Department of Political Science


The European Union, Globalisation and the State

Course Code


Course Tutor

Dr Christopher Wratil (Department of Political Science)


One 3,000 word essay

Credit Value


About this course

Demands to "take back control," protests against economic globalisation, and increasing contestation over supranational and global governance currently dominate politics in Britain and Europe. In this module, 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 have known 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 module introduces the concepts of Europeanisation, globalisation and statehood; familiarises students with the comparative methods; 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; and on national policies with a focus on the welfare state. 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 its neighbourhood and government's accountability to their parliaments. In analysing these questions, the module puts a premium on training students in the systematic use of comparative methodology and the design of qualitative research.

By the end of the course, students will have

  • learned to critically evaluate competing theories of Europeanisation and globalisation
  • acquired an in-depth knowledge of domestic change across and within states;
  • evaluated the democratic repercussions of EU membership and economic globalisation;
  • learned to critically assess empirical evidence and present theoretical arguments;
  • trained analytical and research skills for the comparative study of institutions; politics and policies.