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The University of Southampton

PAIR2021 The Politics and Governance of the EU

Module Overview

This module focuses on the European Union (EU) as a system of public policy-making and aims to provide students with a working knowledge of the history of European integration, the main EU institutions, the EU policy process, main theoretical debates as well as the key EU policies, such as the Monetary Union, Human Rights and Enlargement, or the EU’s growing activity in Justice and Home Affairs. Towards the end of the module, students will have the opportunity to discuss some of the key current issues and challenges confronting the EU’s future direction: its democratic legitimacy; the process of Europeanization; the Eurozone crisis and Britain’s relationship with the EU.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply conceptual tools to analyse the policy and decision-making processes of the EU.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of European integration since 1945, theories of European integration including neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism, the main institutions and policies of the European Union, and some key issues and debates in European integration
  • Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, including understanding core concepts and theories, developing the capacity for independent learning through access to general learning resources, making individual/group seminar presentations.


The module will be taught via a set of 12 weekly lectures followed by fortnightly seminars. The content of the module( i.e. lectures) is structured in weekly lectures focusing on 12 key topics. PART 1: HISTORY, INSTITUIONS, THEORIES Lecture 1-Introduction and key themes: intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism and supranationalism Lecture 2 -Historical evolution of European integration Lecture 3 -Key institutions (1): European Commission, Council of Ministers, European Council Lecture 4 -Key institutions (2): European Parliament, European Court of Justice, Agencies PART 2: POLICIES Lecture 5- Understanding EU Governance and the Policy Process Lecture 6 -Freedom, Security and Justice Lecture 7 -Economic Governance in the EU and the Eurozone crisis Lecture 8- EU enlargement Lecture 9- Human rights PART 3: ISSUES Lecture 10 -Europeanization Lecture 11 -Democracy Lecture 12 -The future of the EU and module conclusion

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

2 hours of lectures per week. All will be recorded and posted on Blackboard. Lectures will be delivered either face to face or online only depending upon University and Public Health England Guidance at the time. Total of 24 hours of lectures (2 hours per week X 12 weeks) per module. Weekly student participation in online discussion boards. 1 hour per week delivered asynchronously. (1 hour X 12 weeks)

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Foreign Office: Britain in the EU.

UK Office of the European Parliament.

University Association for Contemporary European Studies.

Wallace, H., Pollack, M., Young, A. (eds) (2010). Policy-Making in the European Union. 

C Gateway to the European Union.

Buonanno, L. and Nugent, N. (2013). Policies and Policy Processes of the European Union. 

Bache, I., George, S. and Bulmer, S. (2011). Politics in the European Union. 

Richardson, J. (ed.) (2005). European Union: Power and Policy-Making. 

Bomberg, E. and Stubb, A. (ed.) (2012). The European Union: How Does it Work?. 

Alternative news source.

Facts and figures on the EU.

Nugent, N. (2010). The Government and Politics of the European Union. 

European Voice.

Journal. • Journal of European Public Policy • Journal of Common Market Studies • Western European Politics • Journal of European Integration • European Union Politics

European Convention.

Archive of European integration (online resource on European integration at University of Pittsburgh, USA).

Daily news on the EU.



MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion board activity 25%
Research project 50%
Research proposal 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students are expected to purchase 1-2 of the core textbooks. Access to the key journals is provided via the library website.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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