

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

Not applicable

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

The module is taught through a mix of lectures and tutorials. The lectures provide students with historical background knowledge, outline the institutional structure of the EU and the different types of policies, and discuss theories of European integration and policy-making. They also describe in detail different aspects and stages of the EU's policy-making process (graduate attribute: KNOWLEDGEABLE). The tutorials involve short presentations and group discussions about particular policy-making cases (graduate attribute: ARTICULATE). Students select their cases themselves and prepare a limited piece of research for each tutorial (graduate attributes: PROACTIVE, CREATIVE). The assessment takes the form of research papers describing and analysing different stages of the policy-making process. The cumulation of research performed in preparation for tutorials provides the basis for writing these papers (graduate attributes: ARTICULATE). Students also have the option to work on their case studies in pairs or groups (graduate attribute: COOPERATIVE).

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Versluis, Esther, Mendeltje van Keulen, and Paul Stephenson (2011) Analyzing the European Union Policy Process , Palgrave Macmillan
Lelieveldt, Herman, and Sebastiaan Princen (2011) The Politics of the European Union , Cambridge University Press
Buonanno, Laurie, and Neill Nugent (2013) Policies and Policy Processes of the European Union , Palgrave Macmillan

Other Relevant Texts:

Wallace, Helen, Mark A. Pollack, and Alasdair R. Young (2010) Policy-Making in the European Union , Oxford University Press
Ian Bache, Stephen George, and Simon Bulmer (2011) Politics in the European Union , Oxford University Press
John McCormick (2011) European Union Politics , Palgrave Macmillan

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

BAPIREUFA - Politics and International Relations
BAPPADUFA - Politics and Public Administration
BAHPSSUFA - History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies
BAAPLAUFA - Applied Languages
BAJNMEUFA - Journalism and New Media
BAJOHOUFA - Joint Honours
BAEUSTUFA - European Studies
BAINMEUFA - Irish and New Media

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: