The European Union, globalisation and the state

Demands to “take back control”, protests against economic globalisation, and increasing contestation over supranational and global governance currently dominate politics in Europe. In this course, we submit such issues and debates to systematic analysis, and ask why, how and with what consequences EU membership and economic globalisation are transforming the state as we know it.

Students will acquire the empirical knowledge, theoretical understanding and comparative research skills to analyse why European and global pressures change (and challenge) established national institutions, politics, policies and democracies; to explain why different states change differently; and to evaluate the consequences for democratic legitimacy.

The course introduces the concepts of Europeanisation, globalisation and statehood; familiarises students with the comparative method; and discusses different theoretical explanations for state transformation. We then analyse the impact of EU and global pressures on national institutions such as courts, governments and parliaments; on political parties and representation; on national policies with a focus on the welfare state; and on citizenship. The final sections look at Europeanisation beyond the EU’s borders, and ask whether EU membership and globalisation spell the end of national democracy. Throughout, we engage with current political questions, including austerity politics, Euroscepticism, the EU’s role in it's neighbourhood and governments’ accountability to their parliaments. In analysing these questions, the course puts a premium on training students in the systematic use of comparative methodology and the design of qualitative research.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.




  • Christine Reh , Dean of Graduate Programmes and Professor of European Politics