The aim of the course is to introduce students to the issues of governance and especially multilevel governance in the contemporary European Union. The course is composed of two parts. The first part deals with general concepts of governance, multilevel politics and multilevel governance, regionalism, and Europeanization of domestic politics. The changing nature of the state in the post-Westphalia era is discussed as well. In the second part of the course, these general concepts and notions are demonstrated in the example of the European Union. The EU will be presented as a specific political system combining features of both a traditional state and an international organization and increasingly as a polity, in which processes of traditional government are complemented by networks and processes of governance working in specific multilevel settings. The students will become familiar with all three dimension of the EU political system – polity, politics, and policy.
At the end of the course, the student should acquire a solid command of relevant theories of governance and a comprehensive understanding of the notion of multilevel governance as a theoretical concept, and especially as a model describing the reality of contemporary European Union political processes. The student should understand the role of different political institutions of the EU as well as role of important actors operating at different levels of the EU multilayered political system. Students should possess basic skills and competences to analyze contemporary European politics.
1. Introductory session – The changing role and nature of the state in Europe
2. Changing perspective from government to governance
3. Multilevel governance – a concept
4. Multilevel governance inside the state – European federalism and regionalism
5. Modes of governance in contemporary EU
6. Europeanization as an impact of multilevel politics
7. The EU as a political system – a theoretical perspective
8. The EU as a political system – how to analyze the EU (system theory, policy networks, policy arenas etc.)
9. The EU as a political system – the making of EU policies
10. The EU as a political system – pressure groups and political parties as vital actors of EU politics
11. Democratic deficit issue
12. Modes of governance in contemporary European countries (Dutch-Czech comparative seminar)
The course consists of lectures combines with seminars including class discussion. Homework position papers related to assigned readings are also part of the workload. Students are divided into small groups in which they carry on their position papers during the whole term. The number of groups as well as their composition depends on the overall number of students enrolled in the course. However, the groups will be settled in the first week of the course and their composition will be fixed during the entire term. Students are responsible for distribution of the work within the group; their performance will be evaluated on the groups’ basis, not on their individual approach or contribution! Each lecture is accompanied by compulsory reading whose knowledge is necessary both for active participation in class discussion and for the written exam; moreover, students are encouraged to acquire further relevant academic articles, chapters in books etc. when preparing their position papers.
The final written test will be composed of 4 large open questions.