Democratic Governance and Representation in Europe
Full course description
It is almost conventional wisdom that the European Union (EU) is suffering from a democratic deficit, as it is seen as falling short on premises that are “shared by a broad range of democratic theorists” (Follesdal and Hix, 2006, p. 547). This is also an issue that policy-makers both at the national level and within the EU institutions – especially the European Parliament (EP) and the Commission – have tried to tackle for several decades.
During this course you will gain new insights into questions of democratic governance and representation in the EU. This course will address all four aforementioned aspect, especially by probing into the tension between democratic and administrative governance. Through interactive lectures and tutorials, we will reflect upon state of the art research. Invited lecturers have published on all the aforementioned issues. In addition, we will discuss key scholarly works on democratic governance and representation in the EU.
Throughout the course you will encounter a range of central concepts, theories and approaches. In addition, you will learn to apply these to the EU system of multi-level governance, while at the same time also reflecting on the democratic challenges that come with this system. Finally, by building on the knowledge gained from the course, students you should be able to conduct your own research on issues related to questions of democratic governance and representation in the EU, by integrating theory, methodology and empirical insights on this topic.
Upon completion of this course you will:
1. Have acquired advanced knowledge and understanding of questions related to democratic governance in the EU in its political and institutional dimensions, including an overview of the related state of the art in the interdisciplinary field of European Studies;
2. Be able to integrate and combine substantive knowledge, theories and methods from the interdisciplinary field of European Studies in a well-reasoned manner;
3. Be able to compare, select, integrate, and apply appropriate theories, concepts and scientific research methods to analyse novel research puzzles and questions related to EU politics and questions of democratic legitimacy in the EU;
4. Be able to critically appraise the quality of various source materials and design, plan and implement an independent research projects;
5. Be able to communicate your findings to others – fellow academics, including students and scientific staff, as well as practitioners – and discuss these in a critical manner;
6. Possess the learning skills to continue to study in a manner that is largely self-directed and autonomous, while being able to translate your findings to other research domains.
The syllabus provides a series of journal articles and/or book chapters.