The European State
Full course descriptionIn previous centuries, the formal organisation of politics in Europe was arranged through the state. In the course of the centuries, the state has developed into a unique concentration of power which has taken on a large number of responsibilities. As a power state, the European state functioned in a system of competing states and had to provide external security. As a constitutional state, it had to provide internal stability and security. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the state also made attempts at regulating economic and social life. Partly under pressure from changing economic circumstances, new types of states developed: the mercantilist state, the market-oriented liberal state and the welfare state. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the state organised itself as nation-state, embodying the nation as a whole. In this context, it also developed into the democratic state. Today, the democratic welfare and nation-state has come under great pressure. All kinds of developments in our culture indicate that the state we know so well is in the middle of a transformation process, again. To understand the role of politics in our contemporary culture, it is necessary to have insight in the origin and function of this state. The aim of this course is to provide this framework based on historical and political science literature.
Course objectivesThrough an historical understanding of the development of state, nation and democracy in Europe since the late Middle Ages to acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of contemporary challenges and problems in our present-day society.
Recommended readingH. Schulze : States, Nations and Nationalism (Hoboken : Wiley Blackwell, 1998).
1 Feb 2022
1 Apr 2022
Assessment methods:Written exam
Keywords:European political history : the rise of state, nation, and democracy from the late Middle Ages to the Present.